Celiac, coeliac or gluten intolerance, (including dermatitis
herpetiformis) are becoming more common all around the world. It
is a genetic disorder that affects 1 out of 133 Americans. (Found
at: Celiac.com.) Other
sites mention 150. Gluten was introduced to various countries
which included: Europe-especially northernwestern Europe, Sweden,
Britain, Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and other
husband read in an article about the Romans (I think it was them.)
wanted a fluffier loaf of bread so they started to crossbred wheats to
make a high gluten wheat. They kept moving north and introduced
it to the different countries that didn't have it there before.
Some adapted and others did not adapt as well which left them gluten
intolerant. (I'm not sure if this is all accurate buy my husband could
correct me and write more about this.) At: Coeliac
Disease, I read that it is more common in Ireland than in
Britain. Many people are unaware they might be gluten intolerant
sure to READ more about it at the below sites to know the symptoms of
this disease. Those that are celiac or gluten intolerant can not
have any eat any
gluten or have cross contamination in his/her diet because the villi
that is found in the small intestine, needs to heal. You can not
eat any gluten for your entire life or your small intestine will be be
damaged. I have
read at: Celiac.com, you can have
immediate reactions if you eat gluten or it may take awhile to
Added 5/24/05: There are
various sites that have information about celiac disease. One site to
check out before any other site is: Detecting Celiac
Disease in Your Patients - March 1, 1998 - American Academy of Family
Physicians. (There are photos of various skin conditions,
symptoms, deficiencies, etc.) Also, go to the below links
for more resources. Sometimes trying to discover the real health
problem takes a lot of effort, going gluten-free, and waiting for a
long time to know if you really are gluten intolerant but it is worth
all that extra effort. If you feel better, skin and health
conditions get better, etc. then it's worth it. Not all test will
prove you are celiac. I had a false negative blood test
but a positive reactions when I touch gluten. The blood test
might not be accurate but you still might be celiac. If you
didn't have a biopsy taken, then you are at least severely gluten
intolerant. Let your own
TOTAL gluten avoidance be the true test. (I did.) Of
course, there might be other health problems that might be taken care
of so doctors are a way to find out those. (I just happen to know
I don't have any other health problem at this point in my life-at age
35+.) Good luck at feeling better or if you don't think you are
celiac, think about it even more, research more, and let your intuition
let you know if you might be celiac (or at least gluten intolerant).
I have always been very thin. I am about 5 foot 4 inches and was just over 100 pounds (until I got pregnant in March 2004). I have had a hard time to keep my weight on. I did gain 40 pounds when I was pregnant with each of my two children and I lost all of it and more. I always thought I had a high metabolism but maybe my small intestines wasn't processing food. I didn't think I might be gluten intolerant (since I had no small intestine biopsy done) until I started researching some symptoms of celiac on the web. Some include: dermatitis herpetiformis, urticaria (hives), skinny (some celiacs are heavier), lactose intolerant, Irritable Bowel Syndrome- IBS; and lots of other symptoms. My father was lactose intolerant (he passed away in 1994) and so is my sister. Maybe his mother (my grandmother) had it too. Not all celiacs are skinny. (Some may be larger and not realize they are.) The villi (found in the small intestines) is where celiacs have problems with digesting food, lactose, fat, etc. Another symptom of celiac is osteoporosis. My father and my grandmother had this, and my other grandmother had it too. My descendants are from Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, and other countries which have celiacs. My grandmother's family (on my father's side) is from Ireland and her father's side is from Scotland. I really suspect I'm celiac and probably my Dad and grandmother were since my grandmother relatives are from Ireland and that is one of the countries with the largest number of celiacs.
Herpetiformis (DH) is a very
itchy skin disease that is not
herpes. I am certain I have
this. At: The
Q's & A's - An outline
of the symptoms of DH it has the symptoms that says it is a group
of itchy blisters that can be on red plaques. (I thought those white
bumps were just part of my skin since I have had them since I can
remember. Well, it was DH and it turns into pink bumps that itch
like crazy.) It also says that
it is associated with celiac disease but it is in the "latent CD in the
majority". I might have eczema or some other skin condition but
the hydrocortisone creams never stopped the itch like it says it
will. The itch got bad at night. It took me forever to fall
asleep or wake up and sometimes I couldn't fall back to sleep for along
time because of the itch. At: Celiac.com,
individuals with DH do not have obvious GI
symptoms, almost all have some damage in their intestine."
some skin condition off and on for at least ten to
twelve years (when I was in my early 20's). I noticed it again in
the beginning of December 2003. This is when I started baking
more baked goods for friends. I ate a batch for our family. I
also noticed the sores and red pimple-like sores get worse on my one
leg and somewhat on the other leg. Some of them looked like
letter C's. Liquid comes out of my pink
spots. About a week before going gluten-free, we were eating a pasta
dinner. I told my husband I can never not eat wheat. Well,
20 (lunchtime) I started a gluten-free/wheat-free diet. I did not
want to be so itchy and have my legs
covered with some skin condition. It was hard to fall asleep at night
because it itched SO BAD. One more DH came as I was on a
gluten-free diet. It was on the
back of my legs. The itch stopped after
eliminating gluten/wheat out of my diet but I do get some itching after
taking showers or other times. In December 2004, I
started to put aloe vera on my legs and it really got bad. I
that sometime in January. In January 2004, I
showed my leg to a friend in a local homeschooling group and she said
her husband has those kind of bumps on his legs. (Go to the below
links to read
more about this and view photos of this skin disease.) Remember
not to itch the bumps or sores because it gets worse. I have read
you are on a gluten-free diet, it can take 2 years or more to clear the
IgA deposits under the skin. I'm still hoping I don't have these
IgA deposits all my life. (Source: gluten.net: treatment)
Added August 3, 2004
On June 21, 2004, I was not happy having itchy, scabby sores on my legs. The pink spots and white bumps (most likely dermatitis herpetiformis) were gone from not eating gluten but there was something else (most likely it was ezcema which could have been from a food allergy or more than one). I read online that Cetaphil cream will help cure eczema for one person so I tried that (well, Kroger generic brand) after the emu oil didn't help. I had been using it just for a few days and I noticed an improvement. Most of the larger spots that had clear liquid in them went away. I only put some cream on my legs once in awhile to help with the dryness. I'm glad I don't have to worry about my legs anymore.
Other Skin Problems I noticed when I was pregnant with my two children. The patches of brownish (and sometimes slightly pink) blotches of skin started again when I stopped nursing my 32 month old son in July 2001. Early December 2003, I did not know what this condition was until I started researching the possibility of me being celiac. I have noticed it getting much larger near my shoulders this year (2003) and it can itch. This is another condition that a celiac might have. I found this out when I read the article at: Urticaria and adult celiac disease - Allergy. It might be a wheat allergy but I don't think so. I noticed that the small welts that I had (which I thought were bug bites) went away after I stopped eating gluten (or maybe it was wheat). Also, the itch of the larger patch of hives went away. They have not disappeared but they only itch once in awhile.
Other Health Problems
I have hay fever, slight asthma (due to perfume, fragrance, cigarette smell, etc.). I am lactose intolerant. Off and on, I have had abdomen pains, noisy intestines (usually before a bowel movement but mostly when I was going to have diarrhea), entire sore body, tiredness, loud belching and bloated feeling while eating lots of pasta with wheat flour in the sauce, DH, hives/welts, some bumps on my hands, canker sores, slight burning sore throat, I would loose some weight after a large bowel movement, diarrhea, constipation, weakness, headaches, sore knee joints, sometimes irritable, skinny, I couldn't think straight, drop the keys out of my hands, got sick a lot, white bumps on my legs and my top part of my arm, and maybe more symptoms. I was sick in the middle of September 2003, then the end of October, in November (where I almost lost my voice all of those times) and then in December. (I didn't loose my voice that time.) That was too many times to be sick.
5/13/05: I got sick for the first time since going
gluten-free. It was not nearly as bad as I did when I ate
gluten. I think I got sick because I have been going to bed late
and was getting up more doing the night because my six month old
daughter wanted to nurse. I think my son gave it to me.
My Blood Test Results
I received my blood test result back on January 13, 2004.
This is what my results were: AGA-IgG: 5.4 (<32.0 AU is normal); AGA-IgA: 1.4 (<7.0 AU is normal); EMA: Negative; tTG-IgA: 0.9 (<7.0 AU is normal); tTG-IgG: 9.3 (<26 AU is normal).
I don't think I had enough of gluten in my body to get a positive
blood test result. (I think that happened to my family
too.) Even if you have negative blood
test results, there is a possibility
that you are might be celiac or at least gluten intolerant (or didn't
have enough gluten in your blood when you took the test). I
found out it was a false negative after my experience eating
gluten. (See: Gluten Intake Mistake.)
after going totally gluten-free, you know
you are a self-diagnosed celiac or gluten intolerant. No doctor
(or person) can tell you how you
feel, you are the only that knows you feel better. I sure don't
want to eat gluten again. I KNOW I'm gluten intolerant.
I read at: The
& A's that people with DH
might have a false negative
blood result. (Go to the previous link to read more.)
children could be celiac but we don't know for sure since no
small intestines biopsy was done. Our son had an elevated IgG and
IgA levels and our daughter had an
elevated IgG. I know their bowel movements are a lot better after
not eating gluten. Our son had a round pink face rash on both
checks went away after a few days going gluten-free and his bottom
cleared up too. He could very well be celiac having DH, etc. (or
gluten intolerant because no biopsy was taken).
My husband's descendants are from Sweden, England, Scotland, etc. Sweden has a large number of celiacs. My husband's brother was diagonsed as celiac in October 2003 and my husband has a lot of the same symptoms as his brother. (Being super skinny is just one.)
We had a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY GENE TEST
My mother-in-law passed away on February 29, 2004 from cancer. We went up to Washington to go to her funeral. We cooked all our food up there or watched very carefully as the rice flour gravy was being prepared. We had no reaction up there. We went to another funeral service up in Snowflake and we ate some of the food at an aunt's home. We were almost certain that the sausage was fine. We never eat sausage so this is a first time for us all. Or, maybe it was cross contamination of gluten flour in the air or someone dropped a piece of bread into the stew we ate or on the plates. The gravy was prepared with rice flour, chicken broth, and sausage. I found out later that the sausage was Owen's Sausage. I called them up and she said, "Our sausage IS NOT GLUTEN FREE". I called them again on 3/17/04 and talk to someone on the floor and she said: "The monosodium glutamate is extracted from a gluten source". She did not know what kind. I know in the United States it is suppose to be fine for celiac to eat it since it usually isn't made from a wheat. I have read if the MSG is made outside of the United States, you have to be careful. Some celiacs react to soy and MSG. (Sources: The Celiac Frequently Asked Questions) At: The Sprue-Nik Press, it states that: "You should not get a celiac-type reaction from it."
Here are two responses I received from Owen's Sausage via e-mail on
1. "We do not claim to have a gluten-free sausage. The reasoning is because most MSG products are manufactured by using gluten based products. We can not guarantee that all the MSG that we receive is manufactured from a gluten-free source so we can not make a gluten-free claim with our sausage."
2. "We buy our MSG from a broker which may purchase some of this product through export. As a company we have now made the decision to not claim any of our products as gluten-free because of now realizing the sensitivity of people to this ingredient and of the nature of the MSG production."
It had strong abdomen pain for three days and off and on after that (for about 8 days), I went to the bathroom more often than normal and nothing usually came out, I started blelching again (which I had not done for at least a month and this was the first thing that made me wonder about eating gluten), more irritable (My 6 year old daughter wanted to hold my hand but I didn't want her to, I had to initiate it to be comfortable doing it), tired, pink bumps showing up on my back, arms, and hands (which is probably the DH), welts/hives kept on coming and it seemed to stop on 3/18, itchy skin where my legs are healing from the DH, 3/16: a headache most of the day, a canker sore, 3/18/04: a sore on my tongue, I couldn't think straight, drop the keys out of my hands, and a slight burning throat. I had abdomen pain still on 3/17/04. I had diarrhea and vomited during the night of 3/18. I feel much better 3/18 but I couldn't eat much food (like most of the days since I had gluten).
Our Son's Reaction
Our 4 year old son vomited right after eating the sausage gravy over potatoes and eggs, sometime later he got red spots on his bottom (which had gone away after going gluten-free), he threw up again early 3/11/04 morning, he has been crankier than ever and hitting almost all the time (which he usually doesn't do it that much) and can't make his mind up (which is bad enough when he can't decide without the gluten), and he had diarrhea on the morning of 3/17/04. He must be really hurting and is very irritable and can't handle deciding or being nice to others. He usually is a good boy most of the times (except when he is hungry). He had a little bit of diarrhea on 3/18.
My Husband's Reaction
My husband noticed he had a/some canker sore(s) in his mouth. He said that was the first one since going gluten free. He is constipated and has to be in the bathroom a lot. He is tired and gets irritable quicker.
May 24, 2004 and September 14, 2004
My husband and I are glad we ate some gluten because we now know we feel much better being gluten-free. I know my son and I have benefited from going gluten-free. It will take my husband awhile to feel better since it seems like his intestines are damaged much more. We are very choosy (picky) about what we eat or touch. We call or e-mail companies to verify if something is gluten-free so we don't feel bad for a week or more. (Go to: GFCF Products for more information.)
Lots of our symptoms have gone away since going gluten-free.
First of all, I have noticed that went
away was the patch of bumps I had above my right (most was on that arm)
and left elbow went away. The white (and pink) bumps on my legs
away too. (I had that as long as I can remember.) I
don't get the
big welts on my back anymore. My stomach aches (well, really
don't happen that often and when it does, it is nothing compared to
what I went through when I ate gluten. I don't get backed up as
much and get hardly any migraine headaches anymore. Secondly, my
daughter bowel movements are a lot
different now. When she has a bowel
movement, it would be in really large clusters and it was hard for her
to have a bm without bleeding. (My husband and I wondered how
they even came out of her body.) Her bowel movements more often
since going gluten-free. Thirdly, my son's marks on his
face hardly shows anymore, his bottom doesn't have red bumps on them,
all of the bumps on his back of his legs have disappeared, his bowel
movements don't smell as bad and he has bowel movements more often, and
he doesn't hit anymore. (That might of been because he was
younger but it might have been caused by eating gluten.) We have
benefited from going gluten-free. We never were diagoned as
celiac but I now some of us (if not all) are celiac.
I'm having fun in my cooking adventures. Good luck in your gluten-free/wheat-free cooking!
Copyright © 2004-2005 Barbara Pratt. All rights reserved.