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CurlySpurs

Does This Sound Like Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease Or Ibs...Or ?

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Hi! *This is my first post*

Just wanted to get members' opinions on my symptoms before seeing a doctor. Does it sound like I have a gluten intolerance, IBS, and/or lactose-intolerance???

About 4 years ago, maybe even up to 6 years ago, is when I started getting digestive issues. I just graduated college May 2009 and over the past 4 years of my college life my stomach problems have progressively worsened. Loose bowels, constipation, bloating, excessive burping, light-colored poo every now and then, pain during bowel movements that lasted a month, nausea after eating breakfast...yeah, not fun stuff. I thought it was due to stress and lack of sleep and exercise. I've pretty much always been tagged as a healthy eater, so my food habits didn't seem to be an issue. This past summer I visited my Dr, and she diagnosed me with IBS (she never mentioned "gluten-intolerance" to me). I'm not sure IBS is what I have though...or at least not ALL I have. Gluten intolerance, IBS and lactose-intolerance seem to go hand-in-hand a lot. Check out the foods that trigger bad reactions with me:

ice cream, sour cream, & milk sometimes (depends on how much of it I eat). Lactaid helps me.

Bread, pita, Waffles, pancakes

Spaghetti. (Not sure if it's the noodles or the sauce).

Cereal (or maybe it's the milk?)

Oatmeal sometimes

Pierogies sometimes (or maybe it's the sour cream I eat it with?)

I have reason to believe that Nature Valley Oat n' Honey bars also affect my digestive system

Sugary things have been turning me off lately too.

I'm sure there's others I can't think of too...

The weird thing is I had a hamburger from a restaurant last week and felt fine regardless of the bread bun. And I'm good with cheese. Also, ever since I was diagnosed with IBS, I try to eat Stonyfield (organic) yogurt most everyday. No one in my family has gluten intolerance/celiac disease. My mom and half-brother have acid reflux, and I've had symptoms of that a few times. I have stomach/intestinal issues everyday, and this has caused a lot of anxiety. (Going out makes me anxious--especially eating out b/c I'm afraid of getting an upset stomach and I always have to be sure there's a bathroom nearby just in case). I don't look forward to eating anymore, thus I have also lost a few pounds, and I'm small as it is.

ANY words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!! And thanks for reading all this!

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It sure sounds like you could have Celiac or gluten intolerance. You most likely have dairy intolerance, too. Try avoiding all dairy and gluten and be sure you don't get cross contaminated with gluten. It is in almost everything! Wash your hands every time before you touch food or your face. Wahs your dishes before you use them.

If you start feeling better, you will know it is either gluten, dairy or both. Add back either dairy or gluten and see what happens. If you get no symptoms, try the other and see what happens.

Good luck!

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If you are interested in getting a diagnosis, you should stay on your current diet until you can have the blood antibody tests for celiac. The tests are not perfect but if you are off gluten before the blood draw they are not so great at all. the antibody tests are the first test and often an endoscopy is recommended as a follow on test. If you go off gluten before having the tests and decide to get tested later, you will need to do a gluten challenge of eating gluten for 6 weeks or so to get he antibody levels back up. That could be a painful and unpleasant experience. So getting tested not while still eating gluten is not a bad idea. After the test you can go gluten free right away regardless of the results. The tests aren't perfect after all. SO you could get a false negative. The only good way to know if you have a gluten problem then is to do the diet.

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If you are interested in getting a diagnosis, you should stay on your current diet until you can have the blood antibody tests for celiac. The tests are not perfect but if you are off gluten before the blood draw they are not so great at all. the antibody tests are the first test and often an endoscopy is recommended as a follow on test. If you go off gluten before having the tests and decide to get tested later, you will need to do a gluten challenge of eating gluten for 6 weeks or so to get he antibody levels back up. That could be a painful and unpleasant experience. So getting tested not while still eating gluten is not a bad idea. After the test you can go gluten free right away regardless of the results. The tests aren't perfect after all. SO you could get a false negative. The only good way to know if you have a gluten problem then is to do the diet.

Great info!! Thanks to both of you who posted! And yes, I'm definitely lactose-intolerant to a point. Not as extreme as some people though. I just bought some gluten-free stuff the day I posted this, but I will back off eating it for now. (It's expensive anyways!!!)

This past week has been a little better for me. I've been eating pizzas and cereals and rolls, etc and haven't had any extreme issues (sometimes I have to 'go' right after eating). If I had gluten intolerance/celiac disease, would I experience stomach/intestinal issues EVERYtime I eat breads and whatnot? I also stopped drinking tea...GFinDC, I noticed your sig says you don't drink tea. Now if tea is causing a problem for me, I'd be stunned...I thought herbal tea was great for the body (and I drink a lot of mint green tea b/c I heard it was good for bothered stomachs). I should also mention that I have social anxiety and am not on any medication for it. My counselor said that my anxiety explain why I get nauseous, lose my appetite, and have #2 issues. I agree with her--it does contribute, but I feel it's not the sole source of my issues b/c when I have problems at home, I'm usually not anxious. I can't afford to see a gastrointestinal Dr unless I have a more acute idea of what's going on, so I'm thinking of getting meds for my anxiety first and seeing what happens.

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Great info!! Thanks to both of you who posted! And yes, I'm definitely lactose-intolerant to a point. Not as extreme as some people though. I just bought some gluten-free stuff the day I posted this, but I will back off eating it for now. (It's expensive anyways!!!)

This past week has been a little better for me. I've been eating pizzas and cereals and rolls, etc and haven't had any extreme issues (sometimes I have to 'go' right after eating). If I had gluten intolerance/celiac disease, would I experience stomach/intestinal issues EVERYtime I eat breads and whatnot? I also stopped drinking tea...GFinDC, I noticed your sig says you don't drink tea. Now if tea is causing a problem for me, I'd be stunned...I thought herbal tea was great for the body (and I drink a lot of mint green tea b/c I heard it was good for bothered stomachs). I should also mention that I have social anxiety and am not on any medication for it. My counselor said that my anxiety explain why I get nauseous, lose my appetite, and have #2 issues. I agree with her--it does contribute, but I feel it's not the sole source of my issues b/c when I have problems at home, I'm usually not anxious. I can't afford to see a gastrointestinal Dr unless I have a more acute idea of what's going on, so I'm thinking of getting meds for my anxiety first and seeing what happens.

Symptoms can be off and on for a long time before they are a regular daily occurance. I would see if I was celiac before starting the meds. Celiac can cause anxiety and depression. If you can have your regular doctor call in the order for the celiac panel you should or you could ask your psychiatrist. It sounds like your health issues are causing the anxiety not the other way around. At least in my opinion.

Do get tested if you can but if you can't then giving the diet a good strict try won't hurt. It can take a bit of time for the neuro effects to subside but for many of us the depression and anxiety will resolve.

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