After a lifetime of symptoms, years of elimination diets and a false negative blood test (in 2009), I’ve finally been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity after taking a stool test and gene test from enterolab.com Apparently, the stool tests are more sensitive than blood tests and picked up on my increased levels of antibodies in my gut. I also have a double copy of the genes for gluten sensitivity; that means one copy of the gene from each parent. Now that I have a firm diagnosis, it’s easier for me to follow a strict and permanent gluten-free diet.
I heard of this website and these tests from two doctors: my gynecologist and my chiropractor. Besides chronic pain and multiple surgeries as well as digestive and skin symptoms, my hormones also went out of whack. My chiropractor discovered that with applied kinesiology testing and recommended the gluten sensitivity test as well as getting my hormones tested through my gynecologist. I was pleasantly surprised when she recommended the same website for the same test. My thyroid, cortisol, and testosterone all were out of normal limits. The lab is overseen by an M.D. and after two doctors suggesting the tests to me, I felt confident in trying them. I went with Panel B (stool and gene testing for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease).
Luckily, I don’t have the genes for celiac disease, although the only way to really know if I’ve developed the disease is to have an endoscopy. In celiac disease, the villi in the intestines get broken down and then nutrients can’t be absorbed properly, leading to a whole host of other problems in the body. In the endoscopy, they biopsy a piece of the small intestine to see how much damage to the villi there is. I’m still considering getting one, but I’m not sure if the treatment is any different. Meaning, if I have celiac disease I’m pretty sure the treatment is just to stop eating gluten, which is the same treatment for gluten sensitivity.
I’ve completed about eight weeks of a gluten-free diet again after going off the wagon for about a year. In 2009, I started elimination diets and found that I react to wheat, corn/sugar, and eggs so I took them all out of my diet, lost twenty pounds and felt great. Then I got really frustrated not being able to eat like a normal person. I saw an allergist in the spring of 2012 for another opinion, and she told me to eat whatever I wanted and we would try to manage the symptoms. A year later in the spring of 2013, I had gained back all twenty pounds, felt swollen, bloated, rashy and sick. That’s when I found out my hormones were imbalanced and started seeing the chiropractor at a natural wellness center. About eight weeks ago, I started seeing a dietician also because I knew I needed to clean up my diet again, but I needed help in being more prepared with “clean” foods. When I’m not prepared, I reach for the wrong foods and then get sick. She told me she thought I sounded like a classic case of celiac disease and that I should start immediately eliminating gluten from my diet again. A few weeks later, I got the positive test results.
It’s interesting because the dietician doesn’t think corn is a common allergy and told me to try some of the gluten-free products that contain corn and sugar to see what would happen. Over these past eight weeks, I’ve had some gluten-free cookies and pizza crusts, some corn chips and corn tortillas with Mexican foods. Every time, I get bloated and sick. So, when I followed up with her recently, she told me to go gluten-free, corn-free, and egg-free for six months and then try reintroducing corn and egg one at a time. There is a possibility there has been so much damage in my gut that I can’t digest correctly and over time it might heal enough to where I could tolerate some of those foods again. If I can ever eat corn and eggs again, it will open up a whole lot more choices of foods for me.
The hardest part for me is when I’m traveling (like this week, I’ve been on a beach vacation) or just eating out in general. It’s amazing how many foods have gluten and corn and eggs. I have to be very selective and ask for food that is PLAIN! No sauces, no marinades, no spices, and that means lots of salads, grilled chicken, burgers with no buns, rice, and potatoes (whole, not mashed). It gets boring at times, and yes it is very frustrating not to be able to eat what the rest of my family eats.
I’m considering ordering the test for corn allergy (along with chicken, potatoes and other nightshades) but since it is an expensive test, for now I am just going to avoid corn since there is a clear pattern of gastric distress every time I eat it. Allergy or intolerance, I know it doesn’t agree with me. Since sugar is in the corn family, many people who react to corn also react to sugar, and I seem to fall in that category. There is no protein in sugar, so it’s more of an intolerance than allergy. But think lactose intolerance (I have that too), the symptoms are the same. For some reason I don’t process sugars right.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, I highly recommend you visit the website link above and order the tests for yourself. They will send your results to your doctor, who can then help you interpret and understand the results and advise you further.
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!