Gluten Free Success Story | Gluten Allergy | Celiac Disease | Allergy

Gluten Free Success Story for 37 Year Old Woman

by Allergy Guy

Gluten free success story! Serious health problems and multiple unpleasant symptoms disappeared after going gluten free.

Melissa thought she had a gluten allergy.  I suspect, from reading her story, that she has celiac disease.  Either way, a gluten free diet did the trick for her.  Here’s what happened in her own words:

I am 37 years old and have struggled with many odd symptoms since I was an early teen.  I always thought people were thinking that I was a hypochondriac, or making things up for attention.

In my early teens I started getting horrible bouts of nausea when I woke up.  I also got daily headaches.  It was so bad, I would roll on the floor and break out in a cold sweat.  My family thought I was just trying to get out of going to school.  I wasn’t!

Then came the fatigue.  Over the years, my mind wants to do a whole lot of things, but my body just can’t seem to match what my mind wants to do.  In my early teens, I started to develop anxiety and bouts of depression.  In my early 20’s, after having my second child, I developed acne, which I never had even as a teen.

In my later 20’s, I developed horrible allergies.  Itch eyes and throat, itchy skin with hives, sneezing attacks, constantly blowing my nose.  I would get recurring sinus infections.

At this point, I was using acne meds and was on Flonase and Claritin, as well as Prozac for the panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.

In my late 20’s, I had to have my gallbladder out.  It was very infected with multiple stones.  That is when the chronic diarrhea began.  Every morning I would go and it would have a horrible smell.  I was so embarrassed.  Then it progressed to a couple of times a day, and sometimes in the middle of eating a meal.

I began to be afraid to eat away from the house.  My stools were so bad, I still had very bad nausea in the morning (late for work a lot due to this), and now I would bloat in the middle of a meal to the point that I didn’t eat much.  I thought people would think I had an eating disorder by how little I ate in 1 sitting.

Also in my late 20’s, I was having crazy heart palpitations, to the point I thought I would pass out.  I even saw a cardiologist, wore a holter moniter, had several tests that all came out negative.

In my mid 30’s, I developed asthma, and began to have bronchitis every year so bad that it was treated with antibiotics and steroids.  I could not walk very far without getting out of breath.  I have 3 kids, work full time, and run around like crazy, so it’s not like I wasn’t moving around.

Then the diarrhea got so bad, that I almost had accidents in public a few times.  I thought this is crazy! I am 37 years old and can’t go in public for fear of having an accident! So I went to the doctor.  He diagnosed me with IBS, and said try pepcid every night to see if it helps.  It did not.

At this point, I also had facial flushing and what looked to be rosacea. I had hard bumps like ingrown hairs all over my legs.  I always had some type of hives going on.

I had been researching all my odd symptoms for over a year or so, and everything seemed to point to a gluten allergy and thryoidism (been tested for that several times, negative, but I still believe there is an issue there, possibly hashimoto’s).

I had enough.  I put myself on a gluten free diet 3 weeks ago.  Within days, I had normal stools like I haven’t had in YEARS.  The nausea in the morning totally disappeared, which was a HUGE victory.  I wish I tried this when I was in school, as I suffered so badly.  I no longer bloat eating a meal, and can finish a meal!  My skin is clearing up nicely.  I haven’t had a single headache (another huge victory) and all my IBS symptoms are completely gone.

My ganglion cyst that I’ve had for a couple years is going down.  My back and neck no longer hurt or feel stiff.  I always blamed that on my bed and work.  I feel like someone oiled all my joints, like I went from feeling 80 years old back to 30.  My daily heart palpitations drastically decreased.  While I am still very fatigued, I’m hoping that will improve as well.  I have been keeping a journal to keep track of what symptoms are lessening.

I want my kids to go gluten free, I feel they have some of these symptoms (my son has the bad morning stomach aches).  I can’t wait to see what symptoms will resolve over time.  I plan to stay gluten free since the changes are amazing me every day!

The above was originally a comment on the Gluten Allergy Symptoms article.

What are your gluten allergy or celiac symptoms?  Leave a comment and share your experiences.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Penny O June 14, 2016 at 19:10

I had a gluten binge on Friday night/Saturday morning and guess what? My ganglion cyst is back! That’s how I found this article. So weird.

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2 Meade September 18, 2012 at 14:05

This story sounds very familiar. I can hardly believe how long this disease has gone unnoticed in society, and how many people unknowingly suffer.

My symptoms started early in high school and were always quite subtle for about five years. The symptoms can vary quite widely but they are all due to autoimmune intestinal damage (my intestinal vili which normally provide the proper surface area for proper absorption can be viewed as a type of casualty from a war my immune system improperly wages against dietary gluten) and subsequent malabsorption and vitamin deficiency. I presented with the following symptoms (some of which I only realized as symptoms after seeing improvement once gluten free):

[The full comment has been published as an article. It is quite informative and interesting. See Celiac Disease: Symptoms and Diagnosis Case Study.

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3 Tonja August 5, 2012 at 22:55

Ive been doing research for awhile now because I suspect I may also have a gluten allergy. I am 40 years old. I can remember as far back as my elementary school days, always feeling nauseated and sick and having bad bouts with constipation. At 17, I went to the doctor because of the constant stomach upset and nausea. I had an upper GI scan done and nothing was found.( I had to drink that nasty white stuff and they x-rayed my stomach) They said I had a sensitive stomach… thats it.
[See Gluten Free Diet Experiment In Progress for complete comment as it has been turned into an article]

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4 Rahul setia June 22, 2012 at 12:52

I also suffering with loose strool from last five years my doctor say to leave wheat but i drink beer by mistake what should i do

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5 Allergy Guy June 22, 2012 at 13:58

Stop drinking beer and please be very careful about what you eat, read ingredients, don’t eat or drink anything if you don’t know exactly what’s in it, don’t assume anything! If brand X is OK, maybe brand Y has wheat in it.

It takes time to learn how to avoid gluten, so do the best you can, and over time you’ll get better at it, and hopefully start feeling better.

Good luck!

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6 Penny Sowle April 15, 2012 at 04:56

Mellissa Congratulations–My story is very similiar to yours, but I did not learn I have Extremely High Genetic Markers to Gluten along with a severe allergy to wheat, barley, oats and rye until I was 40. I went Gluten Free 4 years ago but continued to get sick. I have since gone completely grain free, dairy free, no eggs and no black pepper, and I can finally say my stomach is finally feeling better.

My son is currently Gluten Free as well because he has the extremely high Genetic markers for Gluten intolerance as well, they wont medically diagnosis him with Celiac Disease because he does not meet the tradtional Criteria for it But I know enough about what damage it can do without the traditional Criteria, that I knew taking him GF would be the best thing for him. I also know he is sensitive to dye-food coloring and certain perservatives. I try to keep as whole natural foods as possible, but him being 7, its very difficult.
I know with time he will be much better then he is now. My son suffers from Learning Disabilities, ADD and ODD–All Gluten intolerant conditions that the medical field wont acknowledge as “Criterias” for Celiac.
I am living proof of what neurological damage can do from Uknown Gluten Intolerance. Now we are waiting to see if can be reversed from being “Grain Free”–since Gluten Free has had no impact.

Thank You for sharing your story

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7 Allergy Guy April 16, 2012 at 09:26

Hi Penny,

Great that gluten free is working for you, and a good idea putting your son on it too.

The challenge with him will be keeping him on the diet as he gets older, especially if he doesn’t see any real advantage to staying on it. I hope you can instill in him the need to avoid gluten in the long term! Can you share any hints with other parents about how he deals with being on gluten free?

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8 Penny April 16, 2012 at 10:12

I try to keep it as real as I possible can. His bread is GF whole grain, his pasta is Sam Mills-NON GMO, organic Corn Pasta. My son loves corn, so I thought I would stick with that to see how he does and he loves it. Some kids may like the rice, but my son is not a rice eater. As for desserts, I let him have his Peanut Butter cups– or fresh fruit whichever he prefers.

Keeping it real I think is the best way to go–going cold turkey, don’t prolong by taking things away slowly–kids adapt so much easier then adults.

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9 Allergy Guy April 15, 2012 at 00:51

Hi Melissa,

You have had a long and difficult journey with illness, and at last health. I’m so glad that you discovered the cause and have been able to reverse your problems.

When I read your story, I feel pretty certain that you have celiac disease, not a gluten allergy. In some ways it makes no difference because in both cases, eliminating gluten from your diet is the only way to handle the problem.

Celiac disease is associated with many symptoms, and everything you describe fits with celiac disease.

You must avoid all gluten, not only to avoid the horrible symptoms you’ve experienced in the past, but also there is a long list of other health problems that can develop from eating gluten if you have celiac disease, so you need to avoid those too.

Congratulations on your gluten free diet and new found health.

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