Type 1 diabetic with newly diagnosed celiac disease
by Greg Neely
(Markham, Ontario, Canada)
With ever increasing fatigue, very low energy, some dizziness and shortness of breath I thought I was having heart issues and went to my doctor. The blood tests showed very low haemoglobin and almost non-existent ferritin levels (iron). Two units of blood were transfused, so low were my levels.
As a recent bladder cancer survivor, having recently had a radical cystectomy and neobladder constructed, all thoughts pointed to cancer elsewhere - like the colon. But a colonoscopy and gastroscopy looked clear.
However, the duodenum biopsies showed flat mucosa (subtotal villous atrophy) with chronic inflammation and increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes consistent with celiac disease.
Four months from start to finish, but with months of fatigue and dizziness which I credited to post-operative malaise. I was told I have celiac disease 2 days ago.
I am also a type 1 diabetic for the past 40 years, have had a mild heart attack and coronary artery bypass surgery 11 years ago.
I see a dietician specializing in diabetes and one specializing in celiac disease tomorrow.
I'm thrilled to have a diagnosis. Now comes the discipline of finding and eating gluten-free foods.
Bring on the challenge!