The Diagnosis…

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I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last Tuesday…happy Valentine’s Day to me.  I have basically been plastered to my computer screen researching Celiac Disease(CD) and gluten-free(GF) diets for a week. I especially love reading about personal experiences. From what I gather, most people spend years and years trying to get a proper diagnosis for themselves. I feel very fortunate that I did not have to go through the pain for a long period of time. For those people who did: I call you warriors. I thought it was unbearable living with the pain and confusion for 2 months!

I definitely understand why so many people are mis-diagnosed by doctors. I would probably still be in pain if it wasn’t for the Dr.Oz Show and the internet. My obvious symptoms started about 2 months ago and became increasingly worse and worse as time went on. The worst I ever felt was after a visit to Olive Garden. I ate bread sticks, pasta, creamy white sauce and when I got home I ate a piece of prepackaged, frozen banana cream pie. Of course the sauce and the cream pie had loads of flour in them as thickener. Needless to say, I thought I was going to die! All I ate after that and leading up to my doctor appointment was vegetarian omelets, because I realized that they didn’t bother me. So, I checked online for my symptoms and a lot of sites (like Web MD) told me I most likely had IBS. However, a couple of Google hits also came up for Celiac Disease. I probably wouldn’t have ever clicked on those links if I had not watched Dr.Oz a couple months ago and remembered him mentioning CD. So I started looking up CD symptoms and I was 80% sure it was causing all my problems.

So, I went to the doctor. He asked me what the problem was, and I told him all of my symptoms that I knew were related. I also made sure to throw in a couple random symptoms that I had, at least they would be random for someone who doesn’t have CD. He asked me a couple of questions and felt my tummy to rule out appendicitis. He informed me that I either had some type of infection or an internal bleed.  He quickly told me that some one would be in to draw my blood shortly, by this time he already had his hand on the door. I stopped him and asked if I could possibly have CD. He looked at me kind of funny and said that he doubts it because my symptoms don’t really match. I continued to stare at him until he finally offered to test for it since he was taking blood to test for his diagnosis anyway. Four days later, I get a call from an assistant telling me that I have CD and I need to start a GF diet. She also scheduled an appointment with a gastro doctor. (it’s at the end of March)

If you’re wondering why I didn’t just ask the doctor about CD to begin with: I assume that doctors get very annoyed with people telling them about how they diagnosed themselves by using the internet. It’s sort of the doctor’s job to look at the symptoms and match it with the illness. However, I really believed that I had CD, and wasn’t about to leave there without at least considering it. And I’m so glad I asked!

Assuming that all of the CD symptoms I have actually come from CD, I have had the disease for about 3 years. The symptoms that led to my diagnosis were the digestive problems that showed up just recently. My symptoms included:

*depression *exhaustion during the day  *insomnia at night *headaches *nausea *soft & floating stool *light-colored stool *severe vitamin D & C deficiency *tooth discoloration *weight gain/can’t lose weight *constant hunger *abdominal pain/cramps/spasms *diarrhea & constipation(switched back and forth) *severe bloating/fullness *acid reflux *skin conditions *mouth sores *restless sleep *mental fog *general weakness *crazy allergies *stiff hands/joints *occasional restless legs

So, I have my diagnosis and I know what I need to do. My journey into the gluten-free world will be hard, but it will definitely be worth it.

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