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Kim's Story

 
3/21/2012

I have been anemic for many years - too many to recall. I am a 45-year-old female, mother to two and diagnosed with celiac disease via biopsy in May 2011.

My regular internist retired, so getting set up with a new one meant running all the baseline tests. My bloodwork came back with low iron, and I was OK with this since it is always the case. Well, my doctor wasn't.  My protein levels were also low, marginally low, so my doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist for a complete workup to find out why I was anemic.  

I told the gastroenterologist that I also had low protein as he was walking out the door and he said OK, we will run a celiac disease test.  I had never heard of such a thing and thought nothing of it.  

Two days later, the doctor himself called and wanted me to come in for an upper endoscopy to biopsy my intestine since my levels were over 200 and the normal range is anything under 30. The following week, I had the endoscopy and the results showed that I had "severe celiac disease" with damage to the duodenum and stomach.  

I don't really have the true symptoms that I have read about (gratefully, too, I might add) but that also means I don't know when I have been exposed to gluten, so it is a double-edged sword.  

I stress to always get copies of your blood work. If you have celiac, know that it is genetically based and encourage your relatives to get tested.  To date, my kids test negative. I believe my grandfather who was also anemic and suffered from Restless Leg Syndrome was positive, but I will never know for sure.  My mother was tested but has multiple myeloma and 5 years ago she had a double stem cell transplant. Her oncologist told us that this could have "reset" her immune system!

After confirming I have celiac, I have to admit that having children was very difficult for us. I have had seven miscarriages. Correlation? Coincidence? I don't know.....

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