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.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 25, 2009, in Celiac Disease, Family, Medical Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. you just described my dad. I’ve been trying to get him to get tested for 2 yrs now. He is so sick he can hardly function. depressed, itchy, exhausted, foggy headed, and now.. ARITHITIS! I’m like dude -skip the test! you got CD! I’d bet a billiob dollars he has it. and instead he’d rather go to 600 doctors and take drawers full of different medications THAT DO NOT WORK, but only cause him other pains and side effects b/c he doesn’t want to give up eating yummy food.

    oh well. I’d rather not feel like I got ran over by a truck, and I’d rather not depressed, itchy, gassy, bloated, constipated, an crying all day b/c my joints feel like they are on fire…. but hey, that’s me. *shrug*

    some people would really rather just not deal with things. b/c dealing with takes emotionally hard work.

  2. Margaret Mead said “It’s easier to change a man’s religion that to change his diet.” I went gluten free several years ago when my son got sick and I feel like a completely new person. Because the treatment for Celiac is a change in diet, people don’t think it is that big a deal and there isn’t a lot of awareness in the the medical community. If there was a pill or a drug that you could take, I am sure they would start to diagnose the 1 in 200 people who have celiac. Have you read Dangerous Grains? You might want to give that book as well as Peter Green’s book to your father.

  3. CD: It’s the thing to have! I just heard from a friend of mine last night. Her mom was just diagnosed. I really think the incidence is so much higher than the estimated 1 in 100. I had been wondering if it was autosomal dominant or recessive. Do you happen to remember where you got that information? My friend is going to want to know as she asked me about this months ago and that was before her mom was diagnosed. Any direction would be appreciated. Thanks.

    PS I’ve been working fulltime and therefore MIA although I have still managed to keep up on reading your blog. Just haven’t had time for emailing or blogging lately…..

    • I was just talking about you yesterday! A good acquaintance had a baby about a week ago, and she told me that her doc has privileges @ Good Sam and Scottsdale Shea… He told her if she wanted a natural birth, she’d be better off at Good Sam, even though it was much further from her house!! So, that’s what she did.

      CD is autosomal dominant, but unlike virtually all other dominant traits, it has incomplete penetration (can’t remember if that’s the technical term or not) — meaning, that just because you have the gene doesn’t mean you have it. But, those w/ the gene but who are asymptomatic, those are the folks whose CD is likely to “show up” at some later point in their lives. Make sense?

      I know in my circle of friends and family, the incidence rate is MUCH higher than 1 in 100…

  4. I hope she had a wonderful birth. Shea is a great place to have a baby but you’re right, if you want all natural….maybe not so much. Honestly I only see an all natural patient once every few months!! Sad.

    Thanks for the CD info. You don’t happen to remember where you learned that do you? I found out that my friend had been diagnosed with “IBS” years ago. So I am encouraging her to get tested since she now has a blood relative with it.

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