Discussions By Condition: Digestive conditions

Celiac/gluten intolerance or something else?

Posted In: Digestive conditions 6 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 17, 2007
  • 10:27 PM

Hi, I have a list of symptoms that make me think I might have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but I don't know if there are other things out there or if I am just looking for answers, and I don't entirely trust the doctor (from health services at my university) to tell me.

Also, I had a blood anti-body test. I have slightly elevated antigliadin antibodies, and normal level tissue transglutamine antibodies. I can't figure out if celiac or gluten intolerance is still possible with this test profile. Does anyone know.

These are my symptoms:
-extreme fatigue (last few months, with less severe fatigue for quite a while before that)
-difficulty concentrating (I've joked for a few years that I've developed some sort of late onset ADD)
-lifelong digestion issues (gas, bloating, more-frequent-than-normal diarrhea)
-osteoperosis (when I was running a lot; this was several years ago)
-lifelong difficulty putting on weight
-failure to thrive (as a small child the doctor described me this way. Also, I am not short but am significantly shorter than my siblings.)
-past depression
-sometime canker sores
-sometime sensitivity to lactose.
-I DO NOT HAVE majorly debilitating digestive issues or iron-deficiency anemia

I realize these symptoms are really random and some may be totally related, but I would just like to know if pursuing celiac testing is worthwhile and what else I should be tested for. Thank you so much!

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6 Replies:

  • From what I understand, slightly elevated IgG is not uncommon, and may result from health concerns other than celiac, or, indeed, from no health concern at all. However, the symptoms you describe appear to be consistent with celiac. Especially striking are the references to failure to thrive and osteoperosis. It would therefore be reasonable to seek a doctor's advice on getting a biopsy (endoscopy) for celiac. At the very least it would put your mind at ease to find out more.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Try a gluten-free diet for a while. If you feel a lot better, that's probably it.I started gluten-free just a couple months ago, and I feel so much better. Your symptoms sound similar to mine (lethargy, lifelong digestive problems, history of depression, no anemia), but I had major digestive issues that had gotten a lot worse over the few months before someone on this site mentioned celiac.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I have had very similar symptoms to you, and have been tested for Celiac disease (it came back negative). I was told to try a gluten free diet anyway and see how it goes, as it may be an intollerance rather than an allergy (or it could also be early celiac disease, in which the intestinal damage is not bad enough to be seen in a biopsy). Also, I suggest you get your IgA levels checked, as mine are low and apparently it can cause a false negative result for celiac disease. Having low IgA can also cause gastrointestinal probems (and respiratory problems), which is what I have been having, so maybe this is the answer to it all...?!?!?!I'm not convinced that I dont have celiac, but am being more convinced since I found out about my low IgA levels, as this can mimick a lot of the symptoms...(I also have low IgG, I just found out, and they think I may have something called "CVID" - "common variable immunodeficiency"). Let me know how it all goes. Hope you are feeling well, :cool: Kiwi88
    kiwi88 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi - Yes! Low IgA makes your mucosal membranes more vulnerable to infection, and skews several of the tests for celiac disease. See if your doctor can order the Antigliadin IgG antibody test - otherwise none of the bloodwork will show anything if you have low IgA and you are not a Gold Standard Celiac ("flattened villi upon endoscopy"). Also - if you do show elevated Antigliadin IgG antibodies, that will prove you have gluten sensitivity, NOT necessarily celiac. Celiac is just one of the autoimmune illnesses caused by gluten - others are Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Type 1 Diabetes, etc. In 2000, Dr. Alessio Fasano at the University of Maryland discovered that people who produce too much of a protein called Zonulin also have too much space between their cells (he calls it "tight junction dysfunction"). And more recently, he has found that eating gluten correlates directly to having much Zonulin. It's a safe bet that most people's gut issues are caused by "leaky gut," which is caused by eating gluten. You can read Dr. Fasano's research on PubMed...You can also find many helpful links on this site: http://jccglutenfree.googlepages.com/ Most gastroenterologists are not up to speed on this yet -- there is a great new book out called The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman (2007). And Dangerous Grains by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan is a classic - who knew that if you put gliadin (gluten) in a petri dish with human tissue, it will attack the tissue! Imagine the damage it can wreak if it gets outside the gastro tract! Karen
    Zonulin 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I have had very similar symptoms to you, and have been tested for Celiac disease (it came back negative). I was told to try a gluten free diet anyway and see how it goes, as it may be an intollerance rather than an allergy (or it could also be early celiac disease, in which the intestinal damage is not bad enough to be seen in a biopsy). Also, I suggest you get your IgA levels checked, as mine are low and apparently it can cause a false negative result for celiac disease. Having low IgA can also cause gastrointestinal probems (and respiratory problems), which is what I have been having, so maybe this is the answer to it all...?!?!?!I'm not convinced that I dont have celiac, but am being more convinced since I found out about my low IgA levels, as this can mimick a lot of the symptoms...(I also have low IgG, I just found out, and they think I may have something called "CVID" - "common variable immunodeficiency"). Let me know how it all goes. Hope you are feeling well, :cool: Kiwi88Hey, I have been feeling really bad the past few months. I have had bloating, nausea, vomiting, stuffiness, diarrhea, gas, all that great stuff. I did a blood test to see if I was allergic to any type of food, but it came back negative. I'm going to be keeping a food diary to see if I can figure out if I am gluten/wheat intolerant, but how do I know for sure? Signed, SICKY
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 16, 2007
    • 01:33 AM
    • 0
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  • A food diary is a great idea - we had to keep one for several months when my son was very sick at 9. Since many gastroenterologists still do not "believe" in gluten sensitivity and it is an intolerance rather than an allergy (so the allergists don't get it, either), you might be able to request traditional tests and still get to the bottom of this. Immunoglobulin Panel Test: A blood test that will tell you whether your immune system is compromised -- the big one here is the IgA, which will tell you whether your mucosal membranes are vulnerable (which can be triggered from eating gluten/gliadin, which causes a leaky gut).Sucrose Test: A swallow-the-sugar/collect-the-urine test which tests for gastric permeability (stomach).Lactulose or Lactulose-to-Mannitol Test: Another swallow-the-sugar/collect-the-urine test which tests for intestinal permeability. An endoscopy will only show if you have flattened villi = late-stage celiac disease. It can also find lesions and remove them for biopsy. Remember that celiac is just one of the autoimmune illnesses you may have due to a leaky gut. They have found gliadin/gluten in people's BRAINS, so it does get around once it gets outside the gastro tract, causing everything from neurological symptoms to hormonal problems (the book Dangerous Grains lists 187 gluten-associated medical conditions in Appendix D). The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain is another great book you need to read as soon as possible - your library probably has it. The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman has an entire chapter on testing for gluten sensitivity - you have got to read this book - see if your library has it or maybe you can find it used online - it was published less than a year ago. She lists the problems we all experience when the traditional testing for celiac does not show evidence of gluten sensitivity (because they're testing for celiac!). Lieberman writes about genetic testing (usually a cheek swab is needed - just a brush with a cotton swab will do), and tests using saliva or stool samples. We did two of the three tests she recommends two years before her book came out! But I had to do a ton of research to "get it," and it was an uphill battle because the doctors still don't "get it." If I had to do it all over again, I would choose the less invasive testing instead of the horrors my son endured (which the gastros insisted upon). After two years of painful and harmful tests (involving high doses of radiation, etc.), the doctors were able to tell us...NOTHING. :mad: Start with these less invasive tests (the ones listed above and in Lieberman's book), read all you can...these days we must educate ourselves because the doctors are simply overwhelmed by all the medical research. And don't agree to anything resembling surgery (the new scam is a gastric "pacemaker") until you have thoroughly researched it. Caveat emptor Karen
    Zonulin 7 Replies
    • November 16, 2007
    • 04:09 PM
    • 0
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