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kellythomas

How Can I Help My Dad?

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I'm looking for some advise for my dad. He is 72 years old, has a history of late onset diabetes and a mini stroke, and was visually diagnosed with Celiac 1 1/2 weeks ago after an Endoscope....biopsy results are not in yet. Here's the series of events:

3 years ago, my dad began having trouble getting food to go down and felt like it was "stuck" in his esophagus right above his stomach (between the breasts). He lost a lot of weight very quickly which had my stepmother tremendously worried. He ended up having his esophagus stretched and began gaining back his weight and strength very nicely.

Several weeks ago, he started having the same symptoms, but with much more vomiting this time. He lost 30 pounds in as many days. He finally went to the doctor who scheduled him with a GI specialist. He went to the hospital the week before last to have his esophagus stretched again, but an endoscope was done first to check for obstruction. They found no obstruction at all so did not do the stretch. However, the doctor did tell my dad that he has seen enough of these to know that he has Celiac Disease. Biopsies were also taken and we are waiting for results. (He also had a colonoscopy done last Monday -- 7 polyps removed and clamped.) They left the hospital that day armed with basic information and the recommendation for a health food store where they could find gluten-free foods to try, though he could still only get down the occasional pudding cup, applesauce, or Ensure. He has continued to lose weight and the vomiting has not gotten any better. My stepmom took him to the ER again last week because he couldn't stop throwing up. They put him on an IV for several hours to replentish his fluids and he was then able to keep down a small amount of food. After more of the same today, my stepmom took him back to the hospital where they had him drink barium and then did several rounds of X-rays. The barium did not go down and is sitting right where he told everyone it felt like food was stuck. He has to be back at the hospital in the morning for another X-ray.

My parents have called several times for guidance since this started because my oldest son was diagnosed with Celiac in March of 2010 (delayed puberty and lack of growth, but has grown 6 inches since then!) so we have been a gluten-free household since then. My sister also found out that she is definitely gluten intolerant after suffering with DH for years without knowing what it was (she thought it was herpes). I myself had genetic testing done because I have battled anemia for years as well as geographic tongue, fatigue, DH etc. -- I have both genetic markers, so I just go on the assumption that I probably have Celiac as well. Is there anything I can suggest to my dad? I'm worried that he's not getting any sustenance or vitamins which could lead to further issues. It just occured to me while typing this that maybe I should suggest that he cut out dairy? Any advise would be a blessing! Or has anyone had or seen similar symptoms? Thank you in advance for any response!

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I'm looking for some advise for my dad. He is 72 years old, has a history of late onset diabetes and a mini stroke, and was visually diagnosed with Celiac 1 1/2 weeks ago after an Endoscope....biopsy results are not in yet. Here's the series of events:

3 years ago, my dad began having trouble getting food to go down and felt like it was "stuck" in his esophagus right above his stomach (between the breasts). He lost a lot of weight very quickly which had my stepmother tremendously worried. He ended up having his esophagus stretched and began gaining back his weight and strength very nicely.

Several weeks ago, he started having the same symptoms, but with much more vomiting this time. He lost 30 pounds in as many days. He finally went to the doctor who scheduled him with a GI specialist. He went to the hospital the week before last to have his esophagus stretched again, but an endoscope was done first to check for obstruction. They found no obstruction at all so did not do the stretch. However, the doctor did tell my dad that he has seen enough of these to know that he has Celiac Disease. Biopsies were also taken and we are waiting for results. (He also had a colonoscopy done last Monday -- 7 polyps removed and clamped.) They left the hospital that day armed with basic information and the recommendation for a health food store where they could find gluten-free foods to try, though he could still only get down the occasional pudding cup, applesauce, or Ensure. He has continued to lose weight and the vomiting has not gotten any better. My stepmom took him to the ER again last week because he couldn't stop throwing up. They put him on an IV for several hours to replentish his fluids and he was then able to keep down a small amount of food. After more of the same today, my stepmom took him back to the hospital where they had him drink barium and then did several rounds of X-rays. The barium did not go down and is sitting right where he told everyone it felt like food was stuck. He has to be back at the hospital in the morning for another X-ray.

My parents have called several times for guidance since this started because my oldest son was diagnosed with Celiac in March of 2010 (delayed puberty and lack of growth, but has grown 6 inches since then!) so we have been a gluten-free household since then. My sister also found out that she is definitely gluten intolerant after suffering with DH for years without knowing what it was (she thought it was herpes). I myself had genetic testing done because I have battled anemia for years as well as geographic tongue, fatigue, DH etc. -- I have both genetic markers, so I just go on the assumption that I probably have Celiac as well. Is there anything I can suggest to my dad? I'm worried that he's not getting any sustenance or vitamins which could lead to further issues. It just occured to me while typing this that maybe I should suggest that he cut out dairy? Any advise would be a blessing! Or has anyone had or seen similar symptoms? Thank you in advance for any response!

What a Fabulous concerned daughter you are, wish had same thought & care from my daughters. First off sounds like your dad has great "on-the-ball" Dr., on top of his health, might ask about having full Metabolic Panel done checking for things like B-12 vitamins etc. Thanks for sharing post, Terri

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I have no advice, but I just wanted to send you, your family, and especially your mom & dad lots and lots of {{{{{hugs}}}}}.

I hope the x-ray tomorrow will reveal whatever it is that is going on!!

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My experience is not nearly as serious or scary but my biggest GI issue for the last few years has been food getting stuck in my throat. (and then not digesting once it sloooooooowly reached my stomach.) I was given reglan and told it was gastroparesis. Reglan helped, but it was weird someone in their 20s would need it, and now I'm in my 30s. Episodes could last all day with a bit of something (usually bread) lodged in my esophagus. I hated it and doctors had no answers and said to take Reglan.

I've only been gluten free for a month, but I haven't had a single episode so far. I've never gone a whole day without this crap, so a whole month has really been a little mind blowing.

I wish your dad the best, and I hope it's something simple like diet that can fix it.

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Sorry your Dad is going through all this. It must be awful for him and the family. Have you tried giving him whole foods cut up very small or cooked into a mash (fruits and veggies)? This may not be the case for him but I don't tolerate most of the supplement drinks because of the soy protein in them. It isn't unusual for some of us to be intolerant to both soy and dairy as well as gluten.

Until he is able to swallow better you could also try getting a food mill, like they would use for baby food, and giving him fresh well cooked foods that have gone through that.

I had issues with swallowing also and in my case it was due to nerve damage. It did resolve once I had been gluten free for a while. Another important note, if he is having more GI testing done do make sure that if they give him a drink with contrast for X-rays etc that it is gluten free. The regular barium drinks are not usually gluten free. Gluten free contrast is usually a watery liquid rather than the thick chalky stuff.

I hope he is feeling better soon.

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