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About DMcCarthy

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  1. Hi everyone, I am a new user and have not yet been diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am scheduled for an endoscopy (and a colonoscopy - yecch) this coming Wednesday. To be honest, I always thought that celiac disease was one of those vague, perhaps overdiagnosed maladies; I am not trying to offend anyone here, I am just being honest about my ignorance. After reading more about the disease, I am confused by the long, sometimes conflicting list of symptoms, and I have a lot of questions. I have had diarrhea and abdominal pain for a long time; I was diagnosed with achalasia four years ago, and had an operation to keep the valve between my esophagus and stomach open. I don't have reflux at all, but the intestinal cramping is really bad. Additionally, I have noticed hair loss, dry skin, itchiness on my legs, leg spasms, and severe arthritis symptoms (my lower legs are now bowed due to the displacement of my kneecaps). I have severe neck pain, and have been told that I need an operation to fuse three vertebrae in my neck; I don't want this done. I also get numbness and tingling on my right side, from my neck to my foot. My questions are: Can ALL of this be related to celiac disease? If I do have it, and the symptoms are all related, will ALL of these symptoms improve after I start the gluten-free diet? And, finally, how hard is it to maintain a gluten-free diet? Thank you for your help; I am really scared about all of this.
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