CT Scan Says WHAT??!
October 22, 2010 3:08 AM   Subscribe

Small bowel malabsorption question. CT Scan shows something nobody expects, but can't really explain. Doctor says not to worry, but...

Really cutting to chase. Adding details that may or may not be related. Two workouts into P90X (and I'm pretty sore), I have a 2am awakening that feels like ovarian cyst is rupturing (I've had it once before...feels like the EXACT same thing)...sharp pain, ends in 20 minutes.

Next day, pain isn't as intense but is now radiating into hip and back on lower right abdominal side. And I get my period. Hmmm.

Go to doctor, get CT scan and bloodwork.

No sign of anything that explains the pain (they're also looking for appendicitis), BUT they find small bowel malabsorption concern and B-12 deficiency in blood.

Gastro consult wants bloodwork for Celiac disease now, and ultrasound for burst ovarian cyst in a month.

So, all of you who have perhaps had a similar medical experience...what the hell is this? Celiac at age 46 presenting with only a few symptoms?

I know, I know, YANAD, but I'm looking for those with knowledge of Celiac disease and/or those with other small bowel malabsorption weirdness...OR those with burst ovarian cysts that kind of screwed up other test results.

I'm not in pain, not worried, just wondering who can tell me what. I do trust my doc's knowledge but she wasn't able to provide any first-hand knowledge.
posted by dzaz to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Celiac runs in my husband's family and we have relatives dx'd at ages 15, 29, mid-30's... so yes it can happen. I think like many auto-immune diseases it can get kicked off by some challenge - a bug, stress, something else going on. When my son gets glutened he is in intense pain - cramping and nausea for many days and certainly looks about as miserable as when I ruptured an ovarian cyst although it doesn't seem as specifically localized for him. I know a lot of people with Celiac at this point and their experiences when glutened range from feeling mildly lousy to being intensely ill.

Anyway - if it is Celiac the fix is straightforward but not easy - eliminating gluten is a nuisance because it hides in all sorts of foods. This list is not local to you but has a lot of useful information and there's tons of stuff on the web. Good luck - if you're dealing with just Celiac you'll feel a lot better once you've got the gluten out of your system but it can take a few weeks to really improve.
posted by leslies at 3:59 AM on October 22, 2010

I'm 30 and I was just diagnosed. My symptoms started showing up 18 months ago. I believe the prevailing thinking now is that it's definitely not just a childhood disease but one that can be "activated" in some way by stress, illness, etc later in life. Some people even have something called silent Celiac that doesn't show symptoms at all and is found by accident other ways.

I have found a ton of good information in the forums at Celiac.com, though there's some dross to wade through, too.

Good luck! Going gluten free has been both an immense upheaval in my life and a really great thing to do -- I feel so much better than I did even a few weeks ago. There's a reason a lot of Celiacs who go gluten free cheat once or twice and never go back.
posted by sugarfish at 5:27 AM on October 22, 2010

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease that seems to have been "activated" by a bad bout of gastroenteritis. I was 27.

My specific brand of Celiac doesn't show up in the blood tests. The only way they found it was through the endoscopy, so if your blood work comes back clean it still might not be the end.

When I get 'glutened' the pain is very similar to menstrual pains, but I've come to recognize the very slight difference. The gluten pain is usually very slightly higher in my abdomen. I also get ovarian cysts, and the pain can feel like a cyst burst. I also happen to have problems with my gall bladder that are exacerbated by gluten, so I get pain there sometimes too.

The thing about Celiac Disease is that you are basically malnourished. That can manifest itself in lots of different ways. Even though I had Silent Celiac all my life the one thing that always showed up was my anemia. I had random muscle aches and lots of little problems like that that never had a reason. I was always written off as a hypochondriac or a drama queen. Turns out they're all caused by the Celiac Disease.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:49 AM on October 22, 2010

If you are prone to ovarian cysts, you might have adhesions on other parts of your insides. This can interfere with some functioning and it isn't visible on an ultrasound or anything like that...they would have to go in and look. This is probably unrelated to your condition but it is one of those weird things they won't be anle to dx through usual methods.
posted by Riverine at 10:24 AM on October 22, 2010

Celiac at age 46 presenting with only a few symptoms?

I know of someone who was diagnosed with Coeliac disease in her eighties. Turns out it runs in her family (I know the granddaughter, who was diagnosed as a baby). Part of when it manifests, and how badly, depends on which genetic susceptibility polymorphisms you're carrying, and yeah there are environmental factors too.

I know a bit about Coeliac disease although I'm not an expert (I specialise in studying IBD, there's some cross over and similarities). Nothing in your post sounds odd to me and your Dr has a reasonable plan for tests that will figure out what's going on. I agree that you need to follow up with an endoscopy if the bloodwork is clean, that's the definitive test.
posted by shelleycat at 3:15 PM on October 22, 2010

My dad just got diagnosed with celiac disease at age 69. He didn't have any symptoms except for a rash. He thought it was poison ivy that he picked up while hiking... it turned out it was dermatitis herpetiformis (the skin's expression of celiac disease). He never had any of the classic celiac symptoms.
posted by MorningPerson at 6:47 AM on October 26, 2010

« Older good, “simple,” engaging, beautiful “classical”...   |   What will be in the news next year? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.