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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes


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About Deniseannette

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  1. Hey Everyone, So, I'm having an endoscopy done this Thursday. I'm very nervous! I was so nervous that I actually rescheduled my last one! What a whimp, I know! I wanted to know your experiences with it? Did they knock you out completely? Would i be able to go to work the next day? What are the chances of complications? I'm kind of annoyed that they didn't do the blood panel first but, I guess i got to just go with it? Wish me luck! Hopefully, I don't back out this time...
  2. Its confusing because I have a primary doctor. She told me that the celiacs blood test is very expensive. But she was the one that ordered the MRI of my brain and spine. My neurologist and GI specialist work at the same hospital. Because I was diagnosed with H-pylori back in July (bacteria that causes ulcers) My GI specialist wanted to do endoscopy to make sure i didn't have an ulcers. I took a 7 day treatment for the bacteria, after it was confirmed through blood test. When I met with my neurologist for the first time, she mentioned celiacs disease and said that she would tell my GI specialist to look for it as well when they do the endoscopy. I'm confused and I'm kinda all alone. My father, he believes me to an extent. My stepmonster--i mean mother is another story (I'll save that for an episode on Maury) at least i still got my humor! Anyways yeah, I don't know what I should do. It very hard to get in touch with either one of them. Maybe I should call and ask if they are looking for celiacs as well.
  3. Hey everyone! I wanted to give you all an update on my health. No huge changes actually. Still sick but trying my best to be strong. I had a blood test taken about 3 weeks ago to test for any autoimmune diseases (i.e lupus)came back negative. I know that celiac is autoimmune. However, I have yet to have the celiac blood panel test done. Apparently it's really expensive and they would rather do the endoscopy first. I'm not too happy about that. If I have celiac, would my ANA test be positive?? I had an MRI done of my entire spine yesterday, without contrast. I'll be going back to my neurologist for the results. Endoscopy was rescheduled for Dec 15. I'm really nervous about that. Anyone here can tell me there experience with endoscopy? As of right now my symptoms include: Fatigue Frequent headaches (everyday!) Muscle twitching Mild anxiety Mild tremors Dizziness Vertigo Sharp pains in stomach and sometimes stomach (either one everyday) Bouncing back between diarist and constipation. Different colored stools--sometimes dark and sometimes very light Hemorrhoids Tremors Flatulence Its been almost 6 months and I'm still suffering. Blood work, MRI and CT scan of brain is fine. I guess the next step is Endoscopy. Again, thanks for all of your support.
  4. LOL, I actually live in Canada where for the most part health care is free. I must have spent about 500 dollar over the past 7 months. I'm wondering if I should take the blood test first? If it comes back negative, then go through with the endoscopy? I have been gluten free for almost 24 hrs and I do feel better in terms of energy. Maybe it's just a placebo effect? I dunno.
  5. Thank you so much for all of your responses. It means the world to me to have people who understand me or at least sympathize. Even the people I live with seem to not believe me because I "look" well. I feel like I've been to hell and back. I've never been so sick in my whole life. I'm hoping in a strange way that I do have celiacs. I know it sounds awful/offensive to say that, but I want to know what's wrong and get better. I just want my health back. I hope I didn't offend. I have not had a blood test for celiacs. I plan on asking my doctor about that. I have an endoscopy scheduled for Nov 25th and I will ask for a colonscopy after. I'm getting a blood test done sometime this week for other auto-immune diseases (i.e lupus, scleroderma..) I think the fact that I'm black and overweight, is probably why it took so long from them to even mention celiac's. I was actually afraid to mention it because I didn't want to be laughed at again. But I definitely will be more stern with it. I believe that all of my problems are due to some sort of digestive problem. Some of the symptoms may be an indirect cause of my problem? Vitamin deficiency caused by malabsorption from whatever primary problem I have. I will definitely keep you updated. Thank you all again so much.
  6. Thank you so much for reading my story. I have been suffering for the last 7 months and continue suffer. Let me start at the beginning. I'm 22 years old, never exactly lead a healthy lifestyle. I've never been a good cook (last time I cooked I gave myself food poisioning). More often than not I would eat out. Doesn't help that I work at a resturant! Never really exercised as much as I should and I don't have a regular eating schedule. I've always dealt with mild digestive issues. Stomach irritation after eating anything dairy and constipation during that lovely time of the month. I also used to have this thing where I would not want to go number TWO in public. I would just hold it until I got home. Soon as I got home, that washroom better be free! Not a smart idea in hindsight. I would also experience severe lower abdominal pain, that would last no more than 30 seconds. I've been experiencing the pain for as long as I can remember. Never went to the doctor for it. I just put it down to all those years of good (not good) living! I can even remember the date (April 10-11th). I had just got home from my friends birthday party at Midieval Times. It was late at night and I was preparing to go to bed. All of a sudden I had an anxiety attack. I've never had one in my entire life, up until that point. My heart was racing and I couldn't breathe. I called an ambulance, they came and took me to the hospital. They took my blood pressure and asked me questions like; if I was suicidal or hurt myself in the past, of course not. They did absolutely nothing for me. I literally sat in the waiting room for 2 hours. I finally asked if I was going to get any help and the man at the desk pointed at the phone. I just left, went home and climbed into my warm bed. About 2 days later, I woke up to severe pain near my breast bone and to the left side. I didnt think anything of it. I thought I was paying the price for being such a late night eater but i couldn't stop shivering. Maybe I had food poisoning..again? I drank some peto bismol and tried to go back to sleep. I woke up later that afternoon and felt awful. I thought it was the stomach flu. I was shaking, weak, couldn't sleep, had no apetite. I barely had enough strength to shower myself. I've had food poisoning before, like I stated but never like this. I went to two walk in clinics, they wouldn't accept me. So I had to go to the ER. They took my blood and my urine. I was told by the doc that everything looked relatively normal. I was just fighting off a virus and dehydrated. There was nothing they could real do for a stomach virus. I was given a concoction of medications that made my throat numb. Was told to eat a lot of yoghurt, bland food and to get a lot of rest. **I'm pretty positive that this is related. Within that time frame, I remember getting very ill after eating at a resturant. I had ordered a 16oz steak and mashed potatos. The steak tasted a bit funny and mashed potatos tasted kinda sour but I still ate it ( how dumb am I?) I just can't pin point if it was before or after i had the anxiety attack. Whatever day that was, the following morning I was so nausea! I literally had to make myself vomit, to feel better. It was anywhere between April 1st - 13th.** After returning from the ER, I took some medication and went to bed. The next day I was still sick. I woke up to this tingling sensation going all throughout my body. It was like a body buzz. My legs also seemed to have a mind of it's own. They were very restless. It was like I was playing soccer in bed or something! I also started to have muscle twitching going up and down my legs. That's pretty much what I dealt with for the two weeks that followed; Stomach aches Sleeplessness Back pain (in between shoulderblades and to the left) Anxiety Excruciating headaches Lower burning back pain (could barely walk due to that pain) muscle twitching I had been going one hospital, that was closest to me. I was treated like absolute dirt. I was told at one point that i needed to see a psyciatrist. I decided that I would never to go to that hospital again. I went to another hospital where they took the time to draw blood, take x rays and do an ultrasound of my abdomin. The results of the xray were normal. Ultrasound also came back normal. Stomach, liver, kidneys and gallbladder were all clear. The ER doctor stated that the only thing was that I was extremely constipated. He gave me a presciption for a natural laxative. Tried it out but to no effect. About no more than 3 days later I was on route to my family physican, when I started to have pain in my abdominal area so bad, I thought I was going to pass out. The pain was so bad, I felt like I couldn't breathe. We went to the nearest hospital. They took blood, urine and xrays. I was told by the doctor (who was heaven sent!) that I was extremely back up and very dehydrated. I must have bought the entire digestive aid aisle that night at the local drug store. I took some of them and got re-aquianted with the toilet. The next day I felt great. Had breakfast for the first time in a long while. I thought that life was back to normal. Jumped the gun I guess. That night I couldn't go to sleep. I kept on being jerked out of my sleep. The muscle twitching had made it's way to my arms and shoulderblades. The headaches started to come back with a vengenace. All I could do was cry. I'd wake up most mornings to internal tremors. It felt like my body was shaking but from the inside. It would go away after a couple minutes. It felt like a vibrator was inside of my body! Every doctor I went to said that it was either the stomach flu, stress or anxiety. For the next few days, I would wake up to sweating around my neck, a tight chest and very bad muscle cramps/twitching. I thought what I may have might be neurological. By this time it's now late April- early may. I went to the local walk in clinic and explained to the doctor what was going on. He couldn't really care less. He basically said that i was make myself sick. "Your mind is sick." he said that I needed to lose some weight (I don't deny that). He didn't even bother to look at my file. He did some blood work for vitamin deficiencies, chest xray, breathing test and gave me a prescription for Ativan. I went back that following Wednesday. Everything was in normal range. My b12 and thyroid were fine. Also tested negative for Lyme disease. My iron was a bit low, that was about it. I had mentioned MS or possibly even ALS. That was a huge mistake. That proved even more to him that I was mentally ill. The internal tremors, muscle twitching, aching and back pain continued. I then began to have problems with my sinuses. I felt a lot of pressure in my head. My legs started to jerk involuntarially. I had what felt like electrical zap sensations in my head, that once woke me right out my sleep. It felt like the right side of my head was splitting from my left. Mid May I went back to the same walk in clinic and had xrays taken of my entire spine. I got a call the next day to come in for the results. I found out that I had C3-C5 forminal stenosis. I also had early signs of L5 S1 disc degeneration. That was a bit disconcerting. My sinuses were surprisingly fine. They told me that fixing my posture and losing weight would take the pressure off my spine. Now the electric shock made it's way to my right leg. It felt like a lighting bolt went right through it. That leg had also started to pulsate. My right calf was starting to feel stiff. My birthday (May 15th) came and went. Spent most of that day in bed. The headache started to get worse and even more frequent then before. I would count my luck stars when I would just have a mild headache. Sometimes I felt like a liquid sensation was inside my forehead (sounds strange, I know). I thought it was my sinus but that was clear. Breathing started to feel a bit difficult. I actually had to think about breathing in and out. It was like it was no longer second nature. Breathing felt difficult especially when I would lay down on my back or side. I was also extremely sleep deprived. I was lucky to get more than 3 hours of sleep a day. I would fall asleep and jerk back out of my sleep. The slightest sound would startle the hell out of me. Especially at night. Even the sound of my voice would make my heart skip a beat. I thought that maybe i was losing my mind. I had a CT scan done of my brain (no contrast). That came back normal. That was a relief. No brain tumor or bleed, but I was still sick as a dog. Now, we are into early June. Headaches, aching muscles, fatigue and twitching (now more widespread) continued. My face was now tingling and I was off balanced and dizzy. I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Did nothing for me. He seemed like he was in a rush. Told me that what I had was paresthesia of the face. He told me to do some light exercises to relieve the stress on my back. I felt like I had wasted my time. A couple days later I decided to see another walk in doctor and see about adding some vitamins to my diet. She suggested magnesium and vitamin d for twitching. Also a vitamin B complex. I took them for a couple of weeks (not as religously as I should) and had no results. I had looked up magnesium deficiency symptoms and felt like it all fit me to a tee. Magnesium deficiency can cause a wide arrange of problems including anything from muscle twitching and aching to noise sensitivity and even an electrical shock feeling. I went to my local health food store and bought a better brand of magnesium. I took it for about a week and felt no difference. This might sound funny ( you can laugh) but when I would take my vitamin b complex and magnesium, my dreams started to become more vivid. I could remember everything from my dreams. Most people would find that to be pretty cool. Unfortunately, most of my dreams were nightmares. Mid June my dad took me to a doctor that he swears by. He did some neurological tests with me. He tested my strength and tapped my muscles to see if they twitched. My right palm twitched. He diagnosed me with myclonus. He told me not to worry. I suggested having an emg done. He caved and booked me in for one. It was quite painful but worth it. It came back negative. Which meant that ALS was off the table (thank god) but I was still suffering. I was in the clear for ALS but the twitching was now everywhere. My legs, shoulders, temples. Even my butt, chin and nostrils were not exempt from the twitching. I barely had an appetite and started to have bouts of direaha again (may have been from the magnesium) my hands would shake uncontrolably. Doing simple things like showering would make me so fatigued. Parts of my arm would tingling off and on. My dizziness and facial paresthesia were debilitating and very disconcerting. I had a reoccuring swollen bump in the middle of my neck that would come and go every other week. Was told by my primary doctor that it was just tissue. Went to another doctor and told it may be due to dandruff (never head of that, still haven't). I took a blood test at the same clinic and was told that my red blood cells had shrunk. I spoke to the neurologist and asked if some of my neurological symptoms were due to an iron deficiency. He said yes. It seemed to me that he just wanted to get me out of his office. The insomnia continued and when I did go to sleep, I'd wake up every 30 mins to a hour. There was one point where I'd wake up every 10-15 minutes. It's now mid July and my sinus were getting worse and I was finding it hard to breathe because of it. My dreams started to become more vivid and more disturbing. I woke up one day with a terrible nose bleed and shortness of breath. I decided to go up to the walk in clinic ( for the millionth time) and try to get some sort of advice. The doctor I spoke to was very nice and listened. She revealed to me that i tested positive for Hpylori (a resistant stomach bacteria) back in April. In a way I was happy. I finally knew what was wrong with me. I took the 7 day course of antibotics early August. It was a heavy dose of meds but I made it through. The only day I felt good was the second day. Once I got through the course of meds, some of my symptoms went away. The muscle twitching/aching, headaches and tingling went a way for a little while but came back shortly, with a vengence. I tried my best to stay positive. I kept telling myself that the meds needed a little bit more time to take a full effect. I had to wait a month to be re tested. In that time symptoms started to re appear. My sinuses were clogged and painful. I'd have low grade fevers and I was sneezing constantly. I self diagnosed myself with hayfever. In between, I'd have some good days but for the most part I'd would have rather stayed in bed. A month came and went. I took the urea breath test. I had to blow air into a cup. Drink this lemonade-like substance. Wait 30 minutes then blow into another cup. I had to wait a week for the results. While I waited I started to develop what I thought were hives, then they looked more like ance. It was all over my chest and arms and they were so unbareable itchy. I still have the scars all over my chest and arms from scratching them In August I also had a MRI done (without contrast). Results also came back normal. No lesions or any type of damage. I took MS off the table when I got back that result. I actually had to wait two weeks to get my H pylori test results. I ended up testing negative for the bacteria. I was a little disappointed. I had taken this brutal amount of meds, waited a whole month to get re tested and I still feel as sick as a dog, but it's negative. I just felt like it was back to the drawing board. My family doctor told me that I needed to start taking iron supplements. She also gave me a lecture. "You have a dad that loves you, friends anda home. You are driving yourself crazy. Live your life. You don't need a referal to see a pshycriatrist." I knew she didn't believe me from day one. Just last week I was able to see another neurologist that I was reffered to. She was absolutely wonderful. She wrote down all my symptoms and didn't look at me like I was insane. She also wanted to know my family history. I was never asked that before, by any doctor. She is going to have me tested for an autoamunie disorder. I have an endscope scheduled for late next month and and a MRI of my spine scheduled. She also wants me to be checked for Celiacs disease. I had thought that that might have been it. However, I was told that it was more of a caucasian disease (not my words lol). I am black. My father is guyanese and my mother was jamacian. My great grandmother was of portuguese descent (on my fathers side) but I dunno if that really stands for anything. Too far down the line? I'm not in contact with my mother's side of the family. My mother passed away when I was nine. As of the right now, I still experience the same symptoms: Fatigue Sleeplessness Alternating between wet and hard stool Not quite diareha Not digesting food. Could see it in stool (I'm so sorry) Tingling of extremities. Hands, arms, legs, feet Ocasional muscle twitching Headaches Ance on chest Red eyes Sneezing Tingling scalp and forehead Stomach and intestinal twitching Stab like pain in stomach and buttock Eardrum popping Rumbling on the left side of back near stomach Anxiety Depression Nausea Weight loss Flatuelance Acid reflux Tight chest dry mouth Joint cracking Joint pain Muscle pain. Burping Bad breath Thanks for taking the time to read my story. Can anyone give me some insight as to what this might be? I do believe that this might be the story of someone with celiacs disease. Even though it is "rare" for my ethnicity to have it. I want to also state that I haven't really changed my eating habits since April. Maybe Candida? I spoke to doctor about this and he said straight up "NO". I researched it and the symptoms that I have do match up as well. I have a history of strep throat and ear infections as child, which did require antibotics. Plus those 7 days of meds I took in August?.. Gallbladder? I thought that this might be the culprit. The constant back pain right in the middle, shoulderblades and the aching in that area. My ultrasound in April however, said that my gallbladder looked clear. Any comments and/or feedback would be so greatly appreciated. I want my suffering to stop and any advice would be wonderful.