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Could I Potentially Have Celiac Disease?

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Hello all,

I'm currently living abroad in Japan and will be for the next year. I have for a long time suffered from a slew of issues that, after visiting multiple doctors, has yet to be pin-pointed as a specific problem since each doctor seems to have their own personal take on things. However, it has recently come to my attention that all the issues I have share a common link to those suffering from gluten intolerance. Sadly though, being that my language skills aren't up to par for where I am living and neither are the English speaking doctors' I've been able to find, I turn you all:

Since I was about 13 I've had symmetric (same on both sides of my body) patches of what was diagnosed by multiple dermatologists as eczema. These patches seemed to come and go with the seasons. Around 18 years old I discovered a patch, rather differently textured, that has been steadily growing on the top of only my right foot. For 2 years this patch did not go away and eventually became so terribly infected I had to again visit a dermatologist. This time however, I also had accompanying issues of widespread joint pain and burning scalp to also complain about. The doctor said that while I indeed had eczema, what was developing on my foot was most certainly psoriasis. He mentioned that the joint pain (popping joints) and the scalp pain were likely passengers of the psoriasis disease.

Fast forward 3 years later to now -- I find, despite having a stellar diet and being in reasonable physical shape, I have waning short-term memory, very rapid diffuse hair loss (entire head, namely sides and center top of the crown) that follows the ebb and flow the burning scalp (a very intense pain btw), constant feeling of being fatigued regardless of rest, inability to maintain simple daily exercise, slowly deteriorating eye-sight, feeling faint when standing, aggressive skin rashes, cracking joints prone to injury, huge bags under my eyes, and very cold and temperature sensitive hands and feet.

Ok, I know I just tossed a bunch of information out there, but I'm really reaching far out for help. I've visited about 6 different doctors here in Japan (also should mention 3 in the States, prior to moving) all whom have dismissed these symptoms as a variety grab bag of bad genetics and incurable, causeless chronic diseases such as psoriasis. However, I'm certain there is a link and from all my research over the last couple years, that link seems to be linked to gluten.

My question is posed to those who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, do these symptoms sound like what you may have experienced before discovering the culprit to be gluten? I've managed to maintain a relatively stress free outlook regarding all this, but the issue is starting to reach critical mass with me. So any and all opinions or shared experiences would be quite appreciated.

I should note that I do not really share the obvious symptom of bloating or stomach pain that many people with gluten intolerance seem to have. Although, my parents did say that when I was a baby I used to turn bright red and puffy after eating bread as a child.

Thanks a bunch!

(Oh I'm a 23 year old male btw)

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oh hell yeah, you could...i did not have the diarrhea/bloating AT ALL. Mine was mostly nerve damage, insomnia, panic attacks, crippling depression and excruciating joint and bone pain.

Can you request celiac testing? Throw it out there at one of the Drs and see if it sticks?I was diagnosed totally by accident. None of the 10000 specialists that I saw would have guessed this, it was a neurologist that just ran every blood test that he could think of, in an autoimmune way...My antibodies were sky high and my endoscopy showed severe damage to my villi. I am 43 years old and until Feb 2010, I was in perfect health.

The blood tests can be falsely negative, there are many people here that have negative blood tests and improve immensely on the gluten-free diet, so if the blood test is a no-go or if it comes back negative, I would give the gluten-free diet a really good try.

GOod luck!!!

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I think it could very well be celiac. However, it could also be Sjogren's or Whipple's Disease. Read up on these two culprits, too...and ask to be tested for all them. For the celiac, there are four very specific tests, and you should request a minimum of two tests. Keep in mind that they're notoriously unreliable, though, so that you might end up with a false-negative. If so, try going on a Gluten-free diet, and if your symptoms resolve...BINGO!

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