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  • Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Diagnosis

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    Old 07-09-2007, 12:31 PM   #1
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    Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Diagnosis

    I was diagnosed with Celiac/Gluten Intolerance about 6 years ago. Celiac disease is a food allergy, it's the body's inability to breakdown foods containing wheat, rye, oat, barely and caramel coloring. Gluten is a natural preservative. Symtpoms vary from person to person, but the dangerous thing about it is, if you eat foods that your stomach can't properly digest, it eats away at the lining in your stomach.. which could lead to things like stomach ulcers.

    I had always had stomach problems, but nothing so significant and obvious that ever caused a trip to the ER or even the pediatrician. I just never "felt right." I was often pale, fatigued, withdrawn. I always complained about my stomach feeling "full" but was always able to eat. The best way I was able to describe the feeling to my mother was "as if I pulled a muscle in my stomach." I also shed, or lost, a lot of hair. Not to the point where I was going bald, but a lot of strands would come out just by running my hand through my hair. And I often felt bloated. I also experience problems in the bathroom, which I was too embarrassed to tell my mother about. I was either slightly constipated or the opposite.. never "normal" BMs. ick!! I also had constant headaches. But, an MRI showed nothing in my head to be concerned about! Once I was older, about 16-17, I started getting a constant pain in my lower abdomen. My mother worried that it was ovary related and we headed to the Gyno. My regular Gyno couldn't find anything wrong, but just to be safe I was sent to have x-rays and an ultra-sound. Niether revealed anything to be wrong.

    Finally, through simple blood work, my family doctor saw different levels were higher or lower than they should have been. He concluded it to be a food allergy. Celiac/Gluten Intolerance was still pretty new to the medical world... I had never heard of it, my mother never had.. even to this day my current Doctor didn't know what it was when I told him about it! The doctor who diagnosed me gave me the option of having a procedure done, a colonoscopy, or just trying the Gluten-Free diet. I chose to try the diet! So, I have yet to be 100% diagnosed... but, just after a few days on the Gluten-Free diet I noticed HUGE differences in myself.

    Celiac is often over-looked because the symptoms vary in everyone, and sometimes don't seem very significant. I mean, who hasn't had a headach, or felt crampy, or sluggish!? The difference is that I ALWAYS felt like that. I was even depressed for a long time, which I learned later could very well have been because of what I was eating. Celiac disease is becoming more well known now, and hopefully it will continue to.

    It's an exspensive and inconvenient food allergy to have. The only treatment (so far!) for Celiac is the Gluten-Free diet. And it's a diet for life. I cave in sometimes and "cheat" and I can now notice the side effects very quickly. I shop at Whole Foods for alot of my "speciality" foods like, rice breads, rice flours, anything that is specifically labeled as "gluten-free." Hopefully these foods will start showing up in more local grocery stores soon! And I have to pay close attention to ingredients in all foods.

    I just wanted to share my story because it is a condition that is still somewhat unfamiliar, but probably more popular than people know. So for anyone experiencing persistant and constant stomach/digestive problems with no clue as to why, research Celiac disease/Gluten Intolerance and ask your doctor about it.

    Take care!!

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    Old 07-11-2007, 07:16 AM   #2
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    Location: Urbana, Il., USA
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    Re: Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Diagnosis

    I also have Celiac Disease and would like to add it is a disease of the small intestine and not the stomach. Gluten causes the villi in the small intestine to flatten and prevent proper absorption which causes a multitude of problems. Joining a support group is a good way to become informed about the disease and how to handle it. As the previous writer said so many doctors are sadly uninformed about it.

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