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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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dperk

Help - Are These Ichy Bumps Dh?

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I could use some help from everyone. I've been having very ichy areas for months now, and I'm getting really tired of this. I have been gluten-free for 3 months now (except for the accidental times). I have elimated everything I can think of that has gluten, including not wearing makeup and using my home made soap only.

I will try to discribe these areas - please someone give me some input:

About 8 months ago I started having outbreaks of what I thought were chiggers. They are very ichy bumps, swollen and red at first, then they get blistery in the center the next day. Sores after that. They last about a week - with extreme itch. I've even had some that look brused around them (probably from scratching).

But here is were it's different than what I'm reading on this message board. I get them on all parts of my body, but mostly my chest, stomach and arms. There may be only one or as many as three in one area (not a rash). I can get only 1 in a day, or get 30 all over my body. They come in waves of outbreaks. They have continued all winter (obviously not chiggers). I live on a farm, so thought it might have something to do with the animals (chickens, horses and goats). But sometimes I have an outbreak and I haven't been near the barn - and I started using insect repelant when I would (my husband kept saying it was in the barn). It has gotten a little better since being gluten-free - not as many outbreaks. But I've had 2 outbreaks in the last couple of weeks (I had accidental gluten - I had some rice milk without checking into it first). The outbreak was 3 days later, though. Does this sound like DH? I know that I should go to a dermitalogist, but I live out in the country, and finding one would mean driving some distance. I need to know if this is realated to my animals or not. Or is this a reaction from something I'm eating or using or wearing............... Help..........

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My DH always started out as blisters and never looked like chigger bites. I also never had it in the locations you're describing. But I understand DH doesn't look or act the same on everybody.

Unfortunately, you're going to need to see a doctor to find out for sure.

richard

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I also read somewhere that if it is DH that it can take up to 2 years to totally clear up. The skin takes longer to get things out of it's system and replenish. Plus, the occasional accidental exposure. Good luck! :)

Cheree'

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I had an itchy rash that would come and go for over 20 years. It would be on my neck and chest, a little on my face, and on my upper arms. I saw many dermatologists over the years. Not ONE of them EVER suggested a simple food allergy or intolerance. I was told things like... maybe allergic to shampoo or soap or lotion, or toothpaste, or clothing detergents, but never suggested food. I tried all natural soaps, prescribed meds and lotions, everthing, you name it, nothing helped, it never went away. As soon as I went gluten-free (over a year ago) immediatly, the rash went away and has never come back. I have had a couple little blisters here and there when I accidentally ate gluten, but not a full blown rash.

I don't know if it was dermatitis herpetiformis either, but I suspect it was. Small itchy bumps that kind of looked like a heat rash, then they would blister. Very itchy, stingy, no white heads, but each batch would last about a week.

If it hasn't gone away by going gluten-free maybe you have another food allergy. Maybe corn or nuts.

I also thought since you mentioned animals that you should check the house for fleas. Maybe you are allergic to dust mites. An allergist can rull out these things.

But I do agree with Richard, you will have to see a doctor to rule these things out. :(

Let us know, Wendy

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DH can take a long time to clear - way longer than the 3 months you've been gluten-free.

Consuming much iodine can aggrivate DH until you've been gluten-free for a long time. (It's a chemical thing. There are websites that'll go over the chemistry if you want.)

Accidents don't necessarily trigger DH within minutes, so the three days you describe may still be connected.

Finally, skin problems are hard enough to figure out with a picture, let alone not being in person or not getting a tissue sample. A dermatologist is really needed for this one - and if it is DH, a simple skin biopsy will show it.

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Sounds a lot like my DH outbreaks. The three days is about right as well. It took about a year before I stopped being broken out regularly at different levels. Like you, sometimes it was one or two and sometimes it was all over. Some of us with sensitive DH tend to react even to coming into skin contact with the wheat so be sure you are not doing something like cooking for others with it. We finally went to a totally gluten-free house so that we would stop breaking out.

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I also meant to add that the DH can actually get worse just after going gluten-free. Mine did then got much better.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I don't feel so all alone now.

I don't think it's any kind of bug, even fleas. No one but me is getting them, not even my 3 year old grandaughter that runs thru the barn and picks up every cat, chicken or goat in sight. That's when I finely made up my mind that it's not from "the barn". It has to be something I'm coming in contact with or eating.

I'm racking my brain trying to figure this out - I don't want these outbreak any more. Another good reason to stay gluten-free!!!!!

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I also saw several "dermatologists" who thought my skin outbreaks were a reaction to this lotion or that soap. Yet, after being diagnosed with celiac a week ago, I think my rashes are DH. I have not been diagnosed with DH yet, but it seems a real let down to me that the dermatologists out there don't even consider it a possibility when 1 out of every 122 Americans have Celiac. That being said, one area of my suspected DH was halfway cured by using ALL Free Clear detergent. It removes allergens from clothers pretty well and reduced my breakout frequency. I would recommend it to anyone just to try and see if it helps.

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We use the All Free and Clear. It is one of the few that we can use without breaking out. Anything that comes into contact with our skin and contains even traces of gluten is a problem. You may also want to check your household cleaners. Some dish detergents are a problem for us. Oh yes, if your outbreaks are troublesome, find a Shaklee distributor. Their Basic H household cleaner is really great to add to bathwater. A half teaspoon in the tub will ease the symptoms and help keep down the risk of secondary infection. Even though it is a cleaning product, it is mild enough to use on a baby's diaper rash. A bubble bath that helps the rest...who would have thought we could have both?

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dperk - Maybe it is something in the barn. I don't live on a farm, but I have 2 horses that I board near my house. Sometimes after I've been to visit them I have itchy blisters on my face in the same place where I used to have full blown DH before going gluten free. It doesn't happen every time. Usually I get an outbreak when I've spent more time in the barn or I've scooped some grain to give my old guy a snack.

You didn't say what you feed your animals, but maybe there is something in the feed that's causing a problem. Just a thought.

Good luck to you.

Sarah

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I just wanted to give an update. I had another spell of ichy bumps this weekend (first time in almost 3 weeks). I took a medication without checking the ingredients and later found out it contained gluten. 3 days later I got the bumps. So I think that confirmes it for me - not something in the barn and related to gluten intake.

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I agree with Sarah (phakephur) that it might be something in the animal feed as well. You need to be careful when you feed the animals. Wash your hands, wear gloves, and possibly if you are very sensitive (or the particles are really flying in the air) you might need a mask (like what painters wear) to filter out the grain particles.

Now that said, have you compared your bumps with pictures on the internet of diagnosed DH? I couldn't get a referral through fast enough when my DH was bad, and I wasn't staying on gluten any longer. So barring eating gluten on purpose just to get a skin biopsy it wasn't going to happen! I found pictures on the internet of DH that looked EXACTLY like mine on my palm. It could have been a photo of my own hand! Here are a few links to some DH picture sitesto get you started:

I like this site the best. It shows a good variety of DH.

http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/result....osis=-577236584

This next site shows some extreme (at least to me) cases of DH.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001480.htm

This site shows a photo of a close up of an unpopped blister, but the article is saying that a gluten-free diet is impossible and medication is the only treatment. Don't believe the article!

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_dise...is_herpeti.html

Oh, and it takes anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days for the blisters to show up on me when I get glutened. I break out faster if I have been having a lot of gluten accidents.

God bless,

Mariann

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