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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Does Gluten Affect Your Thinking ?
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14 posts in this topic

Hi, I have suffered for over fifteen years with IBS. D bloating wind pain and nausea

but after getting progressively worse in the last few years and losing a lot of weight

the main hospital doctor suspected Celiac disease after my Sechat results showed mal apsorbtion

but on my follow up appointment the doctor was looking for my Celiac results in my notes

and apparently his colleague had not taken my blood samples to test specifically for Celiac

And by this time I decided to go Gluten free to see if it would help me

So not surprisingly my blood test results didn't show anything up

I did do a home blood test from personal diagnostics which was positive for celiac

I am still under the Celiac Doctor as I showed a completely positive response to the Gluten free Diet

and also still under the dietician until I start gaining weight ,

I used to be overweight but now I am finding it hard to put any weight back on ,

I have been Gluten free for nearly ten months now but I don't think I did it very well for the first few months even though the big D stopped which was a miracle, I but I was glutening myself accidently on a regular basis,

I found any glutening would cause such horrible reactions within my body I would go very hot and sweaty and nauseous and get a depressing itching pain in my upper stomach and sort of under my arm too

then it would actually affect my thinking ! .....

the only way I can describe it was a feeling of fear despair and panic and I couldn't help thinking I was going to die !...it lasted a couple of hours

It only happened after ingesting gluten but what made it worse is that I didn't realise what it was at the time ,

I thought I was losing my mind but thankfully it passes and gets less and

Does anyone else ever get mind affecting responses like this from getting glutened ?

Also I cannot tolerate casein milk protein and I just wondered can a casein intolerance ever go away like lactose intolerance can ?

Cal

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Gluten does have an effect on my thinking.  It makes me anxious and depressed and not terribly rational.  I think that may be my worst symptom.

 

I was so happy to get diagnosed and be able to be normal again.

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Y s

 

First there is brain fog and fatigue and distaste for making easy decisions.  Still, I trust my self to drive and things. 

 

Most of the time, I even get my spelling right!

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I feel like it most definitely affects my thinking, I get total brain fog

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I think it's my worse symptom too , plus not being able to sleep, I used to sleep around the clock now I wake up at regular intervals , my body clock seems topsy turvy ,

I admire you driving , I am still a bit scared to drive

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Apart from major problems from glutening like anxiety, depression, flying off the handle (general temperament probs), tearful - to name but a few!

I am none of these gluten free - a real happy bunny :) .

Have also noticed it affects my piano playing (for pleasure) and mental arithmatic.

It's as if it gets into your brain and then it can't function properly - sort of clogged up.

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Oh absolutely. I find I can't think of the right word to say, I can't multitask, and I get irritable and anxious. (Now that I'm gluten free I have fingernails for the first time in my life :) Bonus!)

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I have "Brain Fog" as well.  It is the symptom that got me going down the road to self diagnosis.  It is debilitating.  It influences my ability to interact with new people, it couples with anxiety, and makes me depressed because I just want to feel "normal."

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Yessssss. While on gluten I feel pessimistic, and then off of it im very optimistic, talkative, and excited for the future! I'm so excited for when i get to start back on my gluten free diet! :) And also after being off of gluten, the day I started eating it again my emotions went crazy. I just felt so lost and couldnt organize my thoughts, and I also started crying because my mom yelled at me for something reaallly stupid(i dont even remember what it was).

 

So yes, it does! gluten gave me anxiety and depression... Yet I never actually thought I was depressed.. Its strange, but makes sense now :)

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The main symptoms I experience are neurological symptoms..dizziness, headache, fatigue, brain fog, feeling of pressure in the head or sinus, confusion, irritabilty, inability to focus or concentrate, sore bloodshot eyes. I've had people think I'm drunk or on drugs.

 

I am still not 100% sure if I have a gluten intolerance problem, but it seems like a possibility. These symptoms may or may not be entirely correlated to gluten consumption.

Edited by djs89
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Yes.  Memory problems, especially logging short-term to long-term memory.  My thinking slowed down incredibly.  I could hardly think at all after an accidental glutening (and literally couldn't remember what someone said 2 sentences ago in an important conversation).  Two days later, I clocked a math problem which should have taken me 10 to 15 seconds instead taking me 40 minutes... with help.  This was typical at that time.  I had some energy to think faster than that in the course of a day, but it was limited.  I think I'd get about an hour and a half of thinking at 1/50th my normal speed (at a guess), and the rest of the day was much worse than that.

 

I also felt like I couldn't reach parts of my brain just after being glutened.  Particularly, I felt I couldn't reach the part which controls social interaction.  I would know, from observing people's reactions and my knowledge of what's normal appearance for people, that I was exhibiting the wrong body language in certain situations... but, I couldn't figure out how to fix it.  I barely had the energy to be present and listening to what was going on - and of course I was trying to participate in what was going on, since I'm stubborn - so I think my body just didn't have the energy to provide access to that part of my brain.  Just my personal guess at a reason.  I was choosing, in the morning in the shower, which parts of my brain wouldn't work each day, since I could tell I didn't have the energy to run everything but felt I needed to keep going to keep my career on-track....   Admittedly, that was stupid.  I should have been off on medical leave then, but I was determined and - did I mention? - stubborn.

 

Difficulty concentrating didn't feel like an issue at the time, but after eliminating every possible trace of gluten and consequently returned to a clear head I noticed that concentrating had been much harder than it needed to be.  I no longer have to exert energy just to be present in a situation, let alone to concentrate on something.  Concentration is just a natural state now, like it should be.  I can also relax now without feeling like my brain might scatter to all ends of the earth: before, I was exerting so much energy just to keep myself together and keep pushing forward that I felt if I stopped, I'd just fall apart and never be able to do anything again.

 

Depression was a problem, but I learned to turn it around without really knowing that I was, underlyingly, depressed.  I know that sounds odd.  Again, it was only after going completely gluten-free that I realized that I didn't actually need to exert energy to stay happy: I could naturally enjoy things and have fun without putting any effort whatsoever into the task of enjoying what I was doing.

I think what made me dislike making small decisions and doing any mandatory tasks sooner than required was not gluten, but a nutrient deficiency in folate.  I thought these problems were due to cross-contamination or my brain still healing from being glutened.  However, after having some bread enriched with folate and a few other vitamins, these problems completely disappeared.  I did some nutrition analysis using an online nutrition database and discovered my folate intake was borderline, but my intake of the other vitamins in the bread were more than adequate.  Hence, my conclusion of folate deficiency.  Folate is required to make neurotransmitters, FYI.

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@ForestAndTrees: I totally identify with losing access to part of your brain feeling. I was feeling like that all the time before I figured out this whole thing. Also, folate! I will have to look into possible deficiency issues a bit more because at times I feel my fogginess / mental issues are worse and I know I haven't had any gluten...

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The main symptoms I experience are neurological symptoms..dizziness, headache, fatigue, brain fog, feeling of pressure in the head or sinus, confusion, irritabilty, inability to focus or concentrate, sore bloodshot eyes. I've had people think I'm drunk or on drugs.

 

I am still not 100% sure if I have a gluten intolerance problem, but it seems like a possibility. These symptoms may or may not be entirely correlated to gluten consumption.

I have simlar symptoms with a whole buch of foods besides gluten, as well as eisodes that don't seem to correlate with food reactions at all.

 

For me, it's easy to tell when it's triggerered by gluten, or other food,   because I have simultaneous GI symptoms (primarily severe wind and bloating)  all occurring 5-6 hours after eating, and theress a very clear transition from OK to awful under these circumstances

 

The point is, don't rule out Gluten as a trigger just because other triggers might also  exist!

 

I'm becoming pretty sure that low blood sugar is also a trigger in my case (though that isn't accompanied by wind! thus was harder to pick out)

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One of my first symptoms after being glutened (even minute contamination) is irritability. If nothing sets me off, I might miss it, but it doesn't take much to set me off and my reactions are completely out of proportion to the situation. Anger is often the first noticeable symptom that makes me realize that I've been glutened on a small scale. This normally starts an hour or two after and lasts for about 6-8 hours. 

Following that I get sinus pain and migraine headache, starting while still irritable, and lasting as little as one day, as much as three but is mainly about pain and discomfort.

Then the brain fog sets in. I wouldn't refer to it as depression as I don't feel negatively, but also don't seem to accomplish much until I start to recover, kind of like when you have a fever and can't seem to even read a book, but without the fever. And almost every time, I don't seem to realize I'm in the midst of the brain fog until it has lifted.

I can't really say if gluten was causing cognitive or mood issues prior to going gluten free, even in hindsight nothing specific comes to mind though I probably had quite a few times where I had accidentally gone gluten free without realizing it and suffered from withdrawal/retox symptoms. Maybe there was some lack of concentration? I do have to wonder what others would say they noticed. Then again, I probably don't want to know.

But I can say that having a whole list of mysterious ailments that seemed to have no cause and never a diagnosis was extremely stressful.  

But I have had problems with other vitamin deficiencies that appear to have caused their own issues that only got worse after going gluten free. And though I wouldn't call it depression because I didn't feel negatively, supplementing the deficiencies I have been tested for has definitely made me feel more energetic and motivated, and have resolved some other pain issues that were quite stressful. The main culprits appear to be vitamin D and B12 despite that my levels weren't all that far out of the normal range. I still need to get more comprehensive testing done to see what else my body wasn't absorbing.

Oh, and I lost a lot of weight every time I had more gluten in my diet (when I had jobs with long hours that forced me to eat out more often). Losing five pounds a month without even trying was pretty standard. At its worst, I was probably 20 pounds underweight and looked awful, bones sticking out everywhere and unable to gain weight no matter how much I ate. That lasted for years until I got a job where I brought my own lunches. Seems as if when I did my own grocery shopping and cooking, I was just naturally avoiding gluten. 

I regained some weight after going gluten free, but nothing that can't be attributed to poor food choices. At first, I was letting myself eat things I shouldn't simply so that I didn't feel deprived. Then things evened out.

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