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Can Celiac cause BFS

PostPosted: December 23rd, 2002, 2:39 am
by Glenn
A recent ANA bulletin indicated that 20% or more of patients reporting a neuropathy with no EMG deficit were found to test positive for Celiac. Celiac desease is a genetic variation that causes your immune system to react to a peptide in the breakdown of wheat gluten.

Other common symptoms of Celiac (in addition to neuropathy) are Anemia, thyroid problems, stomach problems, etc... Celiac is most commonly seen in the 5th decade - although is historical well know for failure to thrive in infants. It occurs in 1/250 in the genral population - but at probably a higher rate among northern europeans.

I have had BFS like symptoms, with parathesias, cramping, exercise intolerance, burning leg muscles, tingling and twitching feat and a variety of other issues which began after a Flu shot and a rapid onset of flulike symptoms.

Interesting I was also found to have an out-of-pattern male osteoperosis, mild iron deficient anemia, and elevated monocytes. I have been getting tested by a variety of doctors for several years - especial to find the cause of the anemia. A recent Doctor at UCI suggested testing for Celiac as it can present these symptoms. As celiac interferes with the absorption of various important minerals, it can cause problems with Calcium, Iron and others.

I am still waiting for the test results - but I am wondering if any of you have been suggested for this testing - you probably have a 1 in 5 chance of it with neuropathy and negative EMG.

There is a very good website -

Web site misspelling

PostPosted: December 23rd, 2002, 2:56 am
by Glenn
The web site is - sorry for the misspelling

by the way ANA is the American Neurological Association - and many Celiacs present no stomach symptoms - contrary to public opinion.

can celiac cause bfs

PostPosted: January 7th, 2003, 9:15 pm
by kim

Interestingly enough, all my health issues began soon after I had a flu shot too! However, there was a lot of other "crap" going on in my life that coinsided with my problems. Mom and mother in law got cancer, 9/11, anthrax scare, personal cancer scare (lump on thyroid), job change, etc. so stress levels were on high! I had so much stuff going on, I couldn't pinpoint where or when my health problems began or ended.

I don't think I have celiac, just anxiety associated with bfs or visa versa!


test results

PostPosted: January 7th, 2003, 10:49 pm
by Davidd

Did you get your test results back?


Test Results

PostPosted: January 8th, 2003, 12:29 pm
by Glenn
I haven't gotten the test results back yet - apparently this is a very complex test to do. My doctor at UCI keeps in touch with me once or twice a week to let me know if there has been any progress. I probably have a 20% chance of being wheat intolerant - but there have been a variety of symptoms that I have that could be explained by this.

Anyone with northern european background and unexplained neuropathies, unexplained iron deficiency or symptoms like ataxia should get tested - there is no other way to tell. There is a strong crossover from lactose intolerance, which often diappears when the wheat issue is handled.

Nope! I am Negative

PostPosted: January 11th, 2003, 12:15 am
by Glenn
Got the three lab tests back - turns out I am negative for Celiac. Too bad - I had hoped that it was as easy as not eating wheat.

Still its a good idea for others to talk to their doctors about it.

PostPosted: January 13th, 2003, 11:41 am
by Craig
I thought this post was interesting because I just had two repeat positive tests for the Gliadin Antibody, which I believe is related to Celiac. The doctor said there can be false-positives and negatives, so she had a biopsy done of my small intestine to be sure one way or another. I get the results back on Wednesday, so I'll be sure to let everyone know.

PostPosted: January 13th, 2003, 12:26 pm
by javens
wow, craig
I was just wondering about you. I saw your post on medhelp.
I'm so glad that you got an official bfs diagnoses. you and I have very similar sx. And we're both young (i'm 22). I'm going to have my DR. check for celiac. I went to a gastro entorologist back in august for some chronic diahrrea that I had :oops: . He mentioned celiac as a possibility.
Well, take care bud

There are tests for Celiac

PostPosted: January 13th, 2003, 1:31 pm
by Glenn
Although the gold standard on Celiac has traditionally been the biopsy of the small intestine, it is also true that Celiac may not always manifest itself in the same places in the intestine - which could make me consider more testing if the biopsy was negative. When I was suspect, recently the UCI tested the following tests instead of the biopsy.

anti-endomyselial antibody,
IgG anti-gliadin antibody,
IgA anti-gliadin antibody
and the anti-tissue transglutaminase.

These tests were done elsewhere and too more than three weeks to get the answers.

A capsule endoscopy could alo be revealing.

Also, if you are being tested, you don't want to be on a wheat free diet, otherwise you may theorectically show up with a false negative.

PostPosted: January 13th, 2003, 2:07 pm
by Craig
Thanks for the info, Glenn. I tested positive (strong) for both the IgG and IgA. I am awaiting results for the other two you mentioned as well at the biopsy I had done on the small intestine. I am a little skeptical I have Celiac, as I don't think I have any of the symptoms. Who knows, right?

Just curious, what did they end up finding in your case?


You do have symptoms

PostPosted: January 13th, 2003, 3:33 pm
by Glenn
There are neurologists who have suggested to me that BFS is really a result of irritation from a very mild form of peripheral neuropathy. According to the profesor at UCI, many Celiac people he discovers do not manifest stomach or intestinal problems but do exhibit various forms of anemia or peripheral neuropathy. This is why he tested me.

Have you checked thoroughly.

PostPosted: January 15th, 2003, 6:38 pm
by Craig
Count me out for Celiac. I tested positive for all of the antibody's, but my biopsy came back negative. Interesting idea, though...

Biopsy issues

PostPosted: January 15th, 2003, 8:03 pm
by Glenn
From my readings on Celiac it would seem that it can express itself in different parts of the intestine. I wonder if this would mean that the usual biopsy may or may not catch it - making the lab work generally more reliable.

I will pose this interesting question to the Professor Albers at UCI.

PostPosted: January 16th, 2003, 10:10 am
by Craig
Thanks, Glenn. I'd be interested to hear what he has to say.

Take care,


PostPosted: January 20th, 2003, 11:57 pm
by Debbs
Glenn please keep us posted it is very interesting..