Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Celiac Disease

This is my new title. How do you like it?? :/

Shortly after I had Reese, I broke out in a rash on my arms and elbows (that later spread to my knees). I figured it had something to do with all the hand/arm washing I had to do going in and out of NICU several times a day. When Emily was in NICU, I had rashes and cuts all over my hands.

A couple weeks later, it was getting worse. I brought it up to my doctor at my 6 week check-up. From my research, I thought it could be Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is the Celiac rash. I told my doctor I couldn't have Celiac. I had no other symptoms. She agreed and gave me a prescription of something. She said to come back if it didn't get better.

The rash went away but came back a couple weeks later. This time, I had found a blog by a mom with Celiac. What she wrote could have come from me!!! None of the typical Celiac symptoms (though there are like 300 of them!!!), but something made a light bulb come on. She even had a relative who died from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (which is what my father died from). Celiac is thought to cause NHL, and Celiac is hereditary. I decided I needed to be tested.

To my surprise, three of the five blood tests came back positive. I had the rash biopsied, and it was negative. I also had an intestinal biopsy which came back positive. I had been expecting this from my research, but I was still in shock. Two months after a simple rash, and I have been diagnosed with something with no cure. The only "treatment" is a major lifestyle change . . . no more gluten!!! Unfortunately, most people go 10+ years with symptoms before being diagnosed. I have to credit Google and my doctors who listen to me and my concerns instead of brushing me off!!!

I haven't been perfect at it. I am not at the point where I can be the person in the restaurant asking for the allergy binder or sending a plate back because a piece of bread touched it, but I am doing great at home. I don't know if I am just early stages or what, but I don't have bad reactions like many do. My major issue is exhaustion. I blamed it on the kids all these years, but a couple days gluten free, and I woke up feeling refreshed!!!

Plus, I HAVE to have one more order of  spicy cashew chicken from The Cheesecake Factory . . . and maybe one more chicken fried steak from The Gristmill Restaurant (never been but heard their CFS is the best!!!! (Then I will learn how to make those recipes gluten free so I don't have to miss out when the future craving hits!) 

I also had a high anti-nuclear antibody test. I am being referred to a rhumatologist for further testing for possible auto-immune disorders like Lupus. Hopefully it's just the Celiac takling. I don't need anything else right now!!!

So I am one of the newest members of this "club!" 

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