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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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Left Side And Rib Pain...anyone Else?
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48 posts in this topic

One of the things that sent me to the doctor in search of answers was a constant pain on my left side in the lower ribs. It's there all the time. 13 days Gluten-Free and it's still there. I go to bed with a heating pad on it every night.

Does or has anyone else had it? Is it related to celiac? Does it get better?

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IMO, you should have it checked out.  Possible causes for pain in that area are kidney infection, kidney stones, or ovarian cysts:

 

http://voices.yahoo.com/causes-severe-pain-lower-left-side-the-6694210.html

 

Sources for this article: The National Institutes of Health on Abdominal Pain and The Mayo Clinic on Causes of Abdominal Pain

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IMO, you should have it checked out.  Possible causes for pain in that area are kidney infection, kidney stones, or ovarian cysts:

 

http://voices.yahoo.com/causes-severe-pain-lower-left-side-the-6694210.html

 

Sources for this article: The National Institutes of Health on Abdominal Pain and The Mayo Clinic on Causes of Abdominal Pain

I have had testing for all of that and the only things found were uterine polyps which are being removed next week and gallbladder polyps and that's coming out next week too.

I guess I'm wondering if this could be the intestine and something with celiac. Hoping someone else has been there.

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If the pain is in the front at the lower left side of your ribs, this is where you stomach is and the beginning of your small intestines. I have had this same discomfort that almost feels like an air bubble is stuck or like I have a paperclip inside of me pinching something. It is so much less intense since I went gluten free three months ago but is still intermittently there if I eat too much in particular. Uterine polyps would be discomfort below the belly button, gallbladder would be right upper quadrant under the right rib cage or in the middle (called the epigastric area). Kidney stones would not be so much in the rib cage area. Ovarian cysts would be one sided below the belly button area. Part of your liver is also in this area. I would definitely speak with your physician about this but I do not think that it is an emergency unless you are not able to eat, running a fever or the pain is increasing. Good luck.

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If the pain is in the front at the lower left side of your ribs, this is where you stomach is and the beginning of your small intestines. I have had this same discomfort that almost feels like an air bubble is stuck or like I have a paperclip inside of me pinching something. It is so much less intense since I went gluten free three months ago but is still intermittently there if I eat too much in particular. Uterine polyps would be discomfort below the belly button, gallbladder would be right upper quadrant under the right rib cage or in the middle (called the epigastric area). Kidney stones would not be so much in the rib cage area. Ovarian cysts would be one sided below the belly button area. Part of your liver is also in this area. I would definitely speak with your physician about this but I do not think that it is an emergency unless you are not able to eat, running a fever or the pain is increasing. Good luck.

That's exactly where it is. Front left and lower. Not pain like ow! But annoying.
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Stomach pain (pinching, really is my first symptom I get when I have been accidentally glutened.  It's where the stomach empties into the small intestine.  You could actually see visually at the bottom of my rib cage swelling.  The pain went away after six months or so when I initially went gluten free.  

 

My gallbladder attacks (non-functioning 0% injection rate) were never on my upper right side.  They were always lower near my uterus which always threw my doctors off.  

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Stomach pain (pinching, really is my first symptom I get when I have been accidentally glutened.  It's where the stomach empties into the small intestine.  You could actually see visually at the bottom of my rib cage swelling.  The pain went away after six months or so when I initially went gluten free.  

 

My gallbladder attacks (non-functioning 0% injection rate) were never on my upper right side.  They were always lower near my uterus which always threw my doctors off.

Thanks cyclinglady. It helps to know someone else has experienced it. This feels so lonely right now. My gall bladder and uterine polyps are not causing any trouble. They were "incidental" findings related to my pain. Did you have your gallbladder out? How did that go? I'm getting a bit anxious for my surgeries and my kids are really worried.
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I have uterine fibroids too.  It was thought that they were causing problems with severe bleeding, but that turned out to be my anemia and thyroid.  I went on HRT (bio-identical to stop the bleeding) and therefore, helped my severe anemia.  But, it didn't resolve the anemia -- that's when I found out I had Celiac Disease.  My GYN wanted to do surgery.  I went for a second opinion.  The second doc said not to have surgery.  To try other things and to only do surgery as a last resort.  I went for  third opinion, but that doc was in the same practice as my GYN and he didn't want to give an opinion.  Turns out our hospital invested in the DaVinci robotic surgery equipment and reports have shown higher surgery errors (damage to other organs) and that the cost was twice as high (insurance covers it but still…….)  

 

If I had needed surgery, I would have gone for traditional instead of the robotic. But the HRT treatment did the job.  

 

I had a c-section and when that surgery was done, I delivered a sweet baby and a strangulated fibroid that was bigger than a huge grapefruit.  That fibroid cause me severe pain during my pregnancy and I was in and out of the hospital.  Basically, I had one constant contraction!  My quality of life was horrible and it had to come out!  It was worth the risk to have it removed.  But they kept my uterus intact.

 

My gallbladder was removed when I was on a business trip.  Not fun.  I had issues since I was a kid.  But, they never saw stones, so the docs dismissed gallbladder issues despite a family history.  It wasn't until it was infected that they removed it.  It wasn't working at all.  It's a family curse.  Now, with the HIDA scan it is easy to identify.  My mom is one of seven and six of the seven siblings have had a non-functioning gallbladder.  Many of the older first cousins are now GB free too.  I just wonder if celiac disease had anything to do with the "curse".  Both an aunt and cousin are gluten and GB free, so I think there maybe a link.

 

I don't know your case, but if you can keep your parts, then keep them.  Fibroid tumors often go away on their own or shrink when you go through menopause.  I still have mine.  I have met too many ladies who have to have additional surgeries to hold up their bladders after having their uterus' removed (or they have to wear a pad for life!).  My gallbladder was infected and rotting.  It was not working at all.  I couldn't eat anything without severe pain.  I am thankful that I had the surgery done because I would have been dead without it. In hindsight,  If I could have improved my gallbladder's health by eating gluten free, I would have kept it even when I had my "attacks".  It is there in our bodies for a reason and many have complications from having it removed.  That bile has to be stored somewhere!  Ducting gets stretched, stones still can form in the bile duct, the list is endless.

 

So do the research and make an informed decision.  

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Icelandgirl, I have bad gallbladder polyps and as they have progressed into being more troublesome, I have also begun to get pain in the left side like you describe.  I have had to put off the surgery a long time, and had it scheduled for this week only to get sick so it is postponed until march.  I was told by two of my doctors that this pain is from the gallbladder affecting the diaphgram.  Obviously since you get it out next week you won't have much time to pursue it before then.  I wouldn't worry about it unless it lingers after your recovery from surgery.

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I think the reason they want to remove the gallbladder is because it is full of polyps.  It's crazy.  I wonder if it's celiac.  I've got a pre-op tomorrow and I'm going to ask.  The uterine polyps the Dr wants to remove just the polyps, not the uterus itself.  She likes to remove them if she finds them because occasionally they can become cancerous.  I really value her opinion so I'm going to talk this all over with her tomorrow at my preop.  But, between all of this, the horrendous periods since I was twelve, having to have my appendix out while 34 weeks pregnant, brain surgery in my 20's...I'm wondering if all along it's been freaking gluten?

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Yeah, I hear you about gluten.  When I was diagnosed, my only symptom at the time was anemia.  Now, looking back, I had lots of health issues that could have all been related to gluten -- or maybe not?  Who knows?  

 

Glad that you are able to keep your uterus.  Recovering from gallbladder surgery is pretty quick!  Make sure they can accommodate your gluten free diet.  Bring some goodies in with you at the hospital just in case!  Actually look at your chart to insure they write things down properly.   When I was admitted, they wrote that I was allergic to my thyroid medication! 

 

Take care!

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Yeah, I hear you about gluten.  When I was diagnosed, my only symptom at the time was anemia.  Now, looking back, I had lots of health issues that could have all been related to gluten -- or maybe not?  Who knows?  

 

Glad that you are able to keep your uterus.  Recovering from gallbladder surgery is pretty quick!  Make sure they can accommodate your gluten free diet.  Bring some goodies in with you at the hospital just in case!  Actually look at your chart to insure they write things down properly.   When I was admitted, they wrote that I was allergic to my thyroid medication! 

 

Take care!

 

Thanks cyclinglady!  I will definitely make sure that they write things down properly.   When I called my insurance company to see if they covered nutritional counseling, the person had never heard of celiac and didn't know if it was considered a medical necessity to treat it.  Really?  I'm on thyroid med too.  Levothyroxine from Mylan.  I need to find out if it's gluten free.  The website didn't help.  How did you find out if your medications where gluten free?

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On the website. I use Armour.

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I am new here, but this is what i have. not pain but annoying, as if something, spleen or muscle or colon is sticking out under my ribs. really annoying.it sort of follows the angle of my ribcage down , i can actually feel it when im bloated or breathing in filling my abdomen. doctors dont seem that helpful. frustrating

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I am new here, but this is what i have. not pain but annoying, as if something, spleen or muscle or colon is sticking out under my ribs. really annoying.it sort of follows the angle of my ribcage down , i can actually feel it when im bloated or breathing in filling my abdomen. doctors dont seem that helpful. frustrating

Hi Matt...I had this for months...All day every day. My husband would joke that I was going to bed with my boyfriend (the heating pad). After diagnosis and being gluten free it's a lot better. I don't have this daily. I do get it if I've been glutened or eaten something that bothers my system...but I don't go to bed with the heating pad every night anymore.
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My Mom has been having a pain like what everyone describes here. In her case it was caused by a Hiatus Hernia. Just wanted to put this on here in case anyone continues having unresolved issues.

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I know this is an old string but if anyone gets my post.......  i have very similar.  but my ribs feel tender, when I press on the lower ridge of my ribs (where they end) it's not actually tender to the touch but it feels like the tenderness radiates up under my ribs.  Not sure if that makes any sense.

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I know this is an old string but if anyone gets my post.......  i have very similar.  but my ribs feel tender, when I press on the lower ridge of my ribs (where they end) it's not actually tender to the touch but it feels like the tenderness radiates up under my ribs.  Not sure if that makes any sense.

It makes sense.  I can actually see my stomach poking out under my rib cage.  It would pinch too if I leaned over.   My spleen is okay.   My stomach looks normal now after healing.  Do you have celiac disease?  

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Yes!!!   Rib pain.  

I went nearly 3 years with this intermittent rib pain that would ache like crazy before I found out I had celiac.   It was the one symptom that made doctors laugh the loudest at me, and call me nuts. 

 It's an aching, sometimes throbbing pain that I would get underneath my armpits, down the sides. It would radiate forward towards my pectoral muscles. Sometimes back to my back. Mine were not in the lower ribs but in the upper ribs. And it definitely was not swollen glands in the armpits. It was a rib pain. 

 I've also spoken to a few others to have this condition that also experienced that. So you're not crazy. I've chalked it up to just some form of generalized inflammation, which this condition definitely is. 

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I know that this is an old topic but I just recently found this site and my situation is different. 

I was diagnosed with celiac disease 9 years ago and I have been very careful to avoid gluten in all forms. I'm blood tested every year and I always test free of gluten.  For over a year now I have had pain in my left side between the bottom of my ribs and the top of my hip. There is actually a small ridge that can sometimes be felt below my skin. I have been to 4 Drs and no one can tell me anything.  Nothing shows on CT scan, MRI or X-ray. Nothing abnormal in blood tests. Then 2 weeks ago I developed severe diarrhea and have been sick ever since. My GI Dr has me on some heavy duty meds but they aren't helping. I feel like I'm getting celiac disease all over again. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

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Hi George!

It is an old topic, but it's mine so I figured I'd chime in.  

If nothing showed on CT or MRI, I'm not sure.  I do get this when I'm glutened and it's very uncomfortable.  How long has it been since you had a complete celiac panel done?  If it isn't very recent, I think it's time for one.  Particularly with such severe D.  Did you make sure the meds the Dr has you on are gluten free?  Just another thought.

I hope you feel better!

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I have a complete panel done once a year. My last was February. It was completely negative for gluten.  

The meds were subscribed by my gastroenterologist who is the one who does the panel so I would hope that they are gluten-free.  He is suggesting 3 different drugs and since the first isn't working, time to try the 2nd. Thanks for your response. 

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Have other autoimmune disorders been ruled out?  Like Crohn's?  Unfortunately, you can have more than one AI issue.  

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Thanks again for your response.

He hasn't really tried ruling out anything else yet.  He did have me tested for C-Dif which was negative also.  I also have wondered about Crohn's or IBS.  I also wonder about other infectious bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, ESBL and E-Coli.  I haven't run a fever in any case.  He currently has me on Methscopalamine Bromide which isn't working and talking about switching to Viversi.  The thing is, I have been gluten-free for 9 years and have only gotten glutened accidentally a few times but the symptoms pass in a day or less.  This has gone on for 2 weeks straight and it's very frustrating.  In fact, I have been totally grain free for 6 weeks until recently when I started eating rice as part of the BRAT diet to try and get my symptoms under control.  In the past 2 days I have gone back to gluten-free bread and gluten-free breading on a chicken breast. 

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Maybe time for an endoscopy or pill camera?  

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