Hi all. I've been meaning to introduce myself at some point, and just never got around to it. I do have a quick question (I hope), and I'll post my story in one of the "Share your story" threads soon. [note: turns out it's not a quick question. Sorry!!]
Back in March, I saw a doctor for the first time in a while, and for the first time ever, this new doctor was concerned about some problems I'd been having that my delusional self didn't think were all that abnormal - like someone else around here said, who compares bathroom habits these days?? The short list includes: frequent BMs (when asked, "More than 3 a day?" I said, "Are you serious?"); burping, flatulence, and bloating; mysterious joint pains, chronic fatique (partly because of the gastro stuff making it difficult to get to sleep on time, I imagine), chronic post nasal drip / phlegm, body acne... ummm... I think that's about it.
Anyway, he said he suspected some kind of malabsorption problem and ordered some bloodwork done. When that came back, they called me and said I had tested positive for celiac sprue, to stop eating wheat, give it 6 months and come back for more tests (and see how you feel). Well, six months later, there was virtually no change in my symptoms (the only thing is I seem to be able to tolerate hunger better now - I used to get a bit woozy and irritable between meals). All other symptoms were the same. The blood test numbers were lower, but still high.
I also took a lactose intolerance test (gross drink [which did not make me feel ill, btw], repeated blood samples), which apparently came back "medium." Lactase enzymes have not had any easily discernable results, good or bad.
I can't seem to find my September results, but here are the originals, from Quest Diagnostics:
Antigliadin antibody, I 72 (Abn: H) (0-19 normal)
Antigliadin antibody, I 14 (0-19 normal)
Tissue transglutaminase 7 (0-19 normal)
I'm sure you all understand, I have so many questions, but I'll try to keep it brief if it's not too late for this one post:
1. Any idea why the first two lines seem to be the same thing, but with one high and one normal? Maybe it's cut off, and they are two different antigliadins?
2. I'm guessing I'm also sensitive to something else, but is it possible (or probable) that gluten is not my problem at all? I've been reading more and more about intolerances and delayed food allergies, and I'm wondering if these numbers may not incriminate gluten at all...
3. What would you do next? Oh, I did find out (from this forum) that the Lactaid I was using until a month ago was not gluten-free, so it's entirely possible I've only been truly gluten-free for about a month now, but still with no change for better or worse.
I'm scheduled to see a gastroenterologist next month. Part of me (a big part) wants to just eat anything for a while and start all over after seeing him, maybe with some better guidance. I mean, eating wheat never specifically made me feel sick. I have always had more trouble with large amounts of veggies (salicylates?), than I have with wheat. My comfort food used to be an english muffin with peanut butter, or a bowl of cereal... So, given that I wasn't as gluten-free as I thought I was, I'm rationalizing that starting (again) gluten-free in a month or two isn't much different than continuing it now. Also, since the tissue transglutaminase level was normal, and I saw someone post (can't find it) that other things can raise the IgA level, well, you can see where I'm going with that.
Silly rationalization, or legitimate "what the heck - after all this, what's the difference with a couple more months of gluten, considering I don't feel any different off of it than I did on...?"