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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Extensive Symptoms, Considering Testing -- Thoughts?
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Hey folks, 

 
A pre-emptive thanks for your consideration. 

 

I'm a 22yo male living on the East Coast of the USA.  I've had quite an interesting medical history, and I've recently had the lightbulb moment that much of it might be linked by Coeliac Disease.  I'd love to hear anyone's input, as I have a GP appointment coming up in a couple weeks, and any help is appreciated.

 

My story begins about 22 years and 302 days ago...  I was born with a 'malrotated intestine', which required emergency surgery, and I'm now 'half citus inversus'.  Over the years, I've also had about 4 hernia surgeries (among many handfuls of ER visits for bone breaks, fractures, cuts requiring stitches, dislocations, concussions...  I was quite the problem-child.  Ha.)  

 

I also had quite a many problems with digestion for as long as I can remember.  Most often, this would present every couple months in extreme, paralyzing stomach pain.  Doctors often just assumed I was having bouts of extreme lactose intolerance, and I drank a lot of milk, so I would be placed on goats milk for a few weeks (this never seemed to help). 

 

In the last four years, things have gotten worse.  In my first year at university, I got mononucleosis and swine flu, simultaneously (problem-child, remember?).  Ever since then, I've had terribly poor immune functioning.  When I get sick, I get *SICK*, and I get sick at least every three months.  In addition, my spleen becomes incredibly swollen and painful at the slightest sign of sickness; I had been experiencing depression and anxiety, and was actually diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, which I've at least been able to manage well with therapy and medication; and on top of it all, I often experience a weird tingling and numbness in my back and arms, which I just attributed to poor posture.  After researching Coeliac Dz, I'm not so sure. 

 

My digestive symptoms really became unmanageable in the last year.  The full laundry list: chronic nausea, chronic diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, gas, total lactose intolerance, inability to gain weight (I actually don't mind that last one, but I'm 6ft tall and 154lbs)...  Anyways, I always attributed this to stress, poor diet (college lyfe, for the win), and recently, started thinking it might be some kind of IBS.  However, more and more events are pointing to something more reactionary to my diet, and I think it's gluten sensitivity of some kind. 

 
A good example: just three days ago, I went out on a date and had a great dinner.  Sweet fuji apples and gorgonzola, with fig jam, on walnut raisin wheat bread, with sweet potato fries.  I had 4 beers over the course of 6 hours -- 1 lager, 2 belgian ales, 1 IPA.  It was heavenly for my taste buds, but it was one of the worst nights for my digestive tract in a long time.  I'm still feeling the effects, even waking up in the middle of the night from stomach pain.

 

I drink beer about once a week, generally about the same amount, but I've never had that severe of a reaction.  I admittedly had been eating more junk food than normal -- Nilla Wafers are the bain of my existence -- but I definitely could rule out food poisoning (my backpacking in China and Nepal taught me how to recognize those symptoms well) and the lactose intolerance (gorgonzola is lactose free).

 

FINALLY, my question:

 

Could this be all attributable to Coeliac Dz?  Does anyone have similar problems, or has anyone had years of untreated symptoms?

 

I'm not planning on going gluten free until after the doc's appointment, knowing it might mess with the testing... 

 

Thanks so much everyone!

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What is the follow- up for your malrotation? Obviously, they must follow that closely? The possible problems even after correction means that a GI would exam you yearly? Maybe there isn't any but surely, because you are experiencing GI symptoms they would want to look at all the possible problems associated with the birth defect.

Sure it could be Celiac and you can get a blood test and biopsy to check that while you are there.

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I think it could be celiac too. I used to have many of your types of symptoms including really getting sick - when I had mono I also had pneumonia at the same time. Lol. Beer used to do a real number on me too; I don't know if it was the barley or the liquid delivery...

Anyway, when you do your testing, try to get a full panel:

tTG IgA and tTG IgG

DGP IgA and DGP IgG

EMA IgA

Total serum IgA (a control test)

AGA IgA and AGA IgG (older and less reliable tests)

The endoscopic biopsy can give lots of info and maybe helpful in your case.

Good luck!

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