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proud mommy

Pregnant And Wondering If My Ibs Is Really Celiac Disease

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About six years ago I began having stomach cramping and side panes when I was was going to school and working full time (I was under a lot of stress). I began going to Dr.'s to see what the problem might be. None of the Dr.'s I was seeing were able to find anything wrong and then I became pregnant so they were unable to continue doing tests on me. During my pregnancy the stomach and side cramping seemed to go away. After I had my son (who was very healthy) My pains returned, this time they were worse, I also had bloating and diarrhea. I saw a GI Dr. who told me that it was IBS and to cut gluten and dairy out of my diet. I did it for a while and my pains and other problems went away. Little by little I added gluten and dairy back into my diet and the pain and bloating (etc.) would return until I cut out gluten and dairy for a while. I've gone back and forth with cutting these things out of my diet for several years now. But as soon as I became pregnant this time (I'm 13 weeks now) I have not been able to tolerate gluten at all (much worse than before). I have started cutting out gluten and lactose form my diet and I am feeling much better. I'm concerned that I might really have Celiac Disease instead of IBS for a few different reasons A. I don't think I was ever tested for it B. I've been borderline anemic on and of and C. I already have an autoimmune disease, Vitiligo. Should I ask to be tested during pregnancy? I'm wondering this because I heard you have to eat gluten for several months for the tests to be accurate and I'm afraid that if I do have it that it will be bad for the baby. Or should I just continue trying to eat a gluten free diet and maybe ask just to talk with a specialist? Any advice? Thanks for reading!

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If you are preggers and are very sensitive, it could be a cue from your baby - so I would stick to whatever diet you need to. When your baby is born, get her/him tested as soon as they start on solid foods for celiac, etc.. You'll know quickly if they can stomach milk products.

But for you, it could be you have a mild intolerance to gluten that is helped by a gluten-free and diary free diet. It also could be the case that you might have gallbladder issues (?), another allergy, or maybe something completely different.

The keys for when you are pregnant are to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D/ omega 3's, folic acid (of course), but also make sure your B vitamins are high enough (especially B12)... these are routine tests.. better to get b's by injection - less loss through gut.

I would see how you feel on a gluten-free and diary free diet for the rest of your pregnancy. If you feel better, keep with it. It might be the case that you can take some time later to get diagnosed, but really when you are pregnant, I would do whatever feels best.

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Hi. It sounds like you might be on the right track. As for testing you could get the blood work done while you are pregnant and get your vitamin levels checked too. If you feel better not eating gluten and dairy, don't eat it. After you have your baby you could go back to eating gluten for three months or longer and have the blood test and an endoscopy. Be aware that the tests are NOT 100%. My blood test were negative but I feel like a different person since I cut gluten. Oh, the IBS diagnosis usually means 'we don't know what is wrong with you'. You said you have vitiligo, did you see a derm. for that? I think my 9yr old may have it. He is fair skinned so I am trying to get him tanned again so his ped. can see it better. I also read on web md that it can be connected with diabetes.


Started on this journey w/ my 9 yr old son after a bout w/ the flu in the fall of 2009.

2 neg celiac blood tests, mine was also neg. No endo done. Son had x-ray, showing severe constipation. Son has latex allergy. KP for both of us.

Long family history of bowel problems, auto-immune and all sorts of cancers. My G-mother informed me that she was put on a gluten free diet after she had my mom (1950's), of course she stopped when she felt better. She has had problems ever since I can remember.

So here we are! I do have my son's Dr to thank for even bringing up celiac! Thank You Dr.B!

My adult daughter also has been helped by eating gluten-free.

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Here's what I would do in your situation:

1) stay gluten free during the pregnancy and during breastfeeding. yes, that may mean the next two to three years.

2) IF you want a formal diagnosis after that, then go back to eating gluten for at least four months prior to any testing.

the reason I say to stay gluten free is because you KNOW that you react to gluten. you don't know if it's a random sensitivity or actually celiac. but IF it IS celiac, you do not want to ingest gluten during your pregnancy (the autoantibodies in celiac also attack the placenta), and I wouldn't want to pass the antibodies in breastmilk either. (no particular research I know of addressing the later issue, but it's why I'm being fairly paranoid about gluten while I'm breastfeeding.)

you know gluten bothers you, and you don't need a prescription to eat gluten free. so stay gluten free until you can be tested without impacting the baby.

(of course, all of this is just my own opinion, and there are other ways to go if you want.)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Thanx for all of the advice! I will for sure stay away from gluten during this pregnancy not only because of concerns about the baby, but also because I feel a lot better when I do! But as far as dairy is concerned I'm still a little confused, dairy does bother me but I seem to do OK with Lactose free things. Just assuming (for safety sake) that I really do have Celiac disease or an intolerance, is it OK to eat/drink things that are lactose free or products that are gluten free but may contain a small amount of dairy? That wouldn't hurt the baby, right? Oh and yes I went to a derm. for my Vitiligo when I was little, it hasn't really been much of a problem except you just have to make sure you always keep sunscreen on the spots that have no skin pigment because those spots are more at risk for skin cancer, because there's no pigment to protect the skin from the sun. I am fair skinned also which is good because you can hardly see the spots up against my light skin!

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I wouldn't think dairy would hurt the baby. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. You may just be lactose intolerant too. If you continue to have problems lactose free then I would try dairy free.


Started on this journey w/ my 9 yr old son after a bout w/ the flu in the fall of 2009.

2 neg celiac blood tests, mine was also neg. No endo done. Son had x-ray, showing severe constipation. Son has latex allergy. KP for both of us.

Long family history of bowel problems, auto-immune and all sorts of cancers. My G-mother informed me that she was put on a gluten free diet after she had my mom (1950's), of course she stopped when she felt better. She has had problems ever since I can remember.

So here we are! I do have my son's Dr to thank for even bringing up celiac! Thank You Dr.B!

My adult daughter also has been helped by eating gluten-free.

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I wouldn't think dairy would hurt the baby. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. You may just be lactose intolerant too. If you continue to have problems lactose free then I would try dairy free.

i totally agree with what everyone is telling you. definately stay gluten-free durning and after pregnancy. BUT, you do need to have the dairy so have you tried introducing just a little dairy without the gluten??? you might be able to tolerate just dairy. if not, then of course there are other ways to get those vits!

stay away from gluten!!!!!


gluten-free for 7 years pos. biopsy

98 pounds lost!!!!

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Some people with celiac just don't do well with dairy for one reason or another. For me it is an allergy. For many it is because the damage done to the intestinal villi also affect the ability to digest lactose. Lactaid would help in this situation. For others, difficulty with dairy may be for other reasons. You can be blood tested for an allergy now. If you just stopped gluten, you MIGHT still be able to get a positive on the celiac blood test. I would trust a positive, but not a negative result in that situation. If you think you can tolerate dairy with the lactaid, then stick to that. Otherwise, no point irritating your intestines. But hey, what do I know.

Congrats on baby and stick gluten free.

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