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Posted by Dorothy on 3/01/05 at 02:33 (170192)

Wendy - There is a news report out today about the connection between gluten intolerance/celiac disease and osteoporosis. I was curious and began reading the reports. That curiosity led me to further curiosity about gluten and gluten-free diets and so on..... I was reading one article which made me think of you and some of the symptoms you have described. I will just copy below some of what I read and you can see if you want to follow up using search words e.g. gluten, celiac, and dermomyositis, and whatever strikes your fancy:

What is Dermatomyositis?
Dermatomyositis is one of a group of acquired muscle diseases called inflammatory myopathies. The disease, which has a somewhat severe onset, affects both children and adults. Females are more often affected than males. Dermatomyositis is characterized by a rash accompanying, or more often, preceding muscle weakness. The rash looks like patchy, bluish-purple discolorations on the face, neck, shoulders, upper chest, elbows, knees, knuckles, and back. Some people may also develop calcium deposits, which appear as hard bumps under the skin. The most common symptom is muscle weakness, usually affecting the muscles that are closest to the trunk of the body. Eventually, people have difficulty rising from a sitting position, climbing stairs, lifting objects, or reaching overhead. In some cases, muscles further away from the trunk of the body may be affected later in the course of the disease. Problems with swallowing (dysphagia) may occur. Occasionally, the muscles ache and are tender to the touch. Affected individuals may also feel fatigue and discomfort and experience weight loss or a low-grade fever.

Investigators describe the case of a patient with a two-year history of adult dermatomyositis. This is a relatively rare form of rheumatoid arthritis that has many skin symptoms. The patient had malabsorption and had celiac disease.
Their observation raises the question of an association between dermatomyositis and celiac disease as part of a continuum, suggesting that celiac disease may be included within the spectrum of the gastrointestinal manifestations of dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

Re: Wendy

wendyn on 3/01/05 at 23:49 (170250)

Thanks for this Dorothy..nice that you're keeping me in mind!

I will do some research as I have time. Right now I'm under the gun for a group project for school due on Saturday (will I ever be glad when this one is over...)

While I don't have many of the symptoms listed(no muscle weakness, fever, weight-loss or patchy discolorations) this article does explain a number of questions the doctors have asked me in the past.

Almost every doctor has asked me if I have trouble swallowing, and I've often wondered if they all take the same weird drugs. What could my swallowing possibly have to do with my feet!?!

At least this explains why they might ask me that. (And no - no trouble swallowing)