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Hi, Everyone!

I'm new here, but have been lurking for about 3-4 days now. I have to say how much I'm already LOVING finding you all!

Anyway, I'm currently waiting on my biopsy results from my colonoscopy/endoscopy done 9 days ago (appointment is in another 5 days). I took it upon myself to start a full-fledged elimination diet immediately following my full clean out from the procedure. I have had unrecognised symptoms for pretty much all of my life, as far back as I can remember, but everyone has just always chalked it up to IBS and other totally unrelated things (it was all 'just Jennifer') and I haven't had the insurance to have things checked out further. My symptoms suddenly got substantially worse three months ago when I got married, moved to a new state, and went off of birth control. Additionally, I gained a SUBSTANTIAL amount of weight as the symptoms increased, going from a size 2 to a size 10 in about a month's time. After getting married, I did have insurance again along with a husband who's been pushing for me to 'be well' again. As I started going back to doctors to try to find some answers, I ramped up my own investigations as to the cause. I was, I feel, 'lead' to start looking at gluten as a cause and the more research I did into it (including the greatly varried symptoms), the more convinced I was that I have Celiac disease or at least a strong gluten intolerance. I was already scheduled to see a GI and have the colonoscopy/endoscopy because my sister has Crohns disease (which also increases my chances of Celiac from what I've read). During the time while I was awaiting my appointment with the GI, my mom had her initial appointment with a naturapathic doctor who told her that her thyroid disease and fibromylagia were, in fact, problems with gluten. He based this on thy physical characteristic of a shortened pinky finger and some breath test. Has anyone here ever heard of those? What do you think? I'd discussed my theories about myself with my mom prior to that, so she called me immmediately to ask about my little finger, which is also short. So now fast forward to now... I have been on this elimination diet (no gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, etc.) for 10 days now (I'm counting from the day before the procedure because I obviously didn't have anything at all that day lol). I have already had a very noticable decrease in symptoms, even some that I had NO IDEA were related, like the pain in my muscles/bones that I had just attributed to my very physical job. My constant diarrhea (at LEAST 3-4 times each day) is about 50% better and, along with that, my VERY SEVERE hemmrrhoids are also about 50% better. And this leads me to my main question (and reason for posting), are hemmrrhoids a direct symptom of Celiac disease or are they, as the doctors have said, a secondary symptom caused by the extensive diarrhea? I'm suspecting the former or I would not have expected them to get this much better this quickly. Has anyone else had experience with this?

Thank you all for this great community! I'm so hopeful that I've finally found a true answer for my many and varried issues so that I can finally be feeling better! And now (hopefully) on to a new chapter of my life that began with my new husband and will continue as we start a family together!

Jen

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Oh, and I just thought of another question. Should I make sure my husband brushes his teeth after he eats something with gluten? Last night he was eating cheetos and then kissed me. Would this be enough exposure to give me problems?

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First, yes, your husband will need to brush his teeth and tongue after eating gluten. However, if you decide to maintain a gluten-free household (which many of us here would support that you do), that won't be an issue in the home. You'd just have to be careful when your husband has eat something with gluten when he's on his own. By the way, there are gluten-free beers, so he won't be deprived of that treat at home (if he likes beer).

In addition to your husband's kisses, you'll need to eliminate using your current lipsticks and switch to gluten-free ones. Also, you'll need to check your other makeup products, shampoos, and facial creams, too. Dessert Essence Organics has a line of gluten-free shampoos and conditioners as does EO (Essential Oil). If you do some research on this forum, you'll find many suggestions for avoiding cross-contamination.

Regarding hemorrhoids, they can be the result of diarrhea, and that could be why you've experienced both a 50% reduction in diarrhea along with a 50% reduction in hemorrhoid pain. That said, our vascular systems CAN be affected by poor nutrition. For example, varicose veins are common. All the systems in the body can suffer from the effects of celiac. You'll probably notice even more symptoms disappearing that you always just assumed were "normal" for YOU. Many of us also experience muscle, bone, and joint pain when we eat gluten. For me, that is one of the major symptoms, and I suffer for about three days with intense pain in addition to many other symptoms of being glutened.

If your doctor hasn't taken the initiative to do so, you should request that vitamin and mineral levels be checked. The most common deficiencies with celiac can include Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, folic acid, and iron.

The pinky finger oddity is something I've never heard of...but, of course, I then took a look--and, by golly, my pinky fingers are WAY shorter than my other fingers. They're at least an inch shorter! I'll have to look at normal people's pinky fingers to see if this might actually be attributable to celiac. If so, thank you for sharing something new!

I'm so glad that you've solved your health mystery! And welcome to this forum!

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And I just now checked all of my shower products. Everything is good except my shampoo/conditioner. I was actually pretty shocked! So now my next question, is the concern with that over the possibility of ingestion? Or can the gluten absorbable through the skin? If I'm VERY careful about not getting it into my mouth, can I use up what I have? Or should I go ahead and replace it?

Here I thought I'd done a TON of research before even beginning the elimination diet, but now I feel that there are more and more questions coming up every day...

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Hi, Jen, and welcome!

Although there are some here who would disagree, it is commonly agreed that gluten can not be absorbed through intact skin.

Hair products used in the shower can be accidentally ingested. Facial make-up can also be ingested--not just lip products. Skin care products can get on the hands and then onto finger food. Or you might touch your face and then, later, lick your lips.

You need to decide whether you think the risk of accidental ingestion is worth it for you.

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Hi, Jen, and welcome!

Although there are some here who would disagree, it is commonly agreed that gluten can not be absorbed through intact skin.

Hair products used in the shower can be accidentally ingested. Facial make-up can also be ingested--not just lip products. Skin care products can get on the hands and then onto finger food. Or you might touch your face and then, later, lick your lips.

You need to decide whether you think the risk of accidental ingestion is worth it for you.

Thank you! I guess I need to check all of my makeup products also. I hadn't thought of that! I *think* it's probably all ok. I have always had severe skin allergies and have had to read labels on all of my skin products carefully, but I will check them again specifically for gluten containing ingredients.

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Yes, I agree that people with celiac generally do not absorb gluten through their skin, but people with DH can oftentimes have a different experience; however, even though it is a disease related to celiac, it is, in fact, a separate disease. I'm one of those persons who cannot even touch gluten without getting covered with an itchy rash. Last week, a co-worker left pastry crumbs from a meeting all over the counter in our work room. I placed some large files there momentarily, picked them up, and balanced them on one forearm. Sadly, I broke out in a rash on my hands and forearms immediately...and was decidedly unhappy for a few days. Someday, I hope that more studies are done on this.

That said, with regard to your shampoo and conditioner, you can probably continue to use them until they run out, but be sure to wash your lips and face very thoroughly. Even though you're careful not to get it into your mouth, a residue may remain on your lips, face, and hands.

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Oh, and I just thought of another question. Should I make sure my husband brushes his teeth after he eats something with gluten? Last night he was eating cheetos and then kissed me. Would this be enough exposure to give me problems?

Be very careful though. The other responses are great advise. Just recently I ordered a salad that came with a dinner roll. They sat it on one side of my salad, I did not think a thing of it. Husband removed the bread and I ate the salad, bad choice, I got glutened. More than likely a crumb, or maybe several got on my salad without knowing and it was enough.

Continue to read all labels. I was surprised to see wheat flour in my cooking spray. Some candies and ice cream have gluten, even one of my favorite sausages has it.

My daughters and I have had the same reaction with weight as yourself. I could gain 5 lbs over night it seemed. When I asked doc they said it was age, it happened. One of my daughters dropped from a size 10 to a size 3 after going off glutens.

Welcome!

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Continue to read all labels. I was surprised to see wheat flour in my cooking spray. Some candies and ice cream have gluten, even one of my favorite sausages has it.

My daughters and I have had the same reaction with weight as yourself. I could gain 5 lbs over night it seemed. When I asked doc they said it was age, it happened. One of my daughters dropped from a size 10 to a size 3 after going off glutens.

I have become an AVID label reader (and I was reading labels before, just not for the same things or to the same degree). I do know that many ice creams have glutens, but since I'm also egg and dairy free right now (during the elimination stage of this journey I'm on), I have found a great Hagen Das (sp?) sorbet that is free of all of those things. YEA!!! I love ice cream and this is close enough to fill that gap.

As for the weight, I think over the years as my weight has yo-yo'd a bit, that it's truly been celiac going into and out of remission. My sister has Crohns and has noted that it always went into remission when she was pregnant or on bc. And all of my symptoms went into overdrive at the same time I went off of bc a few months ago.

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