Living Gluten and Dairy Free

by Sam
(New Jersey)

It's hard enough to live without gluten, but even more difficult without dairy as well. I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant a little over two years ago and was not feeling better. The stomach pain was unbearable. Every day I felt sick and so I went back to my gastroenterologist and she tested me (by blood test) for celiac disease. The test came back negative.

She felt strongly that my symptoms matched those of a celiac and tested me again. Again it came out negative.

As my symptoms continued to get worse and worse, I was missing so much school (freshman year at high school was almost impossible, I missed so many days in school making it difficult for my grades to be where they should).

I got millions of tests done in the hospital, she said the last option was to get a colonoscopy and endoscopy.

I wasn't at all excited to get this done, but I would do anything to not be sick anymore. So I got them done over the summer of my freshman year and she said that I definitely had celiac disease.

She found it odd that the blood tests were all negative yet my intestines surely showed that I was a celiac.

After that I got numerous blood tests, all of them negative. My doctor said that I should fully recover internally within a year.

I am now half way in to my junior year and I am in no way feeling any better. So I went back to my doctor again. I had to get another colonoscopy and endoscopy.

This time, she said that my intestines looked much better, however, they were nowhere near fully recovered. She said that my intestine would bleed even on the slightest of touches. So she said to continue on my gluten and dairy free diet and if I had any problems to come back to see her.

Within a month, I was already having problems.

She said that there was now such a thing as an endoscopic capsule, which was a camera that I would have to swallow, which would allow her to see EVERYTHING going on inside me.

I got this done and the worst part was surprisingly not swallowing the giant pill, but having to wear this extremely dweeby contraption around my waist all day.

Once this process was over, she looked over the pictures and told me that I also had a herniated stomach (hiatus hernia). This causes bad gas, acid reflux, and more pain.

Nothing is going my way. I find out problem after problem and nothing seems to be making my stomach any better. Within all of these tests I also found out that I have hemochromatosis which is a blood disease in which my body cannot break down iron. So basically in the future, I will have to get blood taken once a week for the rest of my life so that I don't have heart, liver, or any other organ failure.

Does anyone with only celiac want to switch lives?

On top of all this I am trying to become a pro athlete and having all of these problems is making this dream almost impossible.

Somebody save me!

Oh, and I skipped the start of my issues, the doctor thinks that most of my problems were caused simply by the stomach virus. They think it triggered the celiacs which then triggered the lactose intolerance, which all could have triggered the herniated stomach.

Yippeee! Another thing, I had never in my life, before I got the stomach virus, ever had any stomach problems whatsoever. It was like going from perfectly normal and happy life to never-ending pain and unhappiness.

It makes me wish I could just go back and not be in pain just one last time. Will it ever end?

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