Thanks for the suggestion, Boogirl. Yes, I have had both the blood test to screen for celiac disease antibodies and the endoscope biopsy. I left that out of my original comment as I was trying to be concise. You are correct, though, in that anyone who believes that they might have celiac disease should be diagnosed by a medical professional BEFORE making dietary changes. Once gluten is eliminated from a diet and the small intestine starts to heal it is much harder to make the diagnosis.
I also wanted to emphasize that people need to be their own advocate for their health. An individual knows best when something is wrong and should work to find a solution even if that means going to 100 different doctors. If only I had trusted my own instincts more than the tens of doctors’ that I saw, I might have had 20 extra years of better health. Even now, after 10 plus years gluten free, I still have residual side effects from the constant damaging of my intestine and the subsequent malnourishment. Individuals must take responsibility for their healthcare and trust their instincts even if their doctor cannot determine the cause of their ailment.