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Possible Celiac

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I'm 25 years old and think I might have Celiac disease, I know no one can tell me definitively whether I have it or not just based on some symptoms, but I guess I wanted to ask does it sound like it could be a possible case based on these symptoms. Some of these symptoms are embarrassing, but I'm just going to lay it all on the line.

I know this symptom is a Celiac symptom, basically I've been having the runs (loose stool) for over a year on and off. Sorry to get graphic but I have to for the same of explaining the symptom. It ranges from being normal, to being a half formed stool that kind of sticks to the bowl and requires me to open all the windows of the house afterward if you get my drift, and then sometimes I get just all out diarrhea. I can't remember exactly when it started, but it's been at least a year. I know I should have seen a doctor but I really can't afford it, and this problem comes and goes. Sometimes it's normal for a week and then it's weird for another week. I figured it might have been coffee because I read coffee is the number one cause of bowel problems. I cut coffee out for three weeks and it seemed to be getting a better, but at the end of the 21st day I had explosive diarrhea, so that pretty much ruled out coffee. My stomach has a burning sensation after I drink coffee, and yet I now know coffee isn't the actual cause even though it isn't good for me either.

Some other symptoms I've been having which may or may not relate to Celiac.

My bottom lip is constantly drying up and I can peel off an entire layer of skin every couple of days.

My wrists are incredibly thin, to the point where I look like a starving Ethiopian.

My endurance has always been crap, and I remember this symptom from when I was a kid. I was always lean and fit as a kid because I rode my bike frequently, but when I would start running a mile in P.E. I would hit a brick wall and crap out after about 30 seconds. I would finish the mile heaving and panting, and literally the only kids slower than me were 2 or 3 obese students. It never made any sense and always frustrated the hell out of me.

I was always very tired in the morning, could barely keep my eyes open.

I read delayed puberty is a symptom. Well I didn't stop growing taller until I was 22 years old. I look unusually young for my age, I'm 25 and I look about 18 years old and that's being generous. I was always skinny and underweight and under height, which could be a symptom. Presently I'm 5'8" and weight about 145, which isn't really that underweight but I just never seem to gain weight no matter how much I eat. I can eat an entire pizza and gorge myself for a week and I'll lose a pound. I also have a incomplete facial hair that's still coming in combined with skin problems, whiteheads on my face and red bumps all over my back, it doesn't itch like Dermatitis Hepaformis, but instead just hurts like hell.

I also have intense anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Of course, that might just be because of all the symptoms I'm experiencing. But the anxiety is real bad and uncontrollable, it's gotten real bad in the past year or two.

This last one is embarrassing but I have to mention it because I read this may be associated with Celiac. In the past few years before I started to get the runs, I would have Large stools, really large, a foot long at times. I had to get the plunger on different occasions.

I can't honestly say I get bad symptoms right after I eat gluten. Sometimes I'll eat 6 slices of pizza and I wont get diarrhea. I just feel lousy all the time, and the bowel problems always come back.

So does that sound like it might be Celiac? I really can't afford to see a Doctor as I don't have Insurance and I'm broke. I ordered the Biocard at home test kit for $42, even though I live in the USA and it hasn't been approved by the FDA, I ordered it from some online place in Australia and paid $12.50 for international shipping. By the way, why in the world can't I order this kit in the USA? I mean it obviously works as it's for sale in every European country, in Canada, and in Australia. The FDA's going to sit on it for a whole bunch of time to "confirm that it works" when everybody around the world already knows that it works? There are thousands of people who could use this test in the states.

So hopefully that kit will get here but if doesn't I'll just try and find some other place to obtain it. I figure if it tells me no, I may still have Celiac, but if it tells me yes I'll definitely know I have it, so the possibility of obtaining that yes is worth the $42 in my mind.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any replies to this.

Edit: Forgot to mention two symptoms, I burp like hell constantly, especially after a meal, sometimes little small belches and sometimes big roaring belches. Also I used to have constantly have bloating and gas in the evening after dinner, but that doesn't seem to be as bad lately, for whatever reason. Dunno how I forgot to mention those symptoms.

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I'm sure you've come to the right place for answers, even if you don't have trouble with gluten. Many people here can relate to your symptoms, and will likely be able to guide you in the right direction, Celiac or not. But, based on the symptoms you've detailed, it could certainly be Celiac or gluten intolerance. Either way it means avoiding gluten.

There is a very easy and basically free way that you can get a much better idea if gluten bothers you, than anyone here can tell you. Simply avoid all gluten for a few weeks or so, and see if there is any change. If your symptoms significantly reduce or clear up completely, then you have your answer. Note that some people need much longer than others to feel better though. For me it was six months before there was any noticeable change.

The only possible downside to going gluten-free without having tests done, is that it makes the accuracy of any tests you may wish to have done later all-the-more unreliable. Since antibodies generally hang around for about two weeks, I'd guess it wouldn't impact test results so much if you tried gluten-free for less than that. The longer you remain gluten-free, the more the antibodies and intestinal damage are expected to diminish. The best tests are not very accurate though, so regardless of what they say, you'd be wise to try the gluten-free diet anyway.

If you ever decide to get tests done, you'd have to go back to eating gluten for at least six weeks first, to have any chance of accurate results. Many members here have reported that once gluten-free, and symptoms go away, accidental ingestion means much more pronounced symptoms, and even new symptoms. So basically, if you do have Celiac, there's no turning back for testing unless you are prepared to deal with a lot of suffering. If you don't have Celiac (or gluten intolerance), you'll be fine on a gluten-free diet, and returning to eating gluten won't bother you at all.

Welcome to the board! I hope you get the answers you need.

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