Daughter strongly suggested coeliac pre A levels

Hi there,

My daughter seemed very washed out and what I thought were some mental health issues developing in March this year. She's 18 and taking her A levels starting next week. I'm so worried about her.

She had some blood tests which proved she had severe anaemia Haem 7and Vit D deficiency. We discussed that her periods weren't that heavy and she had no other symptoms, apart from a desire to eat ice cubes. She started taking iron and Vit D tablets as prescribed and at a follow up visit, it was suggested she had another blood test to check whether she is coeliac. That came out as anti-tTG 129, the doctor said the norm should be about 7 which strongly suggesed coeliac disease.

Meanwhile we have a private appointment with the gastroenterologist on June 12th and I have continued her on a 'normal' diet, as my understanding is that it's better to do that until you have a definite diagnosis, probably via biopsy.

I'm so worried that I haven't done the right thing and I so wanted her to feel a bit better before taking her exams.

Any advice for a worried Mum?

9 Replies

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  • You are doing the right thing!

    You are trying to help her to be well.

    It is just unfortunate that it has come at the same time as her exams. You could buy some over the counter b12 to give her a temporary boost. As you have already found out both iron and vit d are lacking and both are energy helpers.

    Exam stress probably isnt helping either, but thats a necessary evil in this day and age it seems. Lavender is supposed to be good for that, just reminds me of my nan though. You could try looking on the web to see what foods are good in this situation. Years ago when mine were going through the same i had a newspaper cutting of good foods pinned to the door, oily fish etc, ironically when decorating a few months ago i binned it. Good foods with a bit of gf stuff thrown in is probably the best way to keep a happy medium until her next tests. She already has a positive bloods so she is halfway there.

    Tell her good luck with her exams, and you mum, try not to stress too much! Lol

  • Thanks Lisahelen. Appreciate your support and advice. I'll try and get some B12 and keep the wine flowing for me ;-) I've been diagnosed with Hashimotos a year ago so looks like we could all be going GF.

  • By good foods i should have said grains etc as well.🤓 And yes i know they will be a nono in the future but there is lots of goodness in them for a normal person, or your daughter as she waits.

  • Yes, you're right, she does need to be on a 'normal' diet until she has a definite diagnosis. It's can be tough, but you don't want to cut out gluten and then re-introduce as this can cause even worse symptoms.

    Have you notified the school of her on-going health problems? The exam board should take this into consideration.

    Hope the exams go well and that your daughter is back to health soon.

  • Thanks Penel. I've thought about that. Just need her to buy into it!

  • Hi,

    You have done everything you can.

    Even if she was lucky enough to have had her biopsies this week, it wouldn't have made too much difference to her A level grades.

    Healing in the case of newly diagnosed Coeliacs usually takes months, rather than days. In my case it was about a year - and included multiple trips to hospitals and GP's during that time.

    Unfortunately she must stay on the gluten until after the endoscopy. This may affect her ability to concentrate (as will the awful fatigue she must be having). Gluten consumption can cause a symptom colloquially known as 'brain fog' in susceptible people. If she is experiencing this, then I would certainly lobby the exam board for extra support/time allowance during her exams. The blood test results are your evidence.

    Remind her that she is not weak, quite the opposite in fact. Facing exams in her circumstances takes so much determination and guts. Asking for an allowances to be made is definitely ok, even though it might make her feel different. She cannot help having health issues and it is not her fault. If having the willpower to function normally could be given a grade, I bet your daughter would already merit an A*!!

    To this day I still sometimes struggle with fatigue and concentration issues. I'm currently a mature student and my university makes allowances for this. I am given extra time to complete assignments - to compensate for the times when I just can't keep up and need to rest instead of studying.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    R. B.

  • Thank you for your encouragement :-)

  • The only problem with taking B12 is that she may well be low in that if she has digestive issues, and would need injections to get her levels back up. Low B12 makes you very unwell indeed. Supplements may raise her levels to a point where injections are not considered necessary and then she won't get the treatment she needs.

  • Apply to the exams office for rest break if you think that would be helpful. Nutrition drinks could help tide her over the exam period.

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