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I Think I'm Gluten Intolerant? Help Please

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So I think I have a gluten intolerance/sensitivity. I say I think because I have not seen a doctor about it yet, and I only noticed that something was wrong with my body about two weeks ago. Everybody knows how their body feels and works and mine all of a sudden just was not behaving normally. Let me preface this by stating all my existing conditions/problems: 20 year old female, lactose intolerant (have been for about a year now), on daily medications for ADHD, anxiety/depression, and birth control. I've just moved back to college for my last year of school, and I'm mourning the recent loss of my father.


Now about the gluten problem. I just noticed new signs about two weeks ago when I would be eating lunch at work. Usually I had a sandwich (white or wheat), sometimes it was pasta. Almost immediately after I began eating, my stomach would develop a sour feeling - no other way to describe it other than an achey, upset, crampy, bloated feeling in my lower abdomen. The urge to go to the bathroom (though it was not always necessary), gassier than I've ever been in my life, I'd feel very drowsy and slow, and randomly my joints started hurting (knees, hips and ankles). At first I thought it might be excess stomach acid so I started taking Rolaids throughout the day and drank more water and had a snack in between breakfast and lunch. And the bad feelings would last so long I wouldn't have the appetite for dinner. I ruled out stomach acid, as I wasn't having heartburn or indigestion. In the mornings I usually have a bagel or two pieces of toast or something bready, since I don't have cereal anymore and never had time to make anything fancier than that. I've been eating bread my whole life so why all of a sudden does it bother me? But now I'm thinking that maybe I always had signs of it, but I was just treating those like they were the result of eating too much pizza or a big sandwich on a bagel and just thinking "oh my stomach just hurts because it's full". 


So I decided to try avoiding gluten for a period to see if I felt any better. During this time I moved back to school, and moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend. I did some research about what kind of foods to get, but here in this small college town, your two grocery options are either Walmart or Giant (and I'm on a tight college kid budget so I unfortunately chose Walmart). I thought I was pretty good about reading the labels and ingredients of things, but I wasn't as good as I thought because I still came back with bad stuff. And later after shopping for hours I was so hungry and slipped and got Chipotle (a big tortilla quesadilla to be exact) and got soo sick from it. So I think it's definitely an intolerance or a sensitivity. Could any experienced people here give me some advice? 


I'm also struggling on what to eat. I cut gluten out of my diet so abruptly, that I'm definitely experiencing withdrawal. I feel like a zombie. Always hungry, extremely low energy but not tired enough to sleep, unmotivated and frankly pretty depressed. Is this just what happens when someone makes a sudden change in diet? Will it go away? For lack of proper knowledge and optimal resources, all I've had to eat today was applesauce, a banana, some lemon yogurt, a small serving of brown rice and celery with cream cheese on them, and water. I'm sure my blood sugar is low, and I am depriving myself of the proper nutrients which is not what I want to do at all! I want to be happy, healthy and free of pain and discomfort. 

Please help!!


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Yes your body will go thru a withdrawal, Do you have ins.? Maby you should get tested for Celiac? I think it is important that people get tested when they know they have an intolerance. That way you won't say "Ohh ok Pizza tonight! Then I will be good!" Because you'll know it's Celiac and not an intolerance. Anyway if you choose to get tested you need to keep eating Gluten until after the test. If you decide not to. Yes your body will go thru a withdrawal, the symptoms will subside. You will learn what to eat. It seems hard at first then it becomes like second nature. you have to get to know brands somethings are made in a gluten-free facility some are not. so reading and learning is a big thing. Good luck! This is a good site. Best place to be when your having Gluten problems. 


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Check out the University of Chicago's celiac website for proper testing requirements that you can share with your doctor. Continue to eat gluten until all testing is complete.

I hope you find answers!


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    • Hi AWOL, Since you weren't able to complete the 2 weeks gluten challenge for the endoscopy the results are not necessarily reliable.   So to be err on the side of caution I think you should assume you have celiac disease.  Your doctor should not assume you don't have it either since the challenge was not completed.  He has no proof that you don't have celiac disease.  He does have evidence that you have negative reactions to eating gluten though.
    • Hi Ironic Truth, Thanks for Replying. Wow I get bad joint pain too. So my opinion especially if he is eating gluten is to get him tested. I wish I had been tested when I was eating gluten 8 years ago .  I had tried 8 years ago initially to figure out what the heck was going on with me and my immune system. I started with a GP, went to Allergist/Immunologist etc. I gave up 4 doctors later when nothing seem to be found and you sense they start thinking lady you're a nut job . My cousin a diagnosed Celiac took over 2 years to be diagnosed and she is a nurse. My husband said for years "I think bread is bad for you" and in a desperate attempt to help myself -I gave up wheat after 2 weeks felt better 2 months later I went total gluten-free and felt very much better that was 4 years ago. So I have suspected NCGS or Celiac for a few years now. However getting someone to test you for it when you were classified IBS 20 years prior-well as is chronically heard on the forums here is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. One then just finally says ok I will just try this gluten-free thing myself. I was gluten-free for 3 1/2 years and improving. Then  I got gluten-ed in March of 2016 and I had worse symptoms then ever the joint pain arrived. I went to a new allergist who refereed me to another Allergist/Immunologist who deals with Celiacs and Food Intolerances. I did see a Rheumotologist in July 2016 since the muscle and joint pain was still lingering, who tested me and reported no antibodies. Back to the specialist who did more test and suggested the gluten challenge. It's likely me failing to complete 2 weeks caused it but the symptoms got real bad and I thought I'm going to have worse issues if I don't stop this.  Today my fingers are just starting to heal they were peeling during the gluten challenge among all the other symptoms I get, which I attribute to dehydration. The dry peeling fingers did not improve until I got the IV the day of the scope. Bizarrely I was looking forward to the scope hoping I'd get an IV with Meds and fluids becaus eI felt I needed it. I did see one abstract, I can't get my hands on the full article as you stated their is a link: Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Jan;50(1):126-9. Celiac disease and intestinal metaplasia of the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus). Maieron R1, Elli L, Marino M, Floriani I, Minerva F, Avellini C, Falconieri G, Pizzolitto S, Zilli M So I will pursue the path of monitoring the  Barrett's. Despite no official diagnosis for me, you are right Gluten is bad for me, I should avoid it, I will, and I'll stay on the forums. Good luck with you Boyfriend he is lucky to have you looking out for him.
    • Hi Sunshine, There is a program called a 504 plan that some schools will follow if you get one approved.  It helps the school identify proper ways to deal with a child's particular needs.  Probably it is helpful to have a 504 plan, but they may require a formal diagnosis for it.  I suggest you talk to the school and ask them about it.  Tell them the situation with the kid and about the stress he would need to go through to get diagnosed.  They may be willing to work with you without a formal diagnosis.   I am not saying you absolutely have to have a 504 plan for him.  School districts vary and some may be more accommodating than others.  A 504 plan may give you certain rights, but I  am no expert on them. The gluten challenge is 12 weeks of eating gluten for blood tests.  The payback for being formally diagnosed is questionable IMHO.  Treatment is the same regardless, eating gluten-free for life.  One thing to be aware of is that celiac disease has a genetic factor.  So he got the gene from one of the parents.  Anyone else in the family could have celiac develop at some point.  So testing every couple years for all family members is a good idea. Welcome to the forum!
    • Thank you everyone. I appreciate all of the information and support.  I am feeling overwhelmed right now and it was really getting me down yesterday. I don't feel so hopeless now. 
    • Okay. I think I will start with an allergist and a dietitian. 
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