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Barbara's Story

 
3/7/2012

I am 55 years old. As a child, I was always tired and did not have the stamina to participate in playing games outside, such as dodge ball, volleyball, jump rope, roller skating, swimming, gymnastics, etc. My clumsiness was always a source of frustration for me.

Symptoms that developed in my childhood were mouth sores, hair loss, fatigue, falling, painful menstruation, diarrhea, constipation and stomach cramps. I slept late on weekends, feeling too tired to get up. I fell asleep studying or doing my homework after school.

Throughout my adult life, I was tested for lupus, developed erythema nodosum over the course of 5 years, and started having headaches and nosebleeds.  Visits to a dermatologist, rheumatologist and ob-gyn never were helpful.  I continued to gain weight and became depressed.  

I changed my primary care physician and finally, she identified a B12 iron deficiency. After poor results from iron supplements, I was sent to a GI and had an endoscopy/colonoscopy.  Results were in, I have celiac disease.  Lab work confirmed it a few weeks later.  

I have been following a gluten-free diet for a year, and have begun feeling better. Having been sick for so long, it is amazing with how each passing week and month I continue to feel even better. I have a difficult time with losing weight now, but I am happy to say I dropped 11 lbs. within a few months.

Each day is another page in this journey. Finally, after losing many friends who thought I was a hypochondriac, I now know the symptoms were real and I am not crazy after all.

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