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New Here...considering Diagnostics

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Hi all,

I just joined the forum as it looks to be a great wealth of information! I am a 34 yo female and considering asking my physician to test me for celiac disease. Recently, I had comprehensive bloodwork done, including CMP, CBC, and others. It was found that I have very significant iron deficiency anemia (microcytic) with Hbg of about 9.2 and Hct of about 27. Overt reason for this is suspected to be very heavy menstrual cycles, which has been corrected with insertion of Mirena IUD. This happened second week of September. ANA was negative, C-reactive protein positive. Thyroid, liver function all normal. In recent months, I have had horrible chronic hives which I have managed using Zyrtec (at times coupled with Benadryl) and cortisone creams with varying effect (but none have "totally" gotten rid of the hives). I will be getting bloodwork drawn tomorrow for serum Fe, ferritin, and sed rate to see what progress has been made.

I decided to change to a paleo/primal diet, which advocates high fat/moderate protein/low carb foods and eliminates grains, sugars, and starches (and dairy, depending on the books you read). Since I have changed my diet, not only am I losing weight (yay!) but I haven't had a single hive or hint of a rash. I have cheated twice in the past 3 weeks, and both times I have gotten another round of hives AND nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.

My other concern is the literature I have read that states anemia can be caused by celiac disease. Now, I know I already have one very feasible reason for my anemia (heavy menstrual bleeding); but what if it is also symptomatic of celiac disease? Since I was an infant I have had various "food allergies" (not technically diagnosed/tested), very sensitive skin, and have battled hives. I have been overweight for years, with GI upset and reflux more often than not. I read these lists of symptoms and am appalled at how many I have experienced over the years.

I feel like a WHOLE NEW PERSON going paleo and thus, gluten-free. I am really considering going to my PCP to have further testing done. Does it sound like I should? What blood tests should I ask for (assuming those come before the biopsy)? I am finding conflicting information on whether or not to eat gluten prior to blood tests. What say you? Any information or advice would be so very helpful!!

Thanks much :)

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If you want to be tested for celiac you will have to be on gluten for at least 2 months, some docs want 3. Testing is not very reliable so while it is possible for you to have celiac your tests may not prove that. If you are feeling better on a gluten-free diet I would definately make mention of this to your doc.

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