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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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student314

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I'm 19 years old and have had some weird symptoms recently. I was supposed to be a leader at a youth camp two weeks ago, but I became very ill with what everyone assumes was a stomach virus. My blood pressure was crazy and I couldn't stand or walk around for very long without almost passing out and I was suddenly unable to eat. My mouth would go bone dry and I'd gag on food. Anything besides fruit and rice made me nauseous. I was weirdly anxious during this time too--I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder last year and it had gotten out of control the few weeks before I got sick and I was having panic attacks out of nowhere almost every day. While I was sick, I was very tense and just nervous. I was literally bed ridden for 3 days before they decided to send me back home because I wasn't getting better. It took the rest of the week, but my weakness got better. However, as I started being able to eat again, I started getting diarrhea. It's been two weeks and I have a normal appetite, but food makes me feel weird/anxious and my heart pounds or races. My diarrhea seemed better two days ago, but now it's back to weird loose stools (sorry...TMI). I had two bowls of strawberry toasters (like cinnamon toast crunch, but strawberry) this morning and the effects followed not too long after. My stomach started knotting up and my heart rate went up to 120 for a good half hour or more. These heart symptoms have been the most annoying...I have been eating a lot of whole grain and fiber to help with the stomach issues, but they didn't help and just made me nervous. The only thing I ate that didn't affect my heart rate was peach froyo with fruit. The dairy upset my stomach a couple of hours later of course, but that was it. I happened to mention to my mom that I had been having these heart rate problems and that the froyo wasn't doing it and she wondered if it had something to do with gluten since it was the only thing it didn't have that everything else I've had did. I've had upset stomach problems and everything before, but we've always chalked it up to stress (and it probably was). This just seems different somehow. I've never gotten to 100% since the stomach virus. I know there are a billion things that could cause all this, but it couldn't hurt to ask. The only thing that has come up in the past few years has been a pretty low Vitamin D level of 11 that won't get near normal despite high doses of Vitamin D, but other tests, such as thyroid, have been normal. I went to the doctor a few days ago and he said that the digestive problems would probably resolve themselves eventually, so I haven't gotten to really talk to him about the other problems and was wondering if we should pursue this theory. Sorry this is so long!

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You may have a gluten problem.  The flu could trigger celiac.  You should do some tests for Celiac and see if they will help you to discover what is wrong.  You could have some other health problem.  There must be something at the root of your problem and I hope you will find it.  The heart problems do sound disconcerting, and certainly you should find out what is causing them.

 

I think I understand you to say that you have taken vitamin D supplements without low vitamin D levels resolving?  That would show a problem with absorption in my opinion.  Do you have a normal iron level?  My Functional Medicine Nurse mentioned that low to borderline iron level can be an early indicator of mal-absorption.

 

Get Well***,

I hope you get some definitive answers soon.

D

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welcome!

 

Vitamin D deficiency is commonly linked with celiac, and the fact that you said you've been taking large doses but that hasn't resolved the problem is even more suspicious of malabsroption problems.  Here is a link with common celiac associated deficieicies:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/what-common-nutrient-deficiencies-might-an-adult-experience-prior-to-diagnosis

 

If you want to get tested, you MUST be consuming gluten prior and during testing or else it could yield false results.  In fact, don't stop eating gluten until you are done ALL testing, including the endoscopy if you get one.  The first steps are simple blood tests that either your GP or GI can order.

 

Comprehensive Celiac Panel:

DGP iga/igg

ttg iga/igg

EMA

Total iga serum-this is a control test to make sure you make enough iga to validate the other testing

check out page 12 in this report for testing information:

http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/assets/export/userfiles/2012_Celiac%20Disease_long_FINAL.pdf

 

Also after a bout of stomach virus, it may be useful to take probiotics to help your good gut flora get back in balance.  Since you said you've been having diarrhea, it may be a good idea to try Culturelle which has the lacto strain of probiotics which is great for diarrhea.  You can pretty much pick up this brand at any Target or pharmacy.  Here is a link to the ones I have used in the past:

http://www.culturelle.com/about_culturelle/product_digestive30

 

anxiety can be linked to gluten.  mine has gotten so much better since going gluten free.

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Thank you for your responses. Yes, I have been taking large amounts of Vitamin D. It was low to start with and I was put on 50,000 iU for 12 weeks, which only brought it up from 13 (I think) to 18. Then about a year later, it had plummeted back down to 11. I was put on 50,000 iU again and then told to supplement with 2500 per day after that. I haven't been tested since. I was borderline anemic about 4 years ago, but I haven't been tested for that either. I'm starting to suspect that again though because I've been getting exhausted from exercise easily and my heart races and my hands tingle sometimes (though that could be my anxiety).

 

My digestive symptoms have improved somewhat--no more constant diarrhea--but I'm still not 100% and still have a lot of bloating and discomfort. I'm super anxious and foggy after eating. I had a voracious appetite for the past week or so and gained almost 10 lbs. back that I had lost over the summer, but cutting back a little for the past couple of days caused me to already lose 2 pounds (I usually struggle to lose weight). Something's just OFF. I can't put my finger on it. The worst part is I have to go back to university next week and I have to be able to function, not to mention be able to walk a couple miles a day. Since I haven't been able to see my doctor at home, would it be useful to find a specialist or something while I'm at school?

 

Thanks again.

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When you return, have them test all of your vitamin levels again, not just the D and the iron. I know B12 deficiencies are also common and have some pretty horrendous symptoms (and are much easier to treat). 

I do hope you get the answers you need, and soon!

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Student 314,

 

What ever became of your digestive issues. I have the identical thing going on. I had strep, was given antibiotics, and have had diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, no appetite for over 2 weeks. I too feel like something is off. Please let me know how things turned out. I need some hope!

 

Thanks,

Brooke

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Student 314,

 

What ever became of your digestive issues. I have the identical thing going on. I had strep, was given antibiotics, and have had diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, no appetite for over 2 weeks. I too feel like something is off. Please let me know how things turned out. I need some hope!

 

Thanks,

Brooke

Your antibiotic could absolutely be the source of your diarrhea.  If it persists you should go see your healthcare provider again.

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