Skin Problems Led to Celiac Testing---Eventually
Tricia was tested for celiac ten years ago, after years of skin problems. She didn’t wait for the results, she chose to remove gluten right after the biopsy. “The day I had the scope was my last day of my gluten life,” Tricia shared. She was 26 at the time.
Her test results came a week after her biopsy. Negative. But that didn’t matter to Tricia. Her body’s response to removing gluten gave her the answer she needed. “I was on the path to regaining my life,” she shared. The benefits of being gluten free answered her years of wondering what’s wrong?
Skin Marks Due to Scratching Resulted in Report of "Self-Injury"
Tricia was in her early twenties when her skin started to itch. “I scratched a mark into the back of my ear,” she shared. She was horrified when the university physician accused her of purposely injuring herself. “She wrote it in my file,” Tricia shared. “My life flashed before my eyes.”
“I was going to school to be a teacher and now a doctor, who wasn’t even in the examination room with me 10 minutes, was going to put that accusation in my personal file. I scratched a mark into the back of my ear.”
Tricia said her skin would itch when she was in the heat. The scratching resulted in scrapes on her arms as well. “I left the appointment in tears.”
Not wanting a report of self-injury in her records, Tricia went to the board of directors. “They told me I had to be seen by the school psychologist. He did clear me, but I have never overcome how quickly these accusations came about.”
Continued Skin Problems
Tricia said her skin was terrible. She experienced pock marks all over her face, arms, chest. She was given a medication called Permethrin, when one physician thought she had scabies.
Tricia said she was miserable. She felt that doctors would give her medicine “just to get me out of their office. Everyone thought I was crazy,” she said. Migraines. Unexplained fevers. She was frequently prescribed antibiotics and eventually began vomiting daily. She shared that she started to struggle to hold on emotionally.
Transitioning to Gluten Free
Tricia struggled with diet change when she first started eating gluten free. “Ten years ago nothing was marked gluten free. We spent hours in the grocery store reading labels,” she said. “The first couple of months I ate mainly white rice, black beans and eggs. I know that sounds funny but it was safe and it filled me up.”
Even through the trials of getting on a gluten-free course, Tricia stuck with it. Dietary compliance paid off. “I regained my life,” she said. My skin healed.” Prior to her skin healing, she felt she looked like someone who used meth. “Seriously, at my lowest point I looked crazy.”
Her skin stopped itching and she was able to go out in the sun again. Vomiting stopped. Migraines ended. No more fevers.”
“I listen to my body now,” Tricia shared. “I never want to go back to the prison of gluten. Nothing can make me.”