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How Long Till Gi Symptoms Abate?
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12 posts in this topic

For those of you who had GI symptoms, how long did it take for them to abate when you went gluten-free? My GI symptoms are bloating, gas, cramping, lots of GURGLING and RUMBLING in my guts :) and occasional diarrhea, but more often just fecal urgency. Most of my symptoms appear shortly after eating. I've also had trouble losing weight, unlike a lot of other gluten-sensitive people. I went gluten-free 2 weeks ago, and thought my GI symptoms would quickly disappear, but they haven't. Just wondering what others' experience was. Also, I am a vegan, and have found the gluten-free diet very depressing, even though I am an experienced cook. Most of my vegan meat alternatives contain wheat gluten, so they are now out of my diet. None of the gluten-free cookbooks I bought have been much help, as they all assume I am a carnivore. :o At this point, between the GI symptoms (usually right after I eat) and the lack of vegan gluten-free foods, I am finding food very depressing and I'm beginning to not want to eat at all.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Becky

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Im sorry Becky. It's so hard when you are first starting. What are some of the foods that you like that you can't have? Maybe someone will have a good alternative for you. I found it kind of funny when I read your post, b/c I LOVE meat and always have. Recently I have been finding myself thinking that I am becoming a vegan since being on the diet. I don't know why. Just easy alternatives. I will have Rice cereal in the morning with fruit. Lunch is simple a sandwhich of some sort. Tuna\Peanut butter and bannana\ or a salad\ or rice curry ( I make rice and then mix with cheese, curry powder, raisins, tomatoes, you CAN add cocunut, and pineapple too) IT's really simple and really good. Dinner I usually do have some sort of meat, but it's so much less than I used to eat. I don't know why really I guess just focusing on the simpler things. SO It's funny to read your having the oppsoite problem... Well not funny on your end I guess. :P

About the GI symptoms. I had severe and chronic diarreah, along with much discomfort. I noticed improvements in about 2 weeks. I am now almost 4 weeks and continue to see minor improvements. I have a LONG way to go to be NORMAL again, but I definately have seen some improvements.

Hang in there it will take a while. Also, being brand new at it, it might be possible that you have ingested hidden gluten somwhere. It takes a while to get it all straight.

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Hang in there! It can be really discouraging in the beginning, but it gets better. It could be that you just haven't had enough time to heal yet, but there might be some other type of food that is causing you to feel bad. I was having the same kinds of symtoms you mentioned and they are much better most of the time now.

Soy is one thing to look at. A woman at the Celiac Foundation told me that a lot of Celiacs have trouble with it. A lot of those problems went away when I eliminated it. But I've been gluten free for about 2 months now and I've notice that I can tolerate foods that have small amounts of soybean oil or other forms of soy, such as gluten free tortilla chips. I'm not ready to eat a large amount, such as a portion of tofu, yet, but I'm encouraged and hopeful that as time goes on I will be able to tolerate more. There may be things that only bother you because of the damage done by celiac disease, that you may be able to eliminate for a while and re-introduce after a period of healing.

I'm not sure about the vegan diet, but do you eat dairy? Before I went on the Gluten-Free Diet, I was lactose intolerant. But since I have been gluten-free, I've started eating yogurt, as long as it's gluten-free, and been tolerating it really well. Eggs are another thing that can cause problems. If the problems keep happening, you might want to be tested for food allergies. It helped me a lot to get that information.

As Lauradawn mentioned, you might be getting hidden gluten from somewhere, which would be sabotaging all your efforts. Try checking out the lists of names gluten hides as: modified food starch, vegetable protein, etc. And I've had good results from calling the company about prducts I'm not sure about, to ask them if it is gluten-free. Good luck and keep talking to people on these lists. The answers will come.

Gerri in San Francisco

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Hi, I was diagnosed with Celiacs alittle over 2 months ago and at first being on a gluten free diet I was feeling great. But, recently I started to have diarrhea again and loosing weight. I am 5 ft tall and weigh only 89 lbs. I eat only meats, fruits,rice,potatoes, and vegetables. I cannot tolerate dairy products along with the wheat and gluten. I am very frustrated and would appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you

Tye-Kon

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Some have said that rice causes a reaction of some kind. Try eliminationg it for a while. It could also be that you are allergic to a specific fruit or vegetable. At different stages of healing, the human body will react differently, even not tolerate foods that are not really a problem. I would just start with the rice, then the fruits, if it is not rice. Otherwise, the diet you are on sounds real good. Are you cooking from scratch? That is what I did for the first couple of months, while I read more on being gluten-free.

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Dessa,

Thank you for the feed back. I will cut out the rice for awhile and see what happens and then the fruit. I was wondering maybe it is the fruit and that my body isn't ready to digest it yet. Yes, I do cook from scratch and watch my food intake carefully. I've been taking Calcium and Women's GNC vitamins that are gluten free and didn't know if the vitamins were the problem. My gastro doctor told me to stop taking them which I did, but I started to feel very tired and had reccurance of muscle and joint pain. I started taking them again and the joint pain went away. Can't win for losing(HaHa) I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone with this disease! Thanks to everyone who posts questions and answers.

Tye-Kon

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Right on Becky...I'm with you. Man, I miss all the veggie burgers, frozen vegan veggie lasagnas, chix nuggets, and oh most of all those Boca fake riblets...damn those things were awesome!! Of course, all that stuff contains gluten. Stupid, stupid gluten!! I was diagnosed in December '03...my symptoms were all the same GI mess that you spoke of plus a daily visit or three from diarrhea. It took only about week before the diarrhea stopped, but I still get occasional GI distress and heartburn. I assume its because it is so freaking easy to unknowingly ingest gluten from hidden things like sauces (oh soy sauce, why have you forsaken me?) and breading....being a vegan, I think, at least gives you head start on reading labels before eating stuff. Then again, it's already hard enough to find enough protein and filling foods to keep satisfied, so who the hell needs MORE difficulty in eating, right??!!?? Anyway, you just have to become completely anal retentive (no pun intended) about eating, and when you accidentally or incidentally get some gluten in the system, oh well....spilled soy milk....live with it, catalogue it in the back of your brain, and keep on keeping on. It gets a little easier when being gluten-free becomes a habit, but just like going vegan, the adjustment takes a while to get used to. Eventually, you take the good (i.e. the ability to absorb all the vitamins and minerals that you eat without simply flushing everything out) with the bad (a beer, a beer, my kingdom for a beer). Good luck.

rj

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Thanks to all who have responded. It's good to know I am not alone. :) RJ, thanks for saying what I've been thinking. Stinking, stupid gluten!!! Why does it have to be in so many of the vegan foods it took me *years* to find and learn to work with? But yes, you are right. I've been a label-reader for many years, and that part of going gluten-free is second nature for me. I think I've been able to keep gluten out of my diet successfully for the past couple of weeks, although I'll double-check everything I'm ingesting to make sure I'm not getting hidden gluten.

BTW, for any other vegans/vegetarians/interested persons, I did find a web-site with quite a few vegan foods: www.dixiediner.com Lots of textured soy protein products and even some gluten-free vegan broth mixes. Another source is www.healthy-eating.com, but I've had to do some asking about their products, because they label them if they are "wheat free", which doesn't quite cut it, as you all know well!!

I've been revisiting my vegan/vegetarian cookbooks, and have rediscovered some kinds of ethnic cooking that is by nature gluten-free. I made an Indian vegetarian meal last night, and didn't even have to do *one* substitution! :) Middle Eastern cooking has some possibilities, too, as does Chinese cooking. I just have to be careful to use Eden Wheat-Free Tamari and rice noodles or rice. So I'm feeling more positive about a gluten-free diet in the last few days.

Gerri, as for a soy allergy, all I can say is URK! If I am allergic to soy, I am in deep trouble! Right now, it is a major source of protein for me, and I've had to use even more since going gluten-free. But I'll try giving up soy for a few days and see if I have any improvement.

The GI symptoms continue, although I'm happy to report that I've lost 2 pounds, which I haven't been able to do for months (I am very active, and baffled by my sudden inability to lose weight. Yep, I already had a full thyroid panel done. LOL!) In the last couple of days, the GI symptoms seem to have shifted to about 2 to 2-1/2 hours after eating. Sigh.

Thanks all again and I'll keep ya posted on my progress.

Becky

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I feel like I'm in the Stephen King Novel "Thinner", seems like whatever I eat has been going right through me lately. As I have said in earlier posts, I was feeling really great at first on the gluten-free diet, but lately I've been feeling so sick and seem to be weaker than when I first started the diet. I go back to my GI guy in early May, so hopefully he has some suggestions. I have read some posts here about Digestive Enzymes. Can anyone give me some names of some Digestive Enzymes. I looked in my Nutrition store for UDO's Choice Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend, but didn't see it. I'm taking gluten free Women's Multi Vit, Vit B, and Calcuim. Maybe its iron I need, are all iron vitamins gluten-free? Please, if anyone has any suggestions I would deeply appreciate it.

Tye-Kon

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Hey all, I am in the same boat. I am a vegan (only because I am allergic to dairy but I don't like eggs either). I was dx with celiac disease back in May 03 and I tried hard for four months to follow the diet. I did it and I gained 10 pounds but didn't feel much better at all. Still had all the same symptoms you've all listed with the big "D" all the time every time (nice huh?).

After four months I gave up. I started eating gluten/wheat again until I made a concious decision 2004 was going to be my year, sort of a New Years Resolution. I decided to commit myself to the diet fully. I've had one or two accidental lapses but for the most part I think I've been good. But I am so discouraged because I feel 10 times worse then ever before. The cramping has increased 10 fold and the upset stomach is just constant. No matter what I eat I feel awful moments later. I am at the point where I just don't want to eat anything but I know that's not good and I don't think I could even do that because honestly, I love food.

I don't eat a lot of soy but after reading what you've all said, I will try and cut it out too to see if I feel any better. I am just so discouraged. My doctor only diagnosed me and said, "don't eat gluten" and that was it. I know I am an adult (27) but w/such an unfamiliar disease I could have used a little guidance and support ya know?

I am just so miserable, especially lately. I just don't know what to do. I take Pioneer Digestive Enzymes. They helped at first but now don't seem to be making much of a difference.

I wish I had some encouraging words to share about my experiences since being gluten-free but I don't. I really do enjoy this site and these boards. I learn so much so thank you all.

pt

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pt:

I know exacty what you're saying. A lot of times I don't feel like eating cause everything makes my stomach upset. It is wonderful to have this posting site, at least I know that its not all in my head and other people have the same situation. It is difficult at times to get up and get going, especially to work when you just don't feel up to it. I keep eating the right foods and hopefully soon I'll feel better. I hope you do the same.

Tye-Kon

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Hi, I've been gluten-free for nine weeks, now and my symptoms still aren't completely gone. I had occasional diarrhea, LOTS of bloating, gas, cramping, etc. and like you said, gurgling sounds. I am much less gassy and bloated, that part is almost gone. I have less diarrhea, but it can still come. As for my cramps, they are less severe and shorter, but, again, I still have them. I'm only 13 and I think I've been Celiac since first grade, so about six years. My symptoms still aren't gone yet, but beginning to subside slowly. It takes a while. It can take some people numerous months to heal if they've had it longer. Try staying away from dairy to help your symptoms; the nutritionist said that that could be what kept my cramping coming. I've tried it and it has worked well. I'll be eating dairy soon, though, it's just temporary. Anyway, don't lose hope; every day your intestines are healing and it'll be fine soon.

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