I admitted to my dad, who — happily for us — is visiting for the weekend, that this may be a case of, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” I am aware that when anyone I talk with has symptoms that fit the (very broad) range of those directly or indirectly related to celiac disease, one of my first thought is, “Maybe s/he has celiac disease!”
That said, he DOES have a first-degree relative with it, and he DOES have an intensely itchy rash over a large portion of his body that has NOT responded to just about every standard (and not-so-standard) eczema-type medication… and he has had it for months on end, with no relief.
I explained to him that, as CD is autosomal dominant, and it came from his side of the family, he very, very likely has the gene even if he doesn’t have symptoms,… but, since he currently has symptoms that could possibly be celiac-related, that it would be worth it, in my opinion, to mention a family history of celiac disease to his dermatologist when he gets back to Texas, and that it might be a good idea to biopsy his rash for celiac disease.
That would be pretty crazy if he turned out to have CD. I wouldn’t be all that surprised, actually — not from this rash in particular; from other dietary-related discussions we’ve had in the past (like, he went through a stage where he ONLY ate steak, and nothing else, for breakfast, because that was the only thing that didn’t make him feel draggy… Now, he only eats oatmeal for breakfast… and he’s been on a ton of different health-related diets, though he’s pretty settled, these last few years, on Eat Right for Your Type). He’s mentioned a number of things over the years that sounded celiac-ish to me, but he never had a reason to really take me seriously whenever I suggested he look into it.
Not that I’m diagnosing him… but we Googled some pics of dermatitis herpetiformis, and while there is a really broad range of appearances of DH, at least a couple pics looked just like what’s going on with him…
I’ll be very interested (of course) to find out.