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Could I Be Gluten-Intolerant?

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I'm 19 years old, female, and I've just been getting sicker and sicker this past year. One of my co-workers yesterday told me I sounded just like one of her family members that was Gluten-intolerant, and I was basically like.. Woah! Wait, what? Googl'd it and immediately put myself on a gluten free diet! (It can't hurt to test this out for a month, right? )

This is gonna be long and probably complicated... but I'm really getting sick of being sick all the time, so I'm going to try and write out all the symptoms I've ever had.

Basically I've had a upset stomach since the day I was born. I was lactose intolerant and had to be given soy formula. Course then the doctors said I would grow out of it and I was a very very sickly child until the middle of first grade when my sister was like.. "Maybe she's still lactose intolerant!"

That solved all my problems until about 4th grade.

I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel -horrible-. Nauseated, dizzy... couldn't move... couldn't walk. I would basically crawl my way to the bathroom and just sit on the floor. I never threw up, or had had diarrhea, I would just feel extremely sick until it went away. My Mom thought I was faking it, I refused go to bed at night. The next morning I would refuse to eat, and really didn't want to go to school. Putting food anywhere near my mouth would just bring back the feelings of nausea, I felt horrible every morning. She would force me to eat oatmeal every single morning before school or she wouldn't take me. (It was horrible.)

Eventually... one morning I actually did throw up at school, and she finially stopped making me eat oatmeal every morning if I told her I couldn't.

Went to the doctors, they thought I might have a ulcer or something. Test came back negative. My Mom thought maybe I was under too much stress and that I had acid reflux. She made me switch teachers... thought the one I had was causing me the stress for some reason.

Either way, I immediately got better. Still had heartburn attacks every now and then, but I was sleeping at night... and eventually I think I just got used to my stomach being sensitive all the time.

I can't seem to think of any other major events from then till I started college.

I had to be -very- careful to not eat any dairy products. Milk chocolate makes me sick, I cant have that lactose free or reduced milk either. Soy milk is fine though! When I slept over a friends house I would usually get sick. If I went out to eat I would just about always get sick after. The only restaurants I'm not afraid to eat at are Chinese and Japanese.

I wouldn't really want to go anywhere on the weekends or anything just because I wouldn't want to be away from my own bathroom if my stomach decided to be angry at me. I'm pretty sure my stomach was in a limbo between diarrhea and constipation almost the entire time. I would have good weeks and bad weeks.

Oh, and I started to pick up warning signs from my body as well. If I was going to be sick later in the day I would feel extremely tired. Like... I've gotta stop and take a nap RIGHT NOW! kind of tired. And my body would also get very very hot. Course then followed the stomach cramps and so on.

When I started college almost 2 years ago now it became common where I would have 1 week that I just couldn't go to my classes every semester. I would have some pretty bad diarrhea, and then just be extremely nauseated for the next week. (Never throwing up though, just gas on my stomach making me feel very very dizzy and sick.) Sometimes it got really bad and I would start dry heaving after an hour of sitting on the bathroom floor. I ruled out garlic from my diet and I stopped dry heaving!

Ever the more becoming accustomed to feel horrible everyday, I almost always have a feeling of indigestion or heartburn. It's just.... normal. I've got gas on my stomach almost all the time, I burp a lot. If it ever starts to get bad I usually grab the antacids that are near me and sip at some water... I also try and walk around a bit too, getting the gas up before it starts a dry heaving phase.

My stomach is very sensitive to touch, I wouldn't say it causes pain... it's just extremely uncomfortable, and I don't let anyone touch me.

My lower back hurts all the time. (And I don't even want to get into what happens around my period, I am starting to think I might have something like endometriosis)

I had Mono last semester, and it was basically the worst thing ever. (Though my stomach was actually well behaved throughout most of the really bad weeks) But anyways, since then I just been losing my ability to recover from things. I'm still very tired all the time, and it's like I just don't have an immune system. I've also bee getting very depressed since I had mono. Oh boy.. I'm just so seriously sick of being sick.

3 weekends ago I got very very sick Friday night, very bad diarrhea, very slow recovering, very sore stomach.

And again, just last Friday, same thing... with added extra tired and extra aches. I had a migraine all day yesterday, and today my head still isn't exactly happy.

I've been getting random dizzy spells, and I just look and feel like I'm not getting any sleep or nutrition.

(I don't exactly take a vitamins every day, but I do eat a well balanced diet. About 4 small meals a day, with some snacks. I don't like to eat the usual big 3 meals a day... I don't feel very good doing that.)

I've also never gained weight since I went through puberty. I did gymnastics for about 7 years of my life, and even after that I didn't gain any weight. I'm not underweight, the only time I was was right after I stopped doing gymnastics and I lost a good amount of my muscle. I'm just very thin, and my BMI is right where it should be.

I've been to the doctors, not all that recently though. (I've been trying to figure out my health insurance.)

They were basically like.... IBS? And sent me away.

My Mom also has been told she has IBS, she's 62 and her stomach has certainly been through better and worse times. She also has a lot of auto-immune disorders, and seems to be diagnosed with more of them every year.

SO..... I can't think of anything else. But I didn't eat any gluten-y foods yesterday. Usually when I wake up in the morning my stomach goes though this crazy routine of being very very gasy. It's almost like it just gathers gas all night when I sleep and waits for just when I wake up and start to move to to tell me about it all.

This morning that didn't happen at all!! I felt fine. I mean.. my stomach is still sore from this weekend... but I felt OK.

Does it sound like a gluten intolerance? I'm seriously just about hoping it is. This is something I can fix!!

Or is there any thing else this might sound like? It probably could be just about anything, but I'm really hoping after a week or 2 of eliminating Gluten I start to get better.

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Hi Painted- I am so sorry you have been through so much. I think you'll find that a lot of people here have very similar stories.

First, just to be safe, I would try to see a GI and make sure that there isn't anything else wrong like Crohn's or colitis. We joke around here that IBS means "I'm basically stumped"- of course your bowel is irritated, but WHY?

As far as getting a true celiac diagnosis, if that matters to you, the biopsy is considered the "gold standard" of diagnosis but many people have negative biopsies.

I think a trial of going gluten-free would be great but you might need more than a month to feel better. Keeping a food journal (what I ate, how it made me feel etc) helped me see patterns and I could figure out what additional foods were bothering me (at the time it was lactose, soy and then eventually all legumes).

I'd say go gluten-free, make sure other problems are ruled out and see what happens. No one ever died from not eating wheat!

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My dd didn't have all that tummy pain. When she started college she began to have extremely painful periods, lots of blood loss, dizzy, fatigue, etc. Growing up her legs would hurt. I took her to the doc b/c she had blood in her stools occasionally. The doc didn't test her for celiac and it doesn't run in our family. He said no gluten, gave her complex B vitamins for the cramping. She stopped complaining about the cramps. She is 21 now and never complains about any symptoms. Her sister (18)is off gluten too. Her sister gets an itchy head, a rash around her neckline and bumps on her arms called keratosis pilaris. As long as she doesn't eat gluten she has no symptoms.

We don't have insurance so the girls never got an official test. But they are gluten intolerant.

You need to be "on" gluten to get tested. Many times if you are allergic to gluten you can be to other things as well. There are many helpful people and posts on here so read alot and ask lots of questions too!

I hope you get answers and start to feel better soon!

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Wow. Wowowowow.

I just wanted to update on this topic...

I've been gluten free for 3 weeks now.


Everyone can tell too, even the dark circles under my eyes are gone. It's like my brain was in some kind of fog, and now everything is so clear!

I haven't had diarrhea, constipation... haven't felt the least bit nauseated. The first week and a half or so my stomach still ached and hurt, but now even that's basically gone. My back hurts less. I wake up in the morning and I'm able to eat. (Used to feel reaaally gassy and horrible in the morning)

I'm so scared that this has just been a randomly good week and things are gonna go back to normal soon. But I don't think my stomach has ever been so... regular? Actually I think I've been constipated my whole life, thinking it was normal. I'm not sure how my stomach is suppose to act, but it's -completely- different now.

Could it be just because I'm eating healthier? This diet really forces you to eat well.

I'm very reluctant to start eating wheat again and see if I get sick.

I've also heard that I might be able to digest lactose once again? I really don't want to give that a try either... When should I try that, and how should I go about introducing into my diet?

In any case, I'm making my Mom ask her doctor about it, and get some testing done. She's 62 and very sick. All sorts of vitamin deficiency problems, thyroid problems, IBS, fatigue. She's getting monthly B12 shots... Arthritis is starting... the list is endless I swear.

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