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Social Anxiety
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Hi everyone. I was diagnosed last June and I've been gluten-free (hopefully) since then. I know I've accidentally ingested gluten from time to time, but haven't done it intentionally. I'm finally starting to feel that my diet is under control. My main problem is that for the last two years or so, when my symptoms (mostly diarrhea and cramping) started to get really bad, I started getting really nervous about being around people, mostly because I knew that I would need to run to the bathroom at really inconvenient times. At the height of my symptoms, I was going 6 or 7 times a day, and the more I worried about having to go, the worse it got! Soon I was avoiding meetings with my boss and colleagues for fear that in the middle of it, I would have to run to the bathroom, or I would be afraid that my intestines would start to make horrible sounds. When I was forced to be in those types of situations, I would get so panicky that I would start to sweat and feel really sick. I thought that I would feel more normal once my body started to recover, and although I still have diarrhea sometimes, my symptoms are gradually improving. But the social anxiety is still present. Right now I'm unemployed, and I'm dreading starting another job because I don't want the same phobia to pop up again. Does anyone else have this problem? I feel like I have no control over my own mind and body sometimes. I need to figure out how to get past this so I can live a normal life again. Thanks for your input.

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Hi shimma, welcome to the board. I completely understand what you mean about the social anxiety. I have been gluten-free for over 4 months and I still have it too. I cannot and will not leave my house until I go to the restroom and if for some reason I don't go then I don't leave my house. Talking about my life revolving around the toilet! <_< It is very sad and often makes me angry but that is the way my life has become. I hope and pray one day soon things will change and I can get up and go when and where I want. It has affected my entire life with family, friends and church.

I know it is hard to make other people understand what we all go through, we just need to hang in there. If you are like me you do not want to be on meds to help it, I think with more time on the gluten-free diet it will improve. Just keep your chin up and stick to that diet and continue to watch for improvements.

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Shimma

You are not alone. I experienced the same symptoms for the past 5 years.

I've been gluten-free to the best of my knowledge for almost 2 months; my stomach pain cramping and other symptoms seem to be going away. But I still have strong BM urges when driving somewhere or being in a public place where I fear that I may need to go quickly. I find that I'm isolating myself more and more, it

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shimma and SteveW,

It must be SO frustrating and disheartening to be constantly worried that you will embarrass yourself beyond belief whenever you are in a public place! I am so grateful that my symptoms never got to that point (although I have lost control at home a couple of times!). A thought just occurred to me, though: are you still eating dairy products? Casein (one of the proteins in milk) is very similar in structure to gluten, and some celiacs' bodies apparently cannot tell the difference between the two! I wonder what would happen if you cut dairy products completely out of your diet for a month or so. If your symptoms improve, you could try eating SMALL amounts of dairy again, but if the symptoms start to return you should probably go dairy-free permanently. I still miss cheese and sheep's yogurt, but I know that dairy is NOT my friend! I hope you quickly discover the cause of your troubles so you can begin to reclaim your lives!

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I'm pretty much dairy free.Had some plane Stonyfield yougert last week that didn't bother me but I've been avoiding all other dairy.

I'm still learning about what foods bother me and what dosen't so food is to blame somtimes.

But I know a lot has to do with stress and anxiety.I'm always pariniod about the food I eat and it's like I'm waiting for some bad reaction.I'm finding it difficult to get my mind off of it.

Steve

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I went off dairy for a while, and didn't find any improvement. I'm very mistrustful of food though. Although I thought I was gluten-free for months, I think I was accidentally dosing myself by eating in restaurants (which I absolutely don't trust at all anymore and avoid like the plague!) and suspicious flours. I've started avoiding the rice and tapioca flours you find in Chinese or Indian markets because I don't know how they're manufactured and they could be why I was still having symptoms even though I was trying to be gluten-free. SOO....was I having symptoms because of accidental contamination, or because of dairy? Who knows? I should try cutting back dairy again now that I'm being super strict, but it's hard because I'm such a cereal addict (and there's a couple of really good gluten-free cereals out there! And I just can't get into soy milk). Cereal's one of the few things that really satisfies my carb cravings.

I know that my social problems are caused mainly by stress. Ever since I started college back in 96, whenever I had a test, I would always have diarrhea that morning and often right before the test as well. I always blamed it on nerves. My bowels didn't bother me at other times until my symptoms started to get really bad, and then I was stressed all the time and the BMs just got worse (what a vicious cycle.....nervous about having to go, and then having to go making the stress even worse!) So even if my symptoms clear up entirely when my body is healed, I think it'll take a long time to get over the stress and anxiety of wondering whether I'm going to have to go at an inconvenient time. I used to be able to forget about it and go later when it was convenient, but I can't do that anymore. I just get obsessed about it...and holding it gets incredibly uncomfortable.

Anyway, it really helps to tell this to you guys and hear that there are others having similar problems. Thanks for your input.

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Hello. I know exactly what you and everyone else is saying. I have such awful anxiety. Before I couldn't even got to the grocery five minutes away with out freaking out. I get nervous and panicy and feel like a total nutter. My doctor offered to give me on some anti-axiety medicine and it helps a lot. I also go to a therapist to help me deal with knowing it is okay to go out and do things. I am in college and some days I can't sit in class and pay attention; I just count the miutes down and just want to get out of there. With the medicine now I can sit, pay attention, learn, and even participate. When I have the days of being sick and feeling bad it makes me really nervous and the anxiety is bad but it isn't near as bad as it was before the medicine and therapy. My doctors told me it will take awhile to feel better about going out and being in class but that I won't always feel this nutty. I hope they are right because I hate feeling the way I do before anything or just sitting in class. It is always good to see that I am not the onyl one who suffers the anxiety so just remember that you are not alone, too! My only advice is seeing your doctor and talking about it and going to a therapist; it is helping me.

Kristina

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I, too, know exactly what everyone is saying. I've been suffering from celiac disease symptoms for about five years, starting a few months into college. I always thought that the symptoms were a result of nerves, but now I know that they are a result of celiac disease. I wonder how many other people out there have come to or need to come to that realization. I'm happy to be in a group of understanding people. Thank you :D

Now the trick is trying to rewire my brain to function without the pain. I've been thinking about possible solutions. I'd rather not take any chemicals as I try to only ingest natural and wholesome foods. But maybe I should reconsider..? I'm also wary about seeing a therapist. But maybe I should reconsider..? I'm also interested in yoga and meditation. Does anyone have any experience in these things?

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I actually just found out I might be suffering from celiac disease, but about a year ago I had fainted in my college classroom and the only explanation that the doctors had was that my liver enzymes were a little high could and thats what caused it. The only symptoms of celiac disease I had were sever stomach pain and I would be terrifed to go out for fear that I would be in so much pain or that I would faint. I feel a little bit better about going out now actually knowing what is wrong and that im fixing my problems. The best thing to do is just take it slow do what you feel your comfortbale with and something you enjoy. good luck!!

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Hi all <_<

i know what you all are going through

i have been gluten-free for 14 months but have had the symptoms for about 20+ years was very sick now i just like to stay at home and dont go out much i have my quilting to do but i find the problem is food when i go out i have to take it with me i just cant meet someone at the coffee shop and say yeah lets have a big fat cream cake heheheheheheheheheheheheheheh i do meet them for coffee but thats it then they wont eat anythng because they dont want to upset me (which doesnt worry me really as i know what it will do to me and the pain well lets not go there)

i too have the bowel problem and i just carry a spare pare of undies just in case (never had to use them but........) hope this is helpful to everyone and love to hear more of your input to the room just wish we had a chat room that we all could chat at once :rolleyes:

jacque

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Hi all <_<

i know what you all are going through

i have been gluten-free for 14 months but have had the symptoms for about 20+ years was very sick now i just like to stay at home and dont go out much i have my quilting to do but i find the problem is food when i go out i have to take it with me i just cant meet someone at the coffee shop and say yeah lets have a big fat cream cake heheheheheheheheheheheheheheh i do meet them for coffee but thats it then they wont eat anythng because they dont want to upset me (which doesnt worry me really as i know what it will do to me and the pain well lets not go there)

i too have the bowel problem and i just carry a spare pare of undies just in case (never had to use them but........) hope this is helpful to everyone and love to hear more of your input to the room just wish we had a chat room that we all could chat at once :rolleyes:

jacque

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Addressing Soul04 in particular:

I work in psychiatric research and also take a low dose of Prozac and am a great believer in psychotropic medications. I checked with my pharmacy to ensure the medication is gluten free. I know there are lots of people who prefer not to take psychotropic meds but as time goes on, their effectiveness continues to be proven and people are more accepting. Actually, the best/fastest treatment for depression is usually a combination of medication and therapy but either by itself will work, more often than not.

Another thing to consider if you don't want to take medications is light therapy. Do a search on SAD (seasonal affective disorder) for more info. Some researchers are finding light therapy can be used all year round. I also use this and find it worthwhile as do two of my friends. Lots of research backs this up.

As far as the "natural" vs "synthetic" issue, I think there are many natural substances that are poisons (such as gluten, for celiacs!) and many synthetic ones that are beneficial when they are called for (antibiotics, e.g.).

I know that sometimes depression can be secondary to physical illness (like celiac disease with its myriad puzzling symptoms) but sometimes it exists as its own entity. It is the most common psychiatric illness. The good news is that treatments are extremely effective.

I've also done yoga and meditation in the past and these are very worthwhile particularly if you feel anxious. If these things attract you, it's definitely worth looking into. Exercise of most types can help in many mood disorders.

Best wishes!

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Thanks, YankeeD for the insite. I was only diagnosed in October and went gluten-free on Halloween but things were so bad over the summer, that I started taking anxiety meds in July. I have a fairly high stress job, a family, a hubby, a house, 2 dogs, etc., etc., etc.. The meds have truly helped me and now I don't know if I should try to get off them, since I am seeing so much about depression from everyone here. Honestly, I feel sooooo much better now, that I don't want to change anything. It is wonderful to feel good. :lol:

Thanks for all the help

Sharon

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;) Hi shar4

it is fantastic that you feel so good about yourself now but the tablets are helping you dont go off them you need them for a while at least i made the mistake of going off them and now i am regretting it i am actually going back to the doctors to go back on them

let me know how you are going and hope things are great for you and yankeedb thanks for the info i like to gather as much as i can get (info that is :unsure: )

jacque

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I have suffered from depression and SAD most of my life. I had tried St. John's Wort and many other things in the past and got a bit of relief, but not enough. After being gluten-free for a couple of months I was still bad, I had some St. John's Wort and Kava (best taken together, for some people it is the only way St. John's will work) so I tried them again, and WOW! what a difference. I guess I am absorbing both them and other nutrition that are needed for them to work from food and supplements (notably ionic magnesium and other ionic minerals and vitamins). At any rate, the effect was great!

I also have in the last few years developed social anxiety, which is crazy because I am SO social, so I knew something was happening in my brain...it just wasn't me at all! Anyway, now that I have been on the ionic magnesium (from Trace Minerals, there stuff is gluten-free) that is now gone, totally gone! My insomnia is gone, my nerves are getting better every day, I haven't had a migraine since I started it, and much more. Natural Calm is another good magnesium that is gluten-free if your health food store doesn't carry Trace Minerals, but Trace Minerals always includes other lesser known minerals that work together and the results I saw between the two were MUCH greater with Trace Minerals Ionic Magnesium. You will see that on other threads on this forum I have mentioned all of this, but it has really helped me that much and I really feel strongly that recovery can be much faster with the help they provide.

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I too have social anxiety especially when it involves having to take food somewhere. My problems are better than a year ago and I am also on anti-anxiety medication but have weaned down from what I was taking last year. My worry is how I am going to feel after eating because even after a year I still get at times terrible gas pains in my abdomen that sitting is really uncomfortable and it is hard to be sociable when you are feeling miserable.

I tried the Natural Calm but it did not feel well after taking it and so stopped using it--I don't know if it was that or whether I was just getting too much magnesium since it is in my calcium supplement also.

Linda

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I too have social anxiety especially when it involves having to take food somewhere. My problems are better than a year ago and I am also on anti-anxiety medication but have weaned down from what I was taking last year. My worry is how I am going to feel after eating because even after a year I still get at times terrible gas pains in my abdomen that sitting is really uncomfortable and it is hard to be sociable when you are feeling miserable.

I tried the Natural Calm but it did not feel well after taking it and so stopped using it--I don't know if it was that or whether I was just getting too much magnesium since it is in my calcium supplement also.

Linda

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Linda,

Did you get the runs? How did you feel? My Mom had to cut back to a tiny amount per dose but feels good on that (better than not taking it), of course everyone is different.

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Lisa,

When I took the Natural Calm it caused pain and a general feeling of not feeling well. I have the opposite of most Celiacs, I was always constipated, but since going on this diet a year ago I am no longer having that problem.

Linda

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Linda,

Hmmm <_< , I'm the constipated type too and it helped me so much, my Mom always had the runs and had the problem with not being able to take much at a time. The only thing I can say is that it is not ionic like the Trace Minerals Ionic Magnesium and then is not as absorbable, infact when a supplement is not from a source that would normally be consumed by humans it takes body energy to convert it (if it even can) to a usable form. So, you could be unusually sensative to that or you don't need magnesium or it is causing that reaction because of combination with the meds...

Here is a list of magnesium rich foods, maybe that is the way to go for many:

MAGNESIUM-RICH FOOD ITEMS

MAGNESIUM

FOOD ITEM SERVING (oz) CONTENT(mg)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peanuts, all types, roasted 1/2 cup 131

Tofu, raw, regular 1/2 cup 127

Peanuts, all types, raw 1/2 cup 123

Broccoli, cooked 2 large stalks 120

Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 79

Chard, Swiss, cooked 1/2 cup 76

Soybeans, cooked 1/2 cup 74

Tomato paste, canned 1/2 cup 67

Simulated meat products, meat extender 1 ounce 61

Small white beans, cooked 1/2 cup 61

Sweet potato, canned, mashed 1/2 cup 61

Black beans, cooked 1/2 cup 60

Dock (sorrel), cooked 1/2 cup 60

Nuts & seeds, all types 1 ounce 60 avg. (9-152)

Pumpkin seeds 1 ounce 152

Chestnuts 1 ounce 9

Chili with beans, canned 1/2 cup 58

White beans, cooked 1/2 cup 57

Baked beans 1/2 cup 55

Navy beans, cooked 1/2 cup 53

Peanut butter 2 tablespoons 51

Beet greens, cooked 1/2 cup 49

Lima beans, baby, cooked 1/2 cup 49

Refried beans, canned 1/2 cup 49

Mung beans, cooked 1/2 cup 48

Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 47

Pinto beans, cooked 1/2 cup 47

Whole grain cereals, ready-to-eat 1 ounce 47 avg. (22-134)

Blackeyed peas, dried, cooked 1/2 cup 46

Okra, cooked 1/2 cup 46

Great Northern beans 1/2 cup 44

Squash, acorn, baked 1/2 cup cubes 43

Lima beans, large, cooked 1/2 cup 41

Kidney beans, all types, cooked 1/2 cup 40

Chickpeas, cooked 1/2 cup 39

Purslane, cooked 1/2 cup 39

Yogurt, low fat varieties 1 cup (8 oz.) 37

Broadbeans, cooked 1/2 cup 36

Split peas, cooked 1/2 cup 36

Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup 35

Milk, fluid, all types 1 cup (8 oz.) 35 avg. (28-40)

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;) hi lisa b

from reading everyones messages i have come to the conclusion that everyone is differnt with celiac disease it effects us all in a different way i still find things i am having trouble with and i have been gluten free since 2002

still have the depression and shut myself away in my safe house where everything is great as i dont have any tempations from out side

love to hear everyones input though keepem coming

Jacque :blink:

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Lisa B.

Thanks for the list--I am going to copy it. Some of the items I cannot eat, but other I can. Thanks again.

Linda B.

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Hi, I wanted to update anyone who was still interested in this topic.

When I wrote that first post, I had been unemployed for quite some time. I was dreading having to work because of all my anxiety and recurrent bowel problems. In fact, the thought of starting a job made me incredibly nervous. But I knew I needed to find a job because there was no guarantee that I would get better anytime soon.

Anyway, I just started a new job two weeks ago. My first week was really hard--I was constantly worried about having gas or the runs, and did have them pretty often. I was so sick that I thought I was going to have to quit for sure. Then I started reading this message board a little more intensively, and noticed that several people were recommending probiotics. Since my work is right across from a Whole Foods Market, on my lunch break one day I went over and browsed their supplement section. I can't remember the brand name of what I bought, but it's called Sensitive Colon Support. It combines probiotics with some other natural ingredients that are supposed to soothe irritated bowels. I took it that night, and felt so great the next day--better than I have since my symptoms started years ago. It's now been four days since I started that supplement, and I haven't had any issues at work, and I'm feeling really good. Amazingly, not only have my bowel problems significantly improved, but my anxiety has been reduced greatly--I guess the two problems are pretty intertwined. I'm starting to feel like a normal person again, and it's such a great feeling!

Let me know how the rest of you are doing, and if you have any stories to share.

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Hi All

I've read everyone's messages and must add that my husband has been dealing with celiac unbeknownst to him for 28 years or so. Over those years he eliminated the wrong foods from his diet which he thought were giving him indigestion and gas. He eliminated fruits, vegetables, spices, fried foods and tomatoes. He had bathroom problems to the point that I would laugh and call the bathroom his office. He developed depression and social anxiety too. This was to the point of not wanting to go to other people's homes and social functions (he didn't mind walking around the Mall as long as he did his bathroom stuff BEFORE we left the house. He would go to restaurants for pancakes and dinner. He developed an avoidance of public restrooms - more anxiety. We never traveled except to Malls and certain relatives for a hour or two and to the sea shore for a week, as long as we took an efficiency motel room so he could make his own gluteny breakfast - remember he didn't know he was celiac until about 5 mos ago). He became a hermit so to speak. He would be excused from jury duty (due to bathroom problems) and we always declined wedding/party invitations because we never knew what they were serving, etc. It was more trouble to go than to have him eat before going just to watch everyone eating food he couldn't have - and this wasn't even a gluten free diet. So the gluten free diet has made going places even more difficult. The celiac disease diet has made his social anxiety even worse, if that could be possible, but it is.

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Hi debmidge,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's troubles. Is the gluten-free diet making him feel any better physically? I know that I still had a lot of bowel troubles even after going gluten-free, and my social anxiety didn't get any better either.

After reading a lot of the posts on this board, I wonder if the anxiety is a product of two things: having bathroom issues already, and also being nutritionally out of balance. If your husband has cut out a lot of fruits and vegetables, he's probably not getting the balance of vitamins and minerals he needs. I never thought that food could affect your mood, but now I'm realizing that diet affects your health in just about every way--including your mental state.

I'm not a doctor, but I would suggest that maybe he get tested for any deficiencies. I've tried to up my magnesium intake after reading the posts on this message, and that could be part of why I feel better, in addition to the probiotics. (The probiotics, by the way, are helping somewhat, but my first post in response to the supplement was maybe a little optimistic--I don't feel 100% better, but I do feel at least 50% better). It's certainly better than nothing.

Good luck, and I hope he feels better soon.

Amy

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