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OK, so I stoked up on wheat for a couple of months, then went in for a celiac blood panel (by Prometheus Laboratories, the gold-standard of celiac blood testing) at the end of November. When the nurse phoned me on December 4th, I just knew she was going to say that the tests were clearly positive. Then I would stop eating gluten, and I’d get all better!
But it hasn’t turned out that way.
For starters, the antibody test results were so negative that if they’d been five times higher they’d still be considered negative. The only positive result was for one DQ8 gene (a fairly common gene which merely makes it possible for me to have problems with gluten).
I allowed myself to mope for the rest of the day. But I had already spent enough time on celiac forums to know that a fair percentage of symptomatic people with negative test results do get better on a gluten-free diet, so I decided to go gluten-free anyway as my own “test.” And based on what I’d read on celiac forums and from my fellow BTD blogger Melissa Jones, I also decided to do the EnteroLab gluten-sensitivity stool test (which does not require a person to be currently eating gluten, though it should done within a few months after stopping).
Those two tests have showed more positive results. After just a few days without gluten, I noticed that I was feeling less lethargic. My head is working better, too – for example, I can match the stove dials to their burners without complex mental gymnastics. And the EnteroLab results are consistent with what I’m experiencing – they say I’m mildly gluten-sensitive, and should avoid the stuff in order to forestall more serious problems.
But I’ve been gluten-free for over two months now, and have not noticed any great improvement in the majority of my symptoms. My gluten-free diet is clearly a significant piece of the puzzle – but even so, it’s apparently just another edge piece, along with the progesterone skin cream and my daily handful of vitamins. The big piece in the middle that would tie everything together is still missing.