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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

sammyandkaylasmom

Possibly Diagnosed?

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My 9 year old son has recently started vomiting in the evenings. Since the end of June it has happened on 7 separate occasions. He becomes extremely nauseated and then after an hour or two he vomits a tremendous amount of food. This is new for him----he has not ever had any problems with his digestion. The doctor ran multiple blood tests and the only thing that came back was one antibody on the Celiac panel. She says this means he "may" have Celiac disease. Other than the vomiting and the fact that he is very short (5th percentile), he has no other symptoms of Celiac disease. Never-the-less, I started him on a gluten free diet that very day. I was eager to see if his vomiting would stop. He has been gluten free for just 3 days now. Surprisingly, he vomitted again last night after eating NO GLUTEN for 2 days. I have been meticulous in researching and reading food labels so I am 99.9% sure that he is gluten free.

My question is, is it possible for him to still be vomiting even though he is no longer eating gluten, or does this mean the vomitting is caused by something else? Does it take a while for the vomiting to subside? When I try to think logically about this, it makes sense that the intestinal symptoms would take time to subside as the villi have to heal. But my son's symptoms are not intestinal. I would assume that the vomiting is his stomach reacting to gluten at the time he eats it. Following this logic, then once he stops consuming gluten, he should stop vomiting, right?

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I think you generally need to wait at least 10 days to be sure that there is still a reaction even without gluten. Also, he may be having issues with dairy as well, so you could eliminate that as well.

Two days is definitely very very early to see any significant improvement.

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Not sure if this helps, but my now 9 yr old started having stomach issues last fall after a bout with the flu. After about 2 months of acid reducers and not feeling better his Dr ordered an x-ray of his intestine and he was very constipated. Just thinking, if he is constipated, it could possibly make him throw up.

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Two days is not long enough. It typically takes at least a couple weeks, longer in some people. There is damage that has to heal.

What antibody was positive? Also, he cannot be biopsied as a follow-up if you take him gluten-free.

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I am not sure which antibody was positive. I will call the MD's office in the morning and ask. I am not well educated in this area and would really appreciate any help/suggestions. I don't know if having one positive antibody means he has Celiac or if a biopsy is necessary. The pediatrician did not give me much information. I was told to have him go gluten free for two weeks to see if the vomiting stops. I was not aware that going gluten free would obscure further test results, I just wanted to help my son feel better. Any guidance from anyone here would really help!

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I guess you should listen to the doctor if he thinks you should take him off gluten for a couple of weeks. The convention is that you continue to eat gluten until they complete all the tests, but if he is vomiting like that maybe it's more urgent. You can ask the pediatrician for the test results and post them here too. There seem to be people who can tell you more. Did you make an appointment with a pediatric GI to complete the diagnosis? If you can try to find one who specializes in celiac. I think a positive blood test is about 96% accurate. That's what they told me last year.

Other resources you might find helpful beyond this site are these.

http://www.celiac.nih.gov/Materials.aspx

http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2166/mainpageS2166P12.html

Hope your son feels better soon, but in our case it was at least a month gluten-free before my daughter started really feeling better and a year before she was healed. She had complications with stool retention and still has some reflux problems. If it is celiac and he's nine there's probably a fair amount of damage and it just takes some time. She was 10 when we figured it out.

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You need to give it at least 3 - 4 weeks before he physically starts to feel better. Our 10 year old son was diagnosed on June 16th and up to about 2 weeks ago he still had some pain and bloating. We saw the pediatric GI on July 6th and he felt his tummy and said that he was still distended and this was after 3 weeks of no gluten - so give it time and see what happens. Only this past week have we seen an increase in his appetite although his bowel movements improved after about a week and so did the tummy pain.

We were away last week in Chicago ( we are from Toronto) and he reacted terrible to McDonald's fries - and had the same tummy pains and urgency to use the washroom - just shows that his is only now starting to clear out his system. If the doctor's office is going to do more tests then you should keep him on a gluten containing diet as this is needed for further blood tests or if you decide to do the biopsy. We opted out of this since the levels that came back from the blood tests were SO high.

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Thank you so much for all the responses and information. I am taking him back to the pediatrician today to get more information regarding the blood test results. From what you all have told me, I will allow him eat gluten again in order for any additional test results to be totally accurate. I do have one additional question. Is it possible that he doesn't have Celiac disease if only one antibody was positive? Does it depend on which antibody was positive?

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a good website for resources is this as well:

linked it right to the "testing" page, but check out the other topics http://www.celiacdisease.net/testing

if your doctor waves you off and you need a referral to see a GI doctor, please please please be insistent that they give you a referral. I have been fortunate that we have no issues with docs waving our concerns off, but I have read stories on here of others not so lucky.

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Ok, I just called the doctor. The IgG antibody was elevated. From what I could find on line, this is not necessarily indicative of Celiac disease. Could he still have Celiac with just the IgG elevated? I think that I should still ask for a referral to a GI because even if he doesn't have Celiac, we still have to figure out why he is vomiting. The only common denominator on the days he gets sick is that he goes swimming on those days. He doesn't throw up every time he swims, but every time he has vomitted, he has been swimming. (It doesn't seem to matter whose pool he is in---sometimes it's our pool, other times it has been public pools).

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We see a Naturopathic MD for allergy testing and I know that there are lots of people there who are severely sensitive to chlorine....

They don't even drink tap water because it's chlorinated and they put something special on their shower heads to filter out the chlorine. One lady said if she showers in regular water from the tap she nearly faints by the time she gets out of the shower.

Could that be it? Just an idea.........

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Ok, I just called the doctor. The IgG antibody was elevated. From what I could find on line, this is not necessarily indicative of Celiac disease. Could he still have Celiac with just the IgG elevated? I think that I should still ask for a referral to a GI because even if he doesn't have Celiac, we still have to figure out why he is vomiting. The only common denominator on the days he gets sick is that he goes swimming on those days. He doesn't throw up every time he swims, but every time he has vomitted, he has been swimming. (It doesn't seem to matter whose pool he is in---sometimes it's our pool, other times it has been public pools).

Are you talking about anti-gliadin IgG? If he has normal amounts of IgA and only anti-gliadin IgG, with no anti-gliadin IgA that's not diagnostic for celiac. People with IgG to a food don't always tolerate that particular food well though. The usual recommendation is to try eliminating it from the diet and see what happens.

I agree that referral to a GI is a good idea for the vomiting, though you may have the answer with the swimming. If he's swallowing chlorinated pool water, that could be making him sick. I certainly get nauseous if I swallow pool or spa water by mistake.

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Thanks again for the info. I was able to take Sammy in to the pedi this afternoon and she said that the IgG alone is not indicative of celiac, but it definitely shows a sensitivity to gluten. His blood allergy test also showed a very mild wheat allergy as well. The MD suggested a mostly gluten/wheat free diet but to give him small amount of wheat once a day to try to desensitize his body-----kind of like an allergy shot would. That kind of makes me nervous, though. I am scared I will trigger hives or worse. I don't know what to do.

As far as the vomiting goes, I am beginning to think chlorine is the culprit.

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