Saturday, August 3, 2013

Possibility of Celiac Disease in Association with IBD

About 2 years ago, my daughter, Sarah, began to feel extreme fatigue and started having headaches after lunch.  She had no other symptoms.  Since I have had a wheat-intolerance for over 15 years which causes me great fatigue along with achy finger joints, I suggested she try eliminating gluten for a week.  After following a gluten-free diet for several days, her energy level resumed to normal.  She had an appointment to see Dr. Poley in a few weeks for her yearly check-up and planned to discuss it with him then.

When we were searching for answers for the cause of Sarah’s anemia in 2003, she had the antibody blood tests done for Celiac twice which were negative. The endoscopy report did not indicate Celiac either, so we presumed and hoped that would never be an issue.  But at her appointment with Dr. Poley 2 years ago, after she mentioned her experience of fatigue and headaches after eating wheat, he ordered a genetic test to rule out Celiac; he thought that a HLA-DNA test would improve diagnostic accuracy. A cheek swab specimen was sent to Kimball Genetic Lab in Colorado. .  The results were positive for one of the markers for Celiac disease. (DQA1- O5 allele)  Dr. Poley also ordered a Vitamin D level.  The result was low at 17, which can be associated with Celiac disease. So in addition to following a restricted sugar diet, Sarah now follows a gluten-free one as well.  Since I have been eating a gluten-free diet for a number of years, it made the transition of finding the right foods a little easier.

 Due to the results of Sarah’s tests, I decided to have the genetic test done and the results showed the same markers that she has. Her brother, who started having problems with gluten, also has the same marker. 

Dr. Poley has noted from patients when he was in practice and also from many research articles that Celiac disease is one of the most under-diagnosed disorders in this country. There can be false negatives with the antibody blood tests.  Sometimes it can be missed by an endoscopy or even by a biopsy.

I recently heard about an experience from someone who has been corresponding with me about her daughter who was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.  Her daughter was improving with the sucrose-restricted diet and probiotics but when she started following a gluten-free diet, she improved even more. They are currently awaiting further test results.

If the sucrose-restricted diet and probiotics are helping you, but not totally restoring your health, you might want to try a gluten-free diet as well and talk to your doctor about further testing for Celiac disease.

The following is a list of symptoms of Celiac Disease that might be of interest to you:
-Bloating, cramps, altered bowel habits, indigestion, or persistent gastro-esophageal reflux.
-Abdominal pain (can be a very prominent symptom)
-Iron deficiency anemia
-Mouth ulcers
-Abnormal liver enzymes
-Autoimmune Thyroid disease
-Loss of hair (alopecia)
-Dry eyes and mouth
-Diabetes Type 1
-Gynecological problems (problems with periods or infertility or miscarriages)
-Neurological problems ---headaches, difficulty concentrating, poor school work,                
            behavioral disorder, difficulty with balance, depression, or forgetfulness
-Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
-Discolored enamel defects

I’ll add a recipe below for gluten-free oatmeal bread or muffins.  Enjoy!
May you be blessed with good health!
Oatmeal  Banana Bread or Muffins
1 ½ cup oats and 1 cup milk (soak together while mixing the rest)
Mix together the following dry ingredients.
1 ½ cup oat flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼  tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
 2 tsp powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp xanthum gum
Mix together the following wet ingredients and then mix with wet ingredients and also soaked oats.
1/8 to ¼ cup honey
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
2 mashed bananas  or   use 1 cup applesauce
Chopped nuts and coconut and raisins may be added if desired.
Pour in loaf pan (bake for 1 hour) or muffin pan (bake for 25 minutes) at 350 degrees.

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