Long rant ahead.

I've been really ill for the past year (and on and off for about 5). I've been routinely ill - with short periods of recovery, and then only to be ill again a few days later.

I had an allergy test done 3 years ago where it was stated that I was allergic to gluten. I've been on a strict gluten free diet, which was fine for a year - but now I'm becoming ill routinely again despite this.

I'm in my final year in college, and my studies have really suffered because of this. I plan on going on to doing my masters this september, but if I can't get this sorted - I seriously won't be able to do anything.

My symptoms are basic a terrible immune system. I routinely get colds and fevers. I feel tired. I take vitimin C routinely, excercise, and my diet is otherwise balanced. My eyes feel puffy, and I know when I'm becoming ill as they turn from white to either bloodshot, or yellowish.

I want to get an allergy test done, but I want to get it done correctly. I don't want to have it done with someone unqualified. Could someone advise me, of anyone - anywhere in Ireland. I'm willing to travel, as this is completely ruining my life. I'm just in my final weeks of college and I've a heapload of work to do - but I'm struggling because I'm just in bits.

Doctors are hopeless. When I originally got ill, I was sent to hospital about 10 times - to get blood-test, after blood-test. But they found nothing - so I got sick of giving blood and stopped going because it was the same old nonsense everytime. They said that they didn't find any signs of being coeliac through the blood tests, but that it may be non-coeliac gluten intolerance. Although in fairness, they didn't seem to have a clue what was going on.

Somebody help me. I'm at my wits end. It's getting to the stage where I'm drinking lemsip just to put me asleep so I don't have to be awake feeling ****ty. I'm 27 and I shouldn't be feeling or living like this.

graflynn Registered User

Hi there,
I'm not a doctor so I have no idea what could be wrong with you but I feel like you need some ideas about what to do next.

It's horrible when you don't have GP you feel has your best interests at heart. If you had a GP who was interested in strange & mysterious illnesses it might help?

When you removed gluten from your diet did you see a dietician for advice on what to supplement it with? You know the way people who become vegetarian have to make sure that they are getting enough protein from other sources, maybe when you remove gluten you might also be removing some vitamins and minerals that are important to the body's health.

Your gluten-free foods may be getting contaminated. I know with coeliac disease that you have to store the gluten-free food separately to avoid contamination from the gluten products.

On the allergy testing; we used an allergist in the Galway Clinic when we suspected that my son was lactose intolerant. His name was Dr Joe Fitzgibbon and he was good.

While I was looking up his name I came across this other post about the same subject and it may be useful to you.

Good luck.

ppink Registered User


I am not a doc either so have no idea what could be the cause of all your problems but I have had illness undiagnosed for a long time and my advice would be not to give up trying to sort this out properly. By complete chance I was referred to a major Dublin hospital for one issue I had and it completely changed everything for me. If you think about it they have more throughput of people presenting will all sorts so are in (i believe) a better position to help with cases that are not the norm.
If I were you I would take a deep breath and research specialists and see where to go next. I know this may sound harsh and it is not meant to be but nobody will sort this out but you. You just have ot be like a dog with a bone. I was your age when I ended up (needlessly!!) totally incapacitated and bed ridden for a long time. Had I persisted and sought second opinions I may not have been in that boat.
Best of luck

kangaroo Registered User

I've ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I had York Testing* done around 18 months ago as I was impressed but one or more studies they were involved in.

The big problem is the cost - think it's over E300 which is a hell of a lot if you're a student. But at least there is no extra doctor fee involved.

There is two stages to the test - a cheap initial test to see if you have intolerances and then a dearer part.

When you get your result, you then can have consultation(s) with their dietician over the phone who can make recommendations on diet.

I was sort of disappointed as I only had a handful of allergies show up out of 113 (?) food types and they were all at the weakest level.

Like ppink said, I wouldn't give up seeing if there is an underlying cause. It took over 5 years for me to get diagnosed with ME/CFS (during college) - doctors simply weren't on the look out for it - it took me to ask my GP could I have it for her to refer me to somebody who had an interest.

* I've no financial interest


I'm actually registered with the Irish ME association, I receive post from them all the time. The doctors don't want to know about it though. If it's something that they haven't studied, they don't care about it.

I don't think I have ME - I think it's rather a food allergy, as it only springs up from time to time (I'm aware of the link of certain foods to flares of ME/Fybromylagia). I'm on detox today on water and grapes, and I know I'll be fine tomorrow if I do that - but when I'm hungry and need carbs, i'll get ill again. So resistance is almost futile.

Has anyone had a skin prick test done? When I was tested, it wasn't a skin prick test. Infact, I'm not sure how it worked. I just placed my fingertip on a device - and he loaded food types into a compartment.

The whole food allergy thing is really confusing however. For over 20 years of my life I never had any reactions, then all of a sudden everything happens. I become intolerant to gluten, I get bloated, constipation, routine colds, fevers the works. I was a picture of health before that.

In saying that - it kind of coincides with me starting work and college - and not having a chance to have my own diet. I ended up on junkfood all the time, and I think I've done some damage to my body.

I'm going to go back to my doctor on monday and ask him to refer me to a specialist. I've no intentions of spending another 10 visits to hospital giving pints of blood for them to look at me with a confused look on their face. It's a waste of my time, and their time.

kangaroo Registered User

The York Test is a skin prick test. Just remembered what a skin prick test - no, the York test isn't a skin prick test (it just involves giving a bit of blood from your finger which is handy as you don't have to go to a doctor, etc).

I don't know if you have ME or not but some people (quite a lot) have relapsing-remitting ME where they are fairly well for a period (although not usually 100% in that they couldn't play competitive sports or probably work a full-time manual job) and then worse periods. For the first four years of ME, I had it fairly mild, going to school then college, doing some part-time work and doing some exercise to try to get myself fit (wanted to get back to sports). Then I relapsed after a tough exam (you were expected to answer every question on the paper and the paper would be marked out of the person who did the most questions), with my glands and throat swelling up a couple of hours after the exertion involved. I felt like I had a virus for a month after that. I never got back to my previous level after that. I wish I had been diagnosed and I could have had rests during the exam and I might not have relapsed. I probably would have put less demands on myself (although some of the demands came from other people also).

kasper Registered User

i had annaplactic shock twice about ten years ago , eventually got the allergy test done properly in the blackrock clinic in dublin no allergies showed up out of almost 150 different things tested tests cost less than 800 euro ,i had a few quacks do tests before that and i was supposed to be allergic to almost everything including water (floride ) still no further on ,i had very bad reactions to nsaids which seems to have passed . best of luck with your tests

DrIndy Registered User

If you are getting allergy testing done, make sure it is with a allergist - preferably an immunologist. The full screen is a load of blood tests for IgE to certain foods and environmental products and skin scrapings with allergens.

There is a lot of quackery about and "alternative" allergy tests, they may seem slightly cheaper and easier to do - but are not scientific and are not validated. Another poster mentioned he was told he was allergic to water!

It is also good to find a GP you like. Some people like chatty GP's, some people like the silent ones who just grunt and give you a script (people sometimes don't like intrusive questions and just want the problem dealt with). Its about finding one you do get on with. In any long term condition - you do need a good working relationship with one or two doctors (GP and specialist) to manage it rather than several.

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