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TPeytonPhoto

How To Identify A Dh Rash? (Dermatitis Herpetiformis)

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Hello all,

I wanted to say I am extremely grateful for the information that has been provided here thus far. I am also unsure as to whether Celiac is my problem, but it is the most plausible and these forums have taught me an incredible amount over the past hour.

With that being said, I am experiencing a slew of very generic symptoms including diarrhea, malabsoprtion, and severe abdominal pains unrelated to eating. These symptoms have gotten worse and worse over the past 18 months or so but I did not actually go to the doctor until today and I have a colonoscopy scheduled for next Tuesday. With that being said, one of the symptoms for Celiac that I noticed is some sort of herpes-like rash. After reading about this symptom, I think it may be related to a skin anomaly that I have had for around the same amount of time that I have not been able to explain. Before I continue, this skin anomaly is located at the very top of my thigh, and since it is so close to my scrotum, I did not mention the rash to a doctor in fear of it being an STD, which is obviously still a possibility. I am trying to determine some reverse-like tests to try and determine whether it is a possibility. One of these reverse-tests is the use of Dapsone on the suspected rash. The speed at which Dapsone would relieve itching and inflammation in DH rashes can be considered a diagnosis compared to having no affect on a genuine herpes rash. Another test I am trying to do myself is consume high levels of gluten to see if I can get some sort of reaction out of my body and the rash. I plan on drinking beer and eating bread all day today, but I was unsure as to how long it would take for my body to react if Celiac was the culprit? I wasn't sure whether simple digestion would be the issue, and I know an intestinal biopsy/blood test is the only sure way, but I still want to do whatever tests I can on my own.

The back-story here is that I am a sedentary 21 year old male. I was considering taking a picture of the rash to compare, but the images that I'm finding on the internet are all of much more severe cases than mine.

I appreciate any help in advance!

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A better 'self-test' for DH, as far as diet might be to eat something high in iodine, such as dairy products or some sort of food that has added salt. Perhaps a salty bag of chips? Or some seafood like tuna or salmon. Those are the ones that bother me the most. Also, is it itchy? Thinking back, I recall my first DH outbreak was on my upper chest area and I thought it might have been related to sunbathing. (Lotion or burn...) but it didn't seem like a regular sunburn especially since there were all those little blisters and it was itchy.

Edit: I just remembered another thing I'm avoiding you could use to self-test -- whole eggs. (It's the yolk apparently that has iodine).

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Beer and bread all day could blow out ALL your symptoms and that is plain dangerous.

Ditto on ciamarie's advice about the iodine. Eggs(yolk) are a nightmare for me so better for you have a 6 egg omelette with salmon and see how that goes.

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Yeah, iodone overload will probably tell...but that's just WICKED.

I vote for self deprivation for a few days - because I'm a weenie about that nasty rash. :).

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Wow I thought I responded to this thread but I guess the post didn't go through.

Is iodine actually involved in the gluten-intolerance or is that just a generalization that all salty foods have gluten in them? I only ask because I haven't read about any association between iodine and gluten? Also, the rash doesn't seem to have acted up anymore than it usually goes after consuming 8-10 beers yesterday, but how long would it take for my body to react if I did have an intolerance? I only ask because I am having pretty consistent abdominal/intestinal pains since yesterday even after several BMs. I originally thought perhaps it was pinworms and I treated myself for them on a few occasions, but the symptoms continue to worsen.

Not a fan of eggs or salmon, though I'm sure I could force it down if need be.

Does anyone have any other ideas as far as self-tests go? I am reading about people's conditions on this forum and feel that my symptoms are not as severe so I fear that my blood tests will come back negative.

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Iodine is specific to DH (or thyroid disease..,but that's another post).

Iodine fans the flame of DH in a lot of people...so if you have iga in your skin (DH) and toss in iodine you're likely to get more rash. Not all DH sufferers are iodine sensitive, so you never know... But if you have a rash you suspect is DH and you eat iodine (and no other suspect foods) and it flares you have a good indicator of DH.

One reason I reco withdrawing iodine is that not everyone clearly flares with iodone, but it does keep the rash active. So taking iodine away may prove more diagnostic.

If you're having intestinal pains after 8-10 beers that could indicate a gluten issue (or a hangover?).

Iodine is more than iodized salt. Google "thyca" for a list of high iodine foods.

You could also go get some topical iodine and put a few drops on your skin and see if it breaks out, or try an iodine supplament for a week.

The best dx for DH is a skin biopsy if you can get it. I assume you are getting a Celiac panel next week along with an endoscopy with your colonoscopy?

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No endoscopy. And I also think there is a possibility that I am NOT having the Celiac panel run and that I am only getting tested for Transglutaminase, doesn't the Celiac panel test for other antibodies?

The list of tests that I was able to jot down at the doctors office;

Giardia lamblia ag

fecal fat

c difficile toxins

ova+ parasites

c reactive protein

immunoglobin a

CMB w/ diff

CMP panel

fecal WBC

sed rate

stool culture

transglutaminase

and of course the colonoscopy

So I'm not sure what course of action I should take if I wanted to request having the whole panel run, any advice?

Also, I will definitely try the liquid iodine, I appreciate the suggestion.

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Yeah, iodone overload will probably tell...but that's just WICKED.

I vote for self deprivation for a few days - because I'm a weenie about that nasty rash. :).

WICKED yes :o

but.. before I knew about the iodine connection I happened to have scrambled eggs. Nothing else but egg and water and my skin went nuts. It was a wicked self-experiment that I didn't even know I was undertaking. It wasn't till that day that I was truly 100% convinced it was DH and not acidic little microscopic bugs crawling around on and under my skin. When I searched on here for the egg & DH connections that when I started learning about the iodine.

Very soon after the scrambled eggs incident I ate egg whites and no reaction. I'm not in the slight bit tempted to test the egg yolk :lol: or beer or salmon as good as it all sounds. Im not sure why I even thought of suggesting it :blink:

I'm a bit of a dope really. Couldn't resist prawns (I think in US you'd call them shrimp) a couple of weeks ago and that didn't work out very well either. I've learnt my lesson.

Anyways,

TPeytonPhoto,

I strongly advise you revisit your doctor and have your skin problem looked at. Suggest to the doc that it may be DH. He/she shouldn't be too surprised given your GI symptoms and attempts as diagnosis. And request a referral to a derm to get a skin biopsy. You might want to find a derm who knows DH and knows how to accurately biopsy. If it is an STD then you also need to get that diagnosed pronto.

If I understand your original post - I seriously worry about you increasing you gluten intake to get some reaction from possible DH. I worked in a bakery and was so overdosed on that stuff that I was head to ankle DH. Please please take my word for it - you do not want this thing to spread. Keep your gluten intake only at a reasonable level to keep your GI related tests accurate.

Now I'll take me pushy mothers advise elsewhere ;)

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