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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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    • I am sorry to hear about your mother.   It is not so hard to get a medical doctor to order a celiac panel -- especially if your father was diagnosed with celiac disease.  Our family GP did not blink an eye when I first asked my daughter to be tested.    If you think your doctor will disregard your legitimate request, you can either fire him or put the request in writing and send it certified (attorneys love documentation!)  I agree that our doctors should support us.  I have a great GI, but my GP  is pretty clueless when it comes to celiac disease, but she admits it.    She does always order all the lab tests I request.  Perhaps it is because I come in with supporting medical documentation and evidence.  If she was not supportive to my satisfaction, I would find a new doctor.   Again, you can go gluten free in your own.   Chance are you have celiac disease.    But it is hard.  Really hard if you do not have the support of your family.  That is my concern.   Are you in the US?  
    • I've just read SO MUCH about the long, arduous process of getting a positive diagnosis through traditional medicine - I'm not sure I want to put myself through all that. Since my father WAS positively diagnosed - I carry the celiac gene and another gene that predisposes me to gluten sensitivity - and my fecal tests for gliadin were SO elevated - there are enough reasons for me to go to a gluten free diet. The true medical diagnosis would just make it easier for my family/friends to believe the necessity of it. My children are adults and not particularly health care nuts. I doubt they would take their own risk seriously without a medical diagnosis. I'm afraid my husband, while he is trying to be supportive at this point, will grow weary of all the things I no longer serve at meals and all the places we will no longer go to because there are not gluten free alternatives on the menu. A medical diagnosis would make it easier for him, long term, I think.  I don't have much faith in general in our western health care system. My mother died 6 months ago at age 82 after 4-5 years of many different health issues. She had given up the keys to her car in her late 70's after getting lost several times. I became her designated driver to all doctor appointments, procedures, hospital stays, etc. The incompetence and disregard I saw blew me away. I'm surprised any elderly people survive our health care system once they get on that revolving door. The reason I started seeing a naturopath is that I am looking for an alternative to medical doctors for most of my health issues as I age. I know there are some things I still have to see them for - and of course, they are essential in trauma and emergency situations. But I am on a quest to follow a more holistic approach to my health care. If this is the path I am choosing, then I have to follow my gut (no pun intended) in situations like this. I think the only reason I would go through the medical testing would be for other people - not me. It seems to me, that with so many people being gluten intolerant these days, a decent M.D. would listen to a patient that was adamant about their intent to live gluten free - positive celiac diagnosis or not (and especially with the gene and stool test results). I mean, they don't tell vegetarians they have to eat meat ... and vegetarianism is a personal choice. Sorry if I seem to be rambling ... this is all so new, and I'm trying to find my way.    
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