4 inches of Small Intestine removed

by Cindy Fleming
(Metro-Detroit, Michigan)

I too was born in 1960 (Nov.) and I too weighed 5 lbs. at birth. While growing up, I was extremely thin. My parents attributed it to being a "picky eater". Though I was extremely thin, I was never really sick while I was growing up. I am sure it was because my Father was a Diabetic. The food that we ate was mainly High-Protein, very low carbs food, which was a very good thing as I later found out. I had Celiac Disease and didn't know it.


It wasn't until I left home when I got married, that the Celiac Disease showed it's ugly face. My ex Husband comes from a family of "meat and potatoes" - a diet high in carbohydrates. I began to have digestive trouble right from day one, changing to the new diet/lifestyle.

I was diagnosed as having Severe Gallbladder Disease at age 22 and had to have my Gallbladder removed. The Doctor said that I had an infection. I had to stay in the Hospital for 8 days and when I went home, the infection was not gone, so I was sent home with a drainage bag for 2 more weeks. The Doctor put me on a high protein diet to build myself up (not knowing that's exactly what I needed).

After a while, I started to have more stomach problems. The Doctors attributed it to my Gallbladder Disease. At age 29, I found myself back in trouble again. For months I was experiencing "Severe Stomach Spasms". The spasms continually became closer and closer together. I reached the point that I was unable to keep anything down. I was under a Doctors care. He ran all kinds of tests, like upper and lower G.I.s. I had cameras go into my Digestive System form both ends. Still, nothing was found.

The Doctors sent me home with pain medication. Right after my 30th birthday, I went to the Hospital Emergency room. I was unable to keep even small sips of water down. More of the same tests were administered, but this time, A "Blockage" was found. I was really in a weakened state due to all the months of the inability to keep things down. I had lost over 60 pounds. The blockage was found in my small intestines, right before the beginning of large intestine. I was told that I was "completely blocked" and that I needed an emergency surgery to remove the blockage.

The next part is my personal "Miracle". During the surgery, I went Flat-line for nearly 6 minutes. The Doctors Pronounced me after 4 minutes. I was clinically dead. As they were preparing me to be moved to the Morgue, I came back. Believe it or not (I am not kidding), I did not receive any Brain Damage from the event.

The Doctors removed over 4 inches from my small intestine. The part that was removed was sent to pathology. When the pathology report came back, I was told that my own Autoimmune System attacked my Digestive System. All of the Doctors on my case said that they had never seen anything like it before and that it was going to be submitted into J.A.V.A.

That is when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

I spent 22 days in the hospital. After my diagnosis, my Grandmother, who was diagnosed with every kind of digestive disorder you can think of, was also diagnosed positive for Celiac Disease. My mother has it as well, though she is undiagnosed, she has the Dermatitis. My daughter is now being tested, as well as my nieces. It seems to be mainly effecting the females of my family, although none of the males have been tested.

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Dec 17, 2007
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testing for celiac disease
by: Anonymous

Hello, what type of tests did you need to do in order for them to test for Celiac disease?

Oct 03, 2007
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Coeliac and gallbladder disease connection?
by: Carol

Wow Cindy, you've sure been through it! I am so glad they eventually found out the cause of your troubles.

I believe there is a connection with gall bladder disease and Coeliac. I too had to have mine removed.

Thanks for telling us your story, I think it really helps people to be able to read about what others have gone through on their way to a diagnosis of celiac disease.

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