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Dermatitis Herpetiformis with negative celiac blood test?

Hello everyone...let me say thank you in advance for reading this and offering your insight.

I am going to nutshell my "known" health issues as I think they may provide some insight but are not exactly my question.

I am mid-40s F, I have had low vit D (around 10), low-normal b12 (lowest test was 212), and a low positive ANA.

I have had hair loss, which is why I was tested for the ANA and subsequently put on Plaquenil by my rheumotologist.  No other autoimmune blood test (sjorgens, RA, gen inflammatory markers) has been positive or out of range.  I have had my thyroid tested and my TSH fluctuates between 1.6 and 2 (mostly 1.8-2.0 -- only one reading at 1.6) and my FT4 is always 1.0 or 1.1, FT3, when tested is 2.7-3.0 and one RT3 was 17.

I have extreme fatigue, weight gain (can't lose), constipation, hair loss, aches/pains, can't think straight sometimes, exhaustion, sleep issues.  

So for about the last 2 weeks I've had this red, ITCHY, kind of blistery rash on my fingers.  I've had this several times before and it is immensely itch.  It usually goes away after a few days/week.  This time it seems to just hang around and it is more widespread -- more fingers, both hands.  I also have this very itchy patch on one elbow that now looks crusty.  I believe it may have started the same and after scratching now has a somewhat different appearance, but since I've had these before, I really didn't pay attention to it at first.

But both have been around longer than usual and possibly more widespread.

I went to my PCP who mentioned Herpes Whitlow, which I had considered after googling, but I do not have traditional genital herpes, nor have I ever had a cold sore.  My DH does not have either too (almost 30 years together).  I have some extended family that has an occasional cold sore that perhaps I could have touched a glass but seems like a long shot.  Also, I have touched my mouth, eyes, etc., and it never spreads elsewhere (not smart in hindsight, but I didn't really think that it was anything so never considered it might be contagious).

Right now I have one elbow, but since I was a child I can remember both knees and both elbows going through this.  It would come and go and drive me crazy for a few days and then it would resolve.  The occurrence on the fingers has been about the last 10-15 years and happens a few times a year and because it usually resolves fairly quickly I have never given it much thought or been able to get in with a derm before it goes away.  

My PCP did a celiac blood test that came back negative but said I should see the derm, which I am in a few days.  I took pictures in case the rash is improved.

So my questions:

1.  Could this be dematitis herpetiformis if the blood test for celiac is negative?
2.  I don't really have any gastro symptoms and tend far more towards constipation
3.  My upper abdomen is distended.  I have 4 kids and so attributed to multiple pregnancies and weight.  Not sure if that is a gastro symptom.

Bottom line is I am exhausted and any hope of finding a reason is so important to me, but always feel like I am grasping at straws.

Please share any thoughts.  thank you.
2 Responses
1340994 tn?1374193977
Celiac tests are not fool proof, but it sounds like your rash might be common old impetigo or ringworm.  

For your constipation, try magnesium citrate.  Don't take a different kind.  If you don't find it at the drug store (ask the pharmacist to help) you can order on Amazon.  I use Nature made gelcaps.  

Avatar universal
Some times it takes several blood test to test positive but a scope will be a positive diagnosis if gluten has been ingested
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