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Do you have an autoimmune disease? Like Lupus, MS, Crohn's Grave's, Hashimoto's, Psoriasis, RA, Scleroderma, Sarcoidosis, Raynaud's, Sjogren's, Vasculitis? (I'm sure that's not all of them, but if you have one, you know). If so, have you ever thought of getting tested for Celiac Disease? I'm going to ask my rheumatologist to add that to my blood tests next time I see him. What is interesting about celiac is that it can lead to other autoimmune diseases. it would explain some things, certainly for me. And by some things i mean my life for the last 18 years. Celiac could actually be at the root of the entire health fiasco. If i have Celiac, then my problems are caused *entirely* by diet, and not by some other crazy ideas like bad karma, sin, luck or even genetics (which, by the way, no one has ever been able to prove. It's only true for a very few diseases. Otherwise, it's just one of those things they say when they have no idea what causes something- don't know, must be genetic. How about looking for the root of the problem? Oh I forgot that's not how we deal with illness. We throw drugs at it). Celiac Disease is diagnosed via blood tests, a physical exam, and an endoscopy/ biopsy. I'm not crazy about that last part, as it means being sedated, running a thingy down my throat and getting 8-12 samples snipped out of my small intestine. The ONLY reason I would consider doing it is to finally once and for all know what started this whole mess. Celiac disease is treated entirely by diet: avoiding gluten (mainly wheat, which hides in many products) and for some people, also dairy. That means giving up a lot of tasty food, but you know, I'm willing to do that if it means I never have anemia, pleurisy, faitgue, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, stroke, hair loss, depression, neuropathy, migraines, swollen legs/ ankles/ feet, and let's no forget prednisone, cellcept, cytoxan, attivan, paxil, placquenil, clonodine, nifedical, norvasc... and all their side effects (and expense). And oh yeah the rheumatologist, the nephrologist, the hematologist, the urologist, the neurologist, the oncologist, the phlebolotmist, the radiologist, the pulmonologist, cardiologist, the psychiatrist, the psychologist... Lastly, I've been eating gluten-free for 2 years. Turns out I may have missed some things that I *thought* were gluten free, but in fact were not, and I may be one of those 50% of Celiac people who can't eat dairy either. If I do indeed have Celiac, it will be so much easier to explain my diet choices, and no one will question it. "You have Celiac. Oh, I get it. No wheat." No further explanation needed. Everyone seems to know about Celiac. As for sacrificing tasty convenient, ever-present wheat- and dairy-based food, I'll miss it a LOT, but I'll swap eating pizza and even cheese if I must for getting my life back. There is more to my life than eating junk food! Or at least there will be once i'm fully healed. Look, I just did a search to see if anyone has yet linked these two diseases. And I found a study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18223501 The giant flaw is that they took only celiac patients and checked to see if they had lupus. What they need to do is look the other way around: check a bunch of lupus patients and see if they have celiac. Not all celiac is going to be extreme enough to evolve into lupus. But if celiac is at the root of all or even some cases of lupus, we finally have a non-drug treatment for lupus patients- diet modification! Here is a study that confirmed the theory that some or even all cases of lupus are either an extension of or a relative of celiac disease. In this study, every lupus patient who went on a gluten-free diet improved: http://bastyrcenter.org/content/view/703/

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