After a year and a half of issues, I finally went back to the GI doctor to get my diagnosis. I knew I was fine as long as I was dairy-free & gluten-free, but with the new boyfriend, new stressors, new house, etc. I wasn't adhering to my normal diet. Before my appointment, I binged for a week on gluten & dairy.
I hadn't felt that ill in a long time.
I had one more invasive exam with a few biopsies, but the results were all negative. It turns out that I don't have celiac's disease (HURRAY!). I do, however, have a gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance isn't an auto-immune disorder. A few online sources make it seem probable that gluten intolerance is a precursor to celiac's disease. That is the part which made me take notice. It's one thing to have celiac's disease & be required to be gluten-free for life. It's quite another to be gluten intolerant & to think that I may be able to not eat 100% gluten-free all the time. Must I really be gluten-free for life?
If gluten intolerance can eventually cause celiac's disease, then it's a good thing that I'm so body-aware. I've saved myself years of trouble.
Though, I have to mention - When I emailed my mother (the nurse) to give her my diagnosis, she said, "Looks like you had diagnosed yourself anyway - no charge."
This isn't going to be easy, but at least a minor slip-up isn't going to cause a major biological meltdown of my body. The more control that I exercise, the healthier I will be. And that's basically the mantra that I will need.
And thank god that we're an allergy aware culture!
4 weeks ago