Posted 12/10/2010 10:50 AM (GMT -7)
Celiac disease can definitely cause different symptoms in different people. My husband breaks out in dermatitis herpetiformis when he eats gluten, which is a terrible skin rash that can last for months. He doesn't get gastric symptoms. If I ingest gluten, first I have a severe migraine headache, then the diarrhea and gastric pain starts. But it can take up to 3 days for me to have symptoms, and then the symptoms can last for days.
Unfortunately, if you have been gluten free for a while, rice krispies won't cause enough damage to the villi to give a positive result for the biopsy. I've read that at the very minimum you need to eat at least 4 slices of wheat bread a day for 2-3 months before the biopsy for a real shot at a positive result.
But I've never been convinced that a biopsy should be the "gold standard" for diagnosis. Because a biopsy is sort of like this:
Picture a yard, at least 20 ft by 20 ft. That's 400 sq. ft, right? Then go into the yard and take samples of the grass, 3" by 3" samples. Take a dozen of them in random places in the yard if you want to. Then carefully examine each sample for traces of doggie doo.
If you don't find doggie doo in any of your samples, can you REALLY say that there's no doggie doo anywhere in the yard?? Of course not! Your dozen samples represent only 0.75 sq. ft, not even 1/400 of the yard. It doesn't prove a thing!
When we're talking about an intestinal biopsy, the statistics are even worse. Your intestines have an enormous surface area and the biopsy will only sample such a tiny, tiny portion of it. Many doctors take only 3 or 4 miniscule samples.
My granddaughter Carly had two biopsies; her first, at the age of two, was negative. But her doctor was still suspicious, so a year later, she did another biopsy, which was positive. By that point Carly was literally SKIN AND BONES. She was wasting away...she looked like one of those poor starving refugee children. The amount of damage done to her villi was SO overwhelming that the biopsy HAD to find it.
Believe me, you DON'T want to have that much damage in your intestines. And the biopsy won't change anything for you. If it's negative, eating wheat will still make you sick, right?? So at the very least, you must be gluten intolerant!
IMHO, the very best test in the whole world for celiac/gluten intolerance is to go gluten free for a few weeks (a month is better), then try eating gluten again. If it makes you sick as a dog, you need to stop eating gluten. End of story.
Listen to your body...it's already trying to tell you what you need to know.
Good luck with everything!
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