Gluten: The silent Enemy!

by Taylor

During the summer of 2010 I had begun to feel nauseous constantly. It became a chronic condition and I didn't mention it to my parents because I didn't really think that anything was wrong. However when I began to notice in pictures that I looked very bloated and I was fatigued all the time, along with unexplained weight gain, I decided to tell my parents of my troubles. My mom took me to our paediatrician who didn't think much of my symptoms but decided to do a blood panel just to make sure. Everything checked out fine, so she advised us not to worry. But when symptoms began to effect my day to day routine, my mom went back to the paediatrician.

She thought something may actually be wrong, so she ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed numerous hemangioma's on my liver which are benign tumors and I had multiple ovarian cysts.

My doctor decided that this was the cause of my problems and to confirm the diagnosis she ordered an MRI. The MRI confirmed the hemangioma and that was the end of her involvement because there is no treatment for these tumors unless they cause other problems.

The answer? She explained the fatigue as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) caused by Mononucleosis that I contracted a year earlier, and the nausea was due to the cysts and those would go away in a few months. However, when a month passed with no relief, my mom decided that we needed to see a naturopath because she believed that my problems were related to food.

The NMD ordered ONE blood test to test my levels of IgE antibodies, and the answer was clear: I was severely intolerant to gluten.

He said that all of my symptoms could be explained. I was nutrient deprived because my immune system was hard at work attacking the gluten thus flattening the villi of my small intestine, and this made me tired. My immune systems response to the gluten also caused my nausea, weight gain, and fatigue.

He suggested that we take a trip to the grocery store, explore my options and then I would have to be on a gluten free diet for the rest of my life. He suspected Celiac's disease, but because either Gluten intolerance OR Celiac's meant no difference in the treatment, we opted out of the procedure that tests for Celiacs.

I have now been on a gluten free diet and medication to repair my intestine, and all of my problems have resolved (well except for my sleepiness, but I'm a teen- what can you say?!).

I have decided to become an advocate for the people who have gone undiagnosed, because of doctors response to looking for a reason that is treatable or curable.

I believe that my doctor failed to see this disease because there is no cure, and I am working to educate the medical community on the seriousness of this condition. I know its a cliche to say, but this diagnosis changed my life, and my hope is that one day, no one will be undiagnosed!

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Jan 13, 2011
Our experience
by: Anonymous

When my daughter was in her teens she was tested for allergies. They told us that she was allergic to Gluten but did not tell us what that was.

When she was in college she started having severe stomach pains (she was eating alot of macaroni & cheese) and those pains just kept coming back. She was tested for every stomach problem you can think of but they never found anything.

Then her husband decided they had to "get healthy" so they started eating whole wheat bread. Things then went from bad to worse.

She started researching the internet for stomach problems. That was about 2 years ago and she has tried to be gluten free since then. I say tried because she went in to have her teeth cleaned (the dentist office had been told of her allergy). The hygenist put something in her mouth & my daughter said "get that out of my mouth. It has gluten ibn it."

As a result of that experience she developed an auto-immune disease in her eyes that causes the eyeball to swell & is very painfull. We have determined that I have the allergy also just not as serious as my daughter, and 2 of her 3 daughters also have it.

We also try to inform everyone we come in contact with of the disease and hopefully the medical field will become more knowledgeble of it. At least in the last 2 years there has been more and more food available.

Good luck!

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