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GeishaGirl

Might Be Celiac...

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So I've been what I call "half sick" for about three years. I'm a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed two years ago) and about the time I think the beta cells started going, I started getting wicked stomach problems. The constant swinging between constipation and diarrhea was (still is) intolerable. I have actually (sorry, TMI, but I figure that's par for the course on a forum centered on gut-issues :)) burned my butt with my diarrhea. I would actually run to my husband like a proud child if I had a "normal" poop -- which was rare, and (I'm realizing now) only happened during the weeks I tried to eat low-carb. Towards the end of the last school year (I teach, so this is how I block out time) I wound up having to get other teachers to watch my class so I could run to the bathroom. I started getting tired walking from my classroom to my car, and my arms constantly felt weak, like my blood sugar was low. I'm about 50 pounds overweight, so I figured that was the problem.

When summer hit, I started watching what I ate and exercising -- and felt worse. I started needing 10-13 hours of sleep a night, and could barely move during the day, especially if I'd exercised. I tried to eat right, but kept craving simple carbs like I couldn't get enough. Obviously, my blood sugars suffered horrible. After my endocrinologist basically told me she had no clue, she foisted me off on a gastrointernologist. Before I went to see him, I started studying and realized that celiac sounded like my best bet -- it covered all of the big symptoms, plus others that I'd just lumped into a "I'm tired and stressed" pile -- migraines, night sweats, dry skin, etc.

I've had my blood work. I've had my endoscopy. I see the doctor on Thursday for an official "diagnosis" -- but I started gluten free a few days ago anyway. I figured that even if I'm not officially celiac, the chances of my being highly gluten intolerant are likely. I've been gluten-free for 3 days, and I'm trying really hard not to read too much into it, but here goes:

Day 1: HORRIBLE gas/diarrhea late in the day, but energy and mental clarity felt a little better.

Day 2: Same HORRIBLE stomach problems. No real change.

Day 3: No stomach problems at all. Still exhausted and don't want to get up in the morning, but I get my energy really quick once I get up. Did several hours of shopping without fighting with my husband.

I've been eating a lot of gluten-free chips and cheese dip, but I made some nice broccoli cheddar soup tonight, and my husband made some great chicken cacciatore with rice a few nights ago. We didn't just go pell-mell into this -- we bought books and started planning menus about two weeks before we started (mostly because I insisted on keeping up my regular diet so as no to skew the endoscopy).

DH and I are going to stay gluten-free for the month of September, even if I'm not officially celiac (he's checking to see if it's causing HIS stomach probs and headaches too!). So, I figured -- why wait for a diagnosis? Might as well join and hang out now :)

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Sounds like your body is giving you the answers you need. You're one of those teacher people that I so admire but could never be so you need all your energy. I hope this restores your health and you're back doing that so important job.

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You sound a lot like me! It took 6 months or so for the non-specific symptoms like fatigue and random pain to clear up, so don't give up quickly. I agree with sticking in the diet for a while even if tests don't confirm celiac. You can be reactive to gluten without having full-blown celiac, and your body will tell you clearly if the diet is right for you.

I also have had the acidic butt-burning poo and it's not fun. It wasn't until a couple of times that it came out without warning (thank heavens I was home both times) that I got serious about finding out what was causing it. "IBS" no longer seemed like an adequate explanation anymore.

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