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Could this be Celiac Disease?

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:01 PM   #1
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Location: Sandy, Utah, United States
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dancergirl161 HB User
Could this be Celiac Disease?

In the past 2-3 months I've lost about 13lbs and I was already pretty thin, (I'm 5'2 and 21 years old) I went from 102lbs to 89lbs. I haven't changed my diet, I get minimal exercise, and I'm not taking any new medication. I began to notice this after I lost about 5lbs and a lot of my clothes were getting too big for me.

No matter what I eat or how much I eat, I can't seem to gain any of the weight back. Whenever I eat within 1-2 hours I have to go to the bathroom, it's not diarrhea it's normal bowel movements, but it's like my entire body feels empty afterward (not hungry, just empty), as if I hadn't had anything to eat in the first place. I'm wondering if this is some sort of absorption problem?

I also get these horrible canker sores (mouth ulcers), I get them on my lips, inside my mouth, my tongue, I've even had them on my tonsils. The last thing and I'm not sure if this is connected, but usually when I stand up my vision goes completely black for at least a full 30 seconds. I don't exactly feel dizzy or fatigued, just sort of shaky or jerky, especially my hands and upper legs(weird?)

I have an extensive family history of autoimmune diseases; my maternal grandmother has lupus, and my paternal grandmother and aunt both have hyperthyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.

I'm mostly worried about the weight because I'm getting so thin and it just keeps dropping. If anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 10-26-2008, 10:13 AM   #2
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AuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB User
Re: Could this be Celiac Disease?

Yes, beside the family history of autoimmune disease and your own malabsorption issues, chronic canker sores are very common with Celiac.

See a gastroenterologist and get the blood test, it's called the Celiac Panel. Don't stop eating gluten till the testing is done.

Your "30 sec blackouts" when standing might be orthostatic hypotension from the sudden weight loss and malnutrition.

Last edited by AuntieLeela; 10-26-2008 at 10:17 AM.

Old 10-28-2008, 07:37 AM   #3
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Could this be Celiac Disease?


AuntieLeela has some excellent advice -- it's definitely worth it to get tested for celiac disease, but make sure that you keep eating gluten (wheat, rye, barley) until the tests are scheduled. The blood tests measure antibodies to gluten, and if you stop eating gluten, these antibodies (if they exist) will clear out of your blood and your test will show negative.

It is possible to become gluten-sensitive later in life. Many doctors think that if it isn't present when you're a baby, then you don't have it. This isn't true -- many people have varying degrees of sensitivity. And since it does appear to be an autoimmune disease, it sometimes shows up later in life when some stressor triggers the response.

Another thing to consider, after you get the test and if it turns out negative, is to start your own gluten-elimination diet and see if your symptoms get better. It took me several months to find a doctor who was willing to consider the possibility that I was sensitive to gluten, and by that time I had figured out that my body was reacting every time I ate wheat. So I had already started changing my diet by the time I found a cooperative doctor, and my blood test as well as the inspection of my upper intestines shoed no evidence of gluten intolerance. So I am not "officially" gluten intolerant, but it is very plain to me that gluten triggers autoimmune responses in me. I am well when I avoid gluten, and my body reacts when I (very occasionally) eat some.

And some people simply don't produce the responses to tests that result in an "official" diagnosis, but they find that a gluten-free diet helps anyway.

And, of course, it may be something else entirely that is causing your symptoms. I do hope that you are able to track it down.


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