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Emily Christine

Could I Have Celiac Disease?

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I'm a 21 year old college student who has had major stomach issues since a bad episode of food poisoning my freshman year. I just finished up my junior year and things seem to have gotten much worse as time goes by. I also have extremely bad anxiety which I have been on medication for for years and I'm seeing a counselor for the anxiety. Since the food poisoning I have had ibs symptoms like stomach spasms, loose stools, and constipation. When I lived in a dorm my sophomore year, I had to go to the bathroom after every visit to the dining hall. It would take me about 20-30 minutes to go to the bathroom. I had pencil thin and loose stools. I didn't make a big deal about it. I always have to sleep a lot. I get stomach spasms if I don't get enough sleep. Some nights I can sleep 10 to 14 hours and still feel fatigued. When I moved out of the dorms into my own place I was constantly constipated or had loose stools; it was either one or the other. I finally decided to get help because I was sick of feeling like this. I began taking Bentyl, Metamucil, and citrucel. Eventually I began having to go to the bathroom all the time. I no longer had much constipation and I began going to the bathroom from 5-20 times some days. I stopped taking the Metamucil and Citrucel at this point and I started seeing a GI doctor. He had a bunch of tests done and one was a celiac disease blood test. It came back negative, but I recently went on a gluten free diet and I felt really sick the first couple of days, but then I started feeling a lot better. About a week or two into the diet I caved and had pizza. Later that night I had cramps then I really did not feel that great all weekend. I felt really sick after eating pizza 2 days ago so I went back on the diet. Last night I had a rotisserie chicken that contained sodium phosphate(which is a preservative in food, but it is also used as a laxative in enemas and laxatives that are taken before a colonoscopy procedure. I've been sick since 10 pm last night. I was feeling better and I ate gluten free cheesy ravioli and I started having issues again. I'm thinking it's the sodium phosphate because I can't stop going to the bathroom. It's not water diarrhea, but it's definitely loose stools. I've had joint pain for the past 6 months and I've lost 10 lbs since January dealing with this. For a while all I could eat was bread and bannanas, which would leave me constipated. I went from 112 lbs to 102 lbs. It has interferred with my life so much. Once I was on the gluten free diet I started to feel better so I'm curious if the Celiac blood test is often accurate or if it sounds like I have Celiacs disease? I'm too afraid to have a biopsy, so I'm going on symptoms.

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It could be Celiac. It could be other food intolerances. It could be non-celiac gluten sensitivity. We can't tell you, we don't know.

As far as I can see you have a few options:

1) Get a blood test. See if you have the antibodies to celiac. If you do, your Dr will probably want to do a biopsy. I wouldn't sweat the biopsy, it was a breeze. May be positive or neg. I had screaming high antibodies but wanted the biopsy for closure and to be sure. Mine was absolutely, definitively Celiac so I am one of the "lucky" (???) ones. If you have the antibodies and the biopsy is negative (or if you decide to not have the biopsy, many Dr's are diagnosing with blood work), give the gluten-free diet a really good chance. It may take a while to feel better.

2) You may not have the antibodies to Celiac. Dr. probably won't do a biopsy. Whatever, we can deal. You can go gluten free and see if your symptoms resolve.

If you want to avoid all testing, go gluten-free and see what happens. Be strict though, which is why I would at least initially recommend the testing. For me, I was SO sick that not eating gluten is a breeze now that I know what caused it. Many people are not so lucky to get such a positive test result but still feel TONS better gluten-free.

Good luck!

Ada

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SOrry, posting twice!!!

I didn't see til now that you had been tested and it was negative. You can still be gluten intolerant OR have celiac disease and not enough antibodies to show up...I would give the gluten-free diet a shot. My first month after going gluten-free, I felt HORRIBLE!!! WOrst flu ever. It slowly got better. The crappy thing (no pun intended)O is that healing can be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO slow that you don't know if you are better or what. Give it lots of time. While you are at it, look at your dairy consumption, it can cause problems as well...

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I went gluten free just because my daughter had to. I tested negative on a blood test, but I feel a TON better following a gluten free diet. The doctors kept telling me it was because I had my gall bladder out 13 years ago. While you are at an age that makes it difficult to follow the diet, it is possible and it does pay off. My daughter felt anxiety beginning in 2nd grade. She will finish 8th grade tomorrow. She told me a week ago she doesn't feel the anxiety any more. We've been gluten free 9 weeks. The doctors have tests but you know how you feel.

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Thanks so much for the information! I've been gluten free since Tuesday and I've been super sick since Tuesday night. I can't eat or drink anything without running to the bathroom. I am on a stomach only antibiotic for SIBO, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, but I've read that that could be caused by Celiacs disease or food allergies. I've already been on a dose of this antibiotic and it really helped. The doctor put me on another dose and ive been back on it for a good 1-2 weeks and I have been fine. I don't think the medication is related to how I've been feeling since Tuesday. (The medication has very few side effects). I'm very achy today and very uncomfortable. It doesn't help that it's 94 degrees! It's killing me to not be at the beach right now that's for sure!!! But anyways my anxiety is through the roof today of all the possibilities and I HATE the unknown. My first cousin has Celiacs disease and my father has colitis. My GI doctor told me that he really doesn't think it's colitis at all (I have no blood and it's not sharp pain like my father has) or Crones. He says that he thinks it's ibs/sibo but he wants to do the colonoscopy and the biopsy to check for chrones, colitis, and Celiac disease. I guess my cousin tested negative in the blood test for celiacs and then tested positive with the biopsy. My GI doctor is sending me to the lab right now to make sure I don't have food poisoning and a few other things..just to be on the safe side...and I think another celiac test. My moms picking me up since I haven't eaten a thing and my anxiety is through the roof! I appreciate all the responses because this is really taking a toll on my health and well being. I'm naturally little but I'm getting very tiny and I'm not healthy at all. I'll let you know if I find any answers!! Thanks again for the information and responses.

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