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Two months ago I had a hernia in my lower left abdomion repaired. Ever since then I have had stomach pains, change in bowel movements from diaharra to constipation. At night I can't sleep or when I do sleep I wake up with hot sweats and diaharra. Then I will get so cold to the point that I can't get warm. I recently broke out with a skin rash on my arm and thighs and at the same time woke up with huge ulcer way back in my throat. I also have nausea sometime, but I haven't vomitted. Also, I seem as though I gained weight instead of losing. I have the doctor's puzzled, they said that I have IBS, but I feel like its something more. The doctors put me on IBS and anxiety medication. I haven't had any changes with the medications and I'm getting very frustrated because I can't live my life in fear the I need a toliet close by. I feel like my body's out of control. I can't focus at work, and I'm disoriented. Is there a possibility that it's crohn's but not showing up on the test?

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As a Celiac, your symptoms sound like Celiac symptoms to me...IBS, stomach pain, rash, mouth sores, cognitive difficulties. You didn't describe the rash, but it could be Dermatitis Herpetiformis (a celiac-related condition). This rash would be very itchy at times and roughly symmetrical in that it would appear on both sides of the body roughly the same way...if on one elbow, then on the other, etc. Common locations would be elbows, knees, buttocks, lower back, face/head. Some people get it in other places like fingers, wrists or waistline.

Celiac disease is gluten (wheat/oats/rye/barley and their flours) intolerance that can affect the GI system, the skin and the brain. Most symptoms are reversible on a very strict gluten-free diet. Very strict meaning avoiding soy sauce that contains wheat ingredients, cereal that contains barley malt, etc. It's a hard diet to adjust to at first, and you would need to consult one of the many Celiac forums to get help getting started.

Getting it diagnosed can be tricky...different docs use different screening tests, but the most thorough would include antigiadin antibodies (both IGA and IGG), endomysial antibodies, tissue transglutaminase, and also a Total IGA count to make sure you're not IGA deficient (which doesn't mean you're Celiac but would make some of the other tests have a false negative). If they come back negative (some do), you could still try a gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. Beyond blood testing and dietary response, you can get an endoscopy of your small intestine WITH MULTIPLE BIOPSIES. This is not the same as a colonoscopy, if you've already had one of those. If you're going to do the blood tests or the endoscopy, do it while eating plenty of gluten in the weeks before the test. Celiac antibodies fall quickly once gluten is removed.

In genetically predisposed people, Celiac can be "activated" by stress, such as childbirth, surgury, illness, etc. Also, after the surgery, did you change your diet at all to include more gluten (found in pasta, bread, cereal, cake, cookies, etc.?)

Also, if it's not something like Celiac disease, if you develop signs of an infection (fever), etc., you might ask a different doctor to evaluate you for signs of surgury-related infection. Ask if there's a possibility of a perforation or anything being left inside that would cause these symtoms.

Good luck! - April
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Do you take vitamin c with rose hips? My brother had stomach issues and it was the rose hips.
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