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Elaine's Story

 
12/14/2011

In 2008, I started having a lot of indigestion which kept worsening. I was taking Fosamax for osteopenia, which showed up in a bone density test. I took it for maybe 3 years with no real problems, but my indigestion kept getting worse to the point that drinking ginger ale burned going down. I was losing weight also. 

I went to my GI doctor. He did a colonoscopy and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), but nothing really showed up other than some erosions in my esophagus.  I also had a bulge in my abdomen, which he failed to diagnose as a hernia.

In July 2009, I found out I had breast cancer. My oncology surgeon diagnosed my hernia.  So, I had a lumpectomy and radiation. I had the hernia surgery in October. All along, I still had chronic diarrhea and was still losing weight. Things really went downhill after the hernia surgery; I was going to the bathroom at least 10 times a day.

My hernia surgeon thought I had C. difficile (I got a UTI) after the surgery. So, I was hospitalized to check for that for several days. That was negative. A new GI doctor was called in, and he did another colonoscopy and EGD. Still nothing conclusive.  He did the blood tests and then a small bowel series and that was when he found I had celiac disease.

I was really sick between November and December 2009. By then, the gluten-free diet was finally working. I lost 65 pounds. Unfortunately, I gained back 25! Not happy about that.

One thing I found out was your system can really be out of whack. I even had an electrolyte imbalance-- a pretty severe one. Now I'm doing OK with the gluten-free diet. It is amazing how many people have it, and many still don't know they do!

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