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hobokenworkingman

Veggie Indigestion - Could This Be Coeliac Disease And Gluten Intolerance

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After reading some posts on there, I think my wife may be gluten intolerant. Can someone please help - is what she has coeliac disease? here's a posting I did on wedMD that explains her situation:

Hi all,

I'm posting this for my wife. Both me and my wife are vegetarians (no seafood or fish). She is 29 and from India. She just moved to the US recently 6 months ago. for the last 5 months or so, she has not been able to digest her vegetables. I'm not talking the occasional inability to not digest corn or anything. I'm talking about basically vegetables passing out in her feces almost completely undigested. For the last 5 months or so, it would occur 2-3x a week. Now over the last month or so, it has been occurring over a daily basis. Weird thing is that she can digest carbs (pasta, rice etc) and proteins (chick peas, tofu, paneer) and certain types of vegetables (potatoes which are of course pretty much all carbs), but things like green peas, carrots, tomatoes, brocolli and cabbage all pass right through.

We saw a GI specialist and he said that the problem was that the flora in her gut was having a hard time getting used to the food here. We have had a colonoscopy and endoscopy since then (just 2 weeks back) and nothing abnormal was found (although we're still awaiting official results in a couple of weeks). The GI was very dismissive of the digestion issue and didnt want to seem to address it. This of course is a BIG deal for us, as the issue is getting worse. My wife used to be able to digest fruits w/o any probs, now even fruits like oranges are going out undigested.

A bit more history - my wife was very iron and vit D deficient and anemic. Her anemia has since been addressed through iron IV and her Hb is back up to normal, but no change in the non-digestion.

Her serum albumin is 4, total protein 7.2 g/dl and bilirubin 0.6 mg/dl (in her anemic state a couple of months ago), so all very much in normal range and indicative of no malabsorption.

We have been taking probiotic pills and probiotic yogurt for the last 5 days, but no change as of yet. We were told that the food could be passing through her rapidly, but then why only vegetables???

The one thing I can think of is that she is having some kind of enzyme deficiency and I suppose the next thing to try would be the OTC digestive enzyme supplements (from GNC for ex). When I mentioned this to another GI, she was not much in favor of the idea. To me it seems the logical next step, no?

Someone PLEASE help us in figuring out what is going on!!! It really freaks my wife out to see veggies go out undigested - she's starting to not want to eat, stating "what's the point". I should mention that pureed veggies or veggie juice (carrot for ex) is ok - so it is some mechanical breakdown that is the issue.

Our GIs are being completely dismissive and useless and dont think its a serious problem, but for vegetarians like us, it IS a serious problem and has a significant effect on my wife's psyche and mood.

Please help us figure out what is going on!!!!

I read that oats could trigger gluten intolerance. but she practically lived on oats when in India! so is it possible that the oats (quaker all natural oats) could trigger gluten intolerance now after she's come to this country????? or the wheat/barley/rye that she's been eating ever since she's been here - heck we eat rotis/chappatis/naan (indian breads) on a daily basis. the oats however, she only started eating a couple of months after coming here and that's kinda when some of these issues started cropping up - could the american oats have triggered the gluten intolerance????

PLEASE HELP!!!

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It is very possible that this is gluten/Celiac related. Unfortunately a lot of Dr.s are not very knowledgeable. it cost me 7 years of my life. The inability to digest is significant. If you cannot get a diagnosis from a Dr. you certainly have enough significant problems to give gluten free a serious try. Eating bread every day is huge amount of gluten and the symptoms, damage,and autoimmune reactions get stronger the longer she consumes it. There is no telling why she could eat oats in India but not here. It may not be realted at all. It may be that her body has finally "had it" with gluten and it is reacting. This disease is called the Moving Target Disease because the symptoms can be intermittent and transient. One symptom will resolve and another starts. She has the vitamin deficiencies you described and she is not digesting or absorbing her food at all. If I were in your shoes, I would encourage her to go gluten free immediately. Then to make digestion easier, puree the vergetables and only eat well cooked vegetables until her intestines heal. Disregard the Dr.'s who disregard you. You are right to be very concerned as all her symptoms appear to be malabsorption. I saw medical Dr.'s too. They had me on Promethazine for nausea for years, Xanax for anxiety, Zoloft for depression, Flexaril for muscle pain, Dilaudid for migraine headaches, and Prednisone for skin sores that wouldn't heal. Clearly all these symptoms were Celiac, but it wasn't until I found this site that I was able to go gluten free and get off all those drugs. Don't let them drag you down the medicine path. You are brilliant to have found this site and to suspect gluten. Follow up on your ideas and don't get discouraged, you may have just saved your wife from years of sufferring unexplained symptoms. She is lucky to have such support from you. Stay strong. I forgot to add that I had the same problem of mot digesting vegetables at all. I am only recovering and am 3 months into this diet and still cannot eat raw vegetables only well-cooked vegetables. In addition you are absolutely right to add probiotics, acidophillus etc. Be sure everything is gluten free including makeup and soap, shampoo...keep reading. Good luck to you both.


Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

--Hippocrates

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It is very possible that this is gluten/Celiac related. Unfortunately a lot of Dr.s are not very knowledgeable. it cost me 7 years of my life. The inability to digest is significant. If you cannot get a diagnosis from a Dr. you certainly have enough significant problems to give gluten free a serious try. Eating bread every day is huge amount of gluten and the symptoms, damage,and autoimmune reactions get stronger the longer she consumes it. There is no telling why she could eat oats in India but not here. It may not be realted at all. It may be that her body has finally "had it" with gluten and it is reacting. This disease is called the Moving Target Disease because the symptoms can be intermittent and transient. One symptom will resolve and another starts. She has the vitamin deficiencies you described and she is not digesting or absorbing her food at all. If I were in your shoes, I would encourage her to go gluten free immediately. Then to make digestion easier, puree the vergetables and only eat well cooked vegetables until her intestines heal. Disregard the Dr.'s who disregard you. You are right to be very concerned as all her symptoms appear to be malabsorption. I saw medical Dr.'s too. They had me on Promethazine for nausea for years, Xanax for anxiety, Zoloft for depression, Flexaril for muscle pain, Dilaudid for migraine headaches, and Prednisone for skin sores that wouldn't heal. Clearly all these symptoms were Celiac, but it wasn't until I found this site that I was able to go gluten free and get off all those drugs. Don't let them drag you down the medicine path. You are brilliant to have found this site and to suspect gluten. Follow up on your ideas and don't get discouraged, you may have just saved your wife from years of sufferring unexplained symptoms. She is lucky to have such support from you. Stay strong. I forgot to add that I had the same problem of mot digesting vegetables at all. I am only recovering and am 3 months into this diet and still cannot eat raw vegetables only well-cooked vegetables. In addition you are absolutely right to add probiotics, acidophillus etc. Be sure everything is gluten free including makeup and soap, shampoo...keep reading. Good luck to you both.

Hi thanks very much for your input. Its been 4 days and counting since we stopped gluten wheat diets. The pain and irritation that my wife used to feel is now gone. she said that it is a significant difference. The veggies are still going undigested, but it looks like that may take several months to rectify. at least she's not in pain. We will keep our situation updated. Tomorrow we see the GI for the results of the endoscopy and colonoscopy. I suspect he will tell us anything useful; perhaps the only useful thing would be to order the blood test for presence of anti-gliadin and other anti-gluten antibodies....

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Hi,

If you are going to get the antibody tests done she should stay on gluten until the blood is drawn. Otherwise the tests aren't much use.

You might want to read up on soy. Quite a few of us on this board have soy intolerances.


Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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It's possible your wife had a tendency towards celiac but was not eating enough wheat/rye/barley in India to trigger the full-blown disease. Oats here can have a lot of wheat in them too. Except for the breads, lots of Indian food is naturally gluten-free. Your wife does sound celiac, as it's one of the major causes of idiopathic anemia. I had similar problems with undigested food when I was eating gluten and it did take some time to resolve. Her feeling of despair is part of the mental effects of celiac and the lower vitamin levels caused by malabsorption. I hope you get some help from doctors, but even if they are not very helpful, do encourage her to stick to the gluten-free diet for a few months and see if her digestion improves.

Antibody tests are not accurate gluten-free. Her levels probably won't fall off in a few days, but I wouldn't wait a few weeks. It's hard enough to get positive results without confusing matters by having her on the gluten-free diet. After a few months gluten-free, most people have stopped making celiac antibodies entirely.

As for oats, in this country oats like Quaker are inadvertently mixed with small amounts wheat in the fields and at harvest because they are crop rotated with wheat and harvested and stored using the same machinery. McCann's, Quaker, and other store brands have been independently tested and typically more gluten than is safe for celiacs. Once she is feeling better, you can try adding certified gluten-free oats that are grown by specialized farms. Bob's Red Mill is one brand with gluten-free oats. Some celiacs do react to oats so be cautious when you add them to her diet.

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