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No More Gluten

Coeliac disease has been confirmed!

So, after many years of chronic stomach pains, and bouts of constipation, and other stomach issues, I have officially been diagnosed with Coeliac disease.

My medical notes are now reading like a whos who of chronic illnesses! 🙂

Getting an official diagnosis of a coeliac, has not been an easy road. It has, in fact, been anything other than plain sailing.

As I have mentioned in other posts, I have suffered from stomach pain and gastro issues for as long as I can remember, and as you can see from my medical notes above, I was also given a diagnosis of IBS many years ago.

I have been hospitalized; when I have had severe bouts of pain and have even had an episode where I vomited blood (coffee grounds).

It appears that all of these things were now caused by an undiagnosed coeliac disease.

So what is the testing for Coeliac?

1.) First of all, I had to have a blood test. My results showed that I had a weakly positive IGA result, which is likely in someone with Coeliac. However, there is no specific blood test for Coeliac, but you will be investigated further if you test positive for the following:

  • Total immunoglobulin A (IgA)
  • IgA tissue transglutaminase antibody (shortened to tTG)

2.) After receiving a positive blood result, I was referred to hospital for endoscopy appointment. This appointment took a long time after my blood test to be arranged. Roughly around 3 months.

In those 3 months, I was told I had to eat at least 3 pieces of Gluten per day up until my endoscopy appointment. I was really unhappy about doing this. I had already been trying to eat Gluten free as much as possible to see if it would feel any better. So going back to eating gluten, was really not going to go well.

So that meant I tried my best to eat as much pasta, bread, and wheat as possible.

My stomach felt terrible and bloated. One day I was constipated, the next, definitely not constipated!

I was in pain.

Finally, the day of my endoscopy arrived.

Now, I have had two endoscopies previously so let me tell you about my experience of them.

My first endoscopy was done a few years ago when I was undergoing tests for gallstones. It was done in a lovely hospital, and without asking, I was given a numbing throat spray and an IV sedation.

The procedure didn’t take long, and although not overly pleasant, it went ahead without any hitches.

My second procedure, however, did not go as smoothly.

This time it was in a different hospital. Due to my other endoscopy going so well, I assumed it was standard to give the throat spray and the sedation. So at my appointment, I only requested the sedation.

Huge Mistake!

The sedation did not feel like it was working well, and having the endoscopy put down my throat was horrendous. I felt like I was choking. It scratched the roof of my mouth, and I couldn’t have it done.

So for anyone going to have this procedure done, I would strongly advise anyone to have the throat spray and the sedation!

So after a few (about 2/3 months) of waiting for my results of my biopsy, two days ago I had the dreaded letter.

There it is, in black and white. Coeliac disease confirmed.

In a way, I’m glad that I decided to go through the full process and get a proper diagnosis. Even though I was trying to do gluten free anyway, I would sometimes say to myself “you’re probably ok to have a little bit!” …. I now know I am not ok to have any at all.

So this is the beginning of a long journey for me. I have got to meet with a dietitian and have thrown everything out from my kitchen, that I am not allowed to eat.

This is more than likely the reason that my levothyroxine and other medications in the past haven’t worked effectively, due to being told I had malabsorption.

Hopefully, with time, my body will start to heal itself and I can get back to feel better.

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