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  1. len4ita

    DH...or not?

    Hello everyone! I have been following the forum for some time now but this is the first time I registered and decided to post as I need advice from someone who has experience with DH. I little bit of history...I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's few years ago. I started following gluten free diet which I realized was not very strict at that time meaning I stopped consuming gluten, wheat, etc. but I did not exclude the foods that were marked as 'possibly cross-contaminated with gluten'. I thought that is not so important at that time. Yet I have seen instant relief in my thyroid symptoms and my antibodies flew down every month. I also stopped consuming dairy at that time. Then, after about 10 months I was craving ice cream soooo much that I told 'ok, I will just have it one time'. Bad decision. Needless to say I ended up consuming ice cream and the wheat cone they put it in many times after that and my antibodies increased, too. At that time I noticed strong headaches, lack of attention, and itchy rash that appeared on my face. I started following strict gluten free diet again, the rash started to clear up veeeeery slowly, and few months later I finally decided to visit a gastro to get tested for celiac disease. Another mistake! She told me I need to introduce gluten again to get correct results. So I did it. I had another flare up and the worst headache ever I got in my life. I added gluten to my diet for 2 weeks only but I felt I could not continue this diet so I called off my next appointment. The gastro told me I could get a DNA test to know if I am career of the HLA DQ genes. I shall note that at that time I have been already tested for food intolerances and gluten came out as positive on that panel. Dairy was fine even though cow products were on the border (and I didn't consume much cow dairy at that time, mostly sheep and goat). I did a test with 23andme and had the results analysed through one of the sites that offer additional dna analysis services. I had one of the genes (DQ 2.2). I started a strict gluten free diet and this time I made sure I did not consume any cross contaminated foods as much as I could. This resulted in slow healing of my face rash and in about 9 months my face has been clean! I couldn't believe it. I was finally able to go our without foundation outside and everyone complemented my clear skin. I never had any specific gastro symptoms I shall say so again I was confused if gluten might be the culpit. I did introduce gluten for few weeks again and finally got blood tests done which, of course, came out negative (doctors said I shall consume gluten at least 2-3 months to get it accumulated). My face was flared up again but I was so confused and I was no longer sure if it is gluten, dairy, else....sigh...I started strict gluten free diet again. Then, I went to a birthday party two weeks ago and on the next day I woke up with very itchy rash on both on my hands. It basically was a very similar pattern on both hands starting around my wrists and spreading to my elbows. I have very sensitive skin and I first thought this is an allergic reaction but I had no clue to what it might be - I did not change any cosmetics, soaps, other detergents, no new jewelries (I have nickel allergy), clothes...nothing new. Yet I started with the usual anti-allergic treatments to find out the rash didn't disappear nor become much better within few days as it usually happens when I have a true allergy. Instead watery blisters appeared and the itch was awful especially approaching the evening. The blisters were small, then they grouped into larger blisters, those blisters that 'became better' turned into a very red scale marks. Again doctors said it is allergy but it responds very bad to those treatments (almost not at all) and even now, two weeks later I still have some blisters left, my skin still itches and it has very strange red color. The rash is just covering smaller area now (not to my elbows) but it is still there..argh! Anyone who has dealt with DH (Duhring's disease), please, advise does this rash resemble what you get with Duhring's: http://tinyurl.com/yc2g2oep, http://tinyurl.com/y9b5g3vk? I start wondering if I could have been glutened on the birthday dinner and with all the dairy around (iodine!) it might have just been an added extra to provoke the rash. I am sorry for the bad photos, I did my best to take them holding the phone with one hand. I also start wondering if what I had on my face might be related to DH. The rash on my face never had those watery blisters, it was more like hives, very very itchy. I might try to find some old photos of my face rash, too. Shall I seek further diagnosis and speak about DH with my doctor? I am so confused as to how to proceed. I even did a iodine patch test last night but my skin became very red and itchy within few minutes of applying the patch so I had to take it off after an hour. My heart was racing for few hours after that and I can still feel the place the patch was applied to as extremely painful.