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Dana's Story

I am one of the individuals who may be a case in point for carefully watching your blood tests for clues. I am a 39-year-old married mother of two. My official diagnosis came with positive biopsy results about 2 months ago.

I had my annual physical on February 7, 2011, at which time I looked at my blood panel. The results said my liver alkaline phosphatase was low. My doctor mentioned that it had been low for 4 years. She also told me they don't worry about it unless that number is high.

However, I was not comfortable with this explanation, as it still was out of the normal range. I pushed a bit to find out why it was low. My doctor looked online for an explanation and saw malnourishment as a possibility. She ordered the panel of gluten antibody tests (somewhat reluctantly) to check for celiac disease. These were positive, as was the intestinal biopsy.

I encourage everyone to look more closely at their blood work at their next physical. If you have low liver enzyme levels, perhaps celiac testing is warranted?  My gastroenterologist specifically mentioned to me that this was an unusual way for someone to get diagnosed.

In hindsight with my own research, I am beginning to see that I had some other symptoms, but nothing that would have ever pointed me in this direction.

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