I usually do not post such personal information, but I wanted to tell folks my story so they can get a correct diagnosis quicker than mine took. My diagnosis took 4.5 years.
I am a Caucasian male, currently 41 years old. I used to live off pizza and nachos in my younger years. I didn’t notice any problems with any types of food I had eaten up to September 2001.
It all began around 9/11/01, I was 36 years old. I fell victim to a stomach virus that made me feverish with a temperature of 103 for three days. So I went to the doctor for some help, he gave me some antibiotics. This did the trick for my stomach virus.
Shortly thereafter this episode I noticed I was feeling bloated and getting cramps after each time I would eat dairy. I remembered I usually had a touch of diarrhea after eating a whole pizza to myself, but didn’t think anything about this. Well it got a lot worse; I now had cramping and pain as well as diarrhea. So I went back to the doctor to complain about my stomach problems.
To be fair to the doctor, I had too many symptoms to diagnose correctly. He told me to stop eating gassy foods and gave me a brochure to read. At this point I was diagnosing myself with I.B.S. (Irritable Bowell Syndrome). I went to see the Doctor complaining several times over the next year and a half. I had eventually put two and two together, and figured out I am Lactose Intolerant. My grandfather had this, so I was aware of the symptoms. So I stopped eating dairy on my own.
On my last visit to this Doctor, still complaining about my symptoms, he said what I was describing to him was a dairy intolerance, **Dah**, I figured that out about six months prior to him saying these words. The result was he didn’t have any insight to my problems.
I know I’m not that bright about some things. But at this point I figured I needed someone else to talk to, so I went to a Naturopath Doctor. She started me on an elimination diet, **YaY**, this was the right thing to do, but a year and a half too late. We started on the commonly problematic foods, that I was eating a lot of. Some of these foods were coffee, bananas, corn (including high fructose corn syrup), wheat, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. This is an extremely hard thing to do, you have to read labels, thoroughly and make a lot of the foods you eat yourself. I had to quit relying on restaurants. You have to ask yourself what that noodle is made of eggs, flour, or rice? At the time I wasn't aware of hidden glutens. I never realized there was wheat in Soy Sauce
If you haven’t been on an elimination diet, I really recommend you start doing this first. If you suspect a Gluten Intolerance, eliminate it completely. See how you feel! We completely eliminated one food type for 15 days, and then reintroduced it again afterwards for 15 days. This process takes quite a bit of time, especially if you stick to the 15 day lengths. I could cut this length down to seven days now, but didn’t think about doing that earlier.
When I reintroduced potatoes I became bloated and my stomach distended. I made it the entire fifteen days with some discomfort and mild pain. When I reintroduced wheat I became bloated, my stomach distended, and there was a lot of pain. After 5-7 days of eating wheat products I was in complete agony. I did not make it the 15 days straight.
I went back to the Naturopath with my results; I was still experiencing some problems. At this point I was relying on oatmeal as my major morning staple. We came back and eliminated all Glutens (including Oatmeal) and retested some of the other suspicious foods I was eating at the time. After this round of eliminating I started to feel better; prior to this I hadn’t had a well formed B.M. (Bowel Movement) in 3+ years. It was quite a surprise to me to feel this again, and it was painful too.
At this point I figured I had Celiac Disease, but the Naturopath said that a very low percentage of people had this problem. So we did the 96 (food allergy) blood test. At this time. I was Gluten free, and scored a 4 on the Gliadin Ab IgA panel, over 4 is a positive reaction for Gluten. The only thing though, I was Gluten free and I scored a 4! So I definitely knew I had Celiac disease, I was shocked that hidden Glutens were affecting me so much. I had the Naturopath refer to me a Gastroenterologist for the Celiac Disease test, an upper GI Endoscopy. I wanted to confirm that I had it. The only way you can test this is by eating Glutens for 7 days prior to the test, and I did. Ouch!
On a side note about my blood tests; the good news was my Cholesterol had lowered quite a bit; it used to be a little high. The bad news was my Glucose was way up, probably from over compensating in the mornings with too many sugars (fruit salad or Odwalla juices). The naturopath called me back in to get a handle on this. Apparently I am close to border line Diabetic now. The solution for this is more protein and less sugars and carbohydrates. Less fruit and more egg whites, Protein Powders etc…
So I had an upper GI Endoscope scheduled and performed and I received my results back this week. I have confirmed that I have Celiac disease.
Biopsy taken May19, 2006.
-Iron Jack Kidd
My second post here,