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Is Being Angry My Only celiac disease Symptom?
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Hi everyone,

I'm new here but by no means new to Celiac D. I was diagnosed about 33 years ago - when I was barely two years old. My parents back then (in Germany btw) kept me gluten-free as much as they could - which was VERY hard back then. I recovered very quick and haven't been sick ever since. During my teenage years I started cheating and had no problems. The cheating got worse and worse until I've started eating "normal" food with the occassional gluten-free "treat".

I've struggled for such a long time now. I just cannot convince myself to do what's right. I almost wish I had severe reactions like some of you because that would surely motivate me to go gluten-free. But I am feeling just fine!!! So why go through with this extremely restricting diet? BTW, I was diagnosed with 2 positive biopsies, so there's no doubt I have celiac disease.

What just caught my attention though is the anger issues supposedly related to celiac disease. I have been having temper issues for the past 2 years or so, which I always assumed are just normal for a SAHM with 2 active boys ages 4 and 7 and no family support (aside from a hardworking husband ;) I mean my family is in Germany and I'm here in Hotlanta...). Over the past few months though I have gotten to the point where I hate the kind of Mom I am, always on the edge and always bickering. Could it be that this is my only celiac disease symptom? If so, how long do I have to make an honest effort to be gluten-free until I notice a difference? I just cannot stand myself lately and if being gluten-free makes a difference, that might be just what I need to stay gluten-free...Then of course there's the other side of me which says it's just nuts to make celiac disease responsible for every ache and pain one has...Oh, my nose is runny - must have inhaled some gluten somewhere...Do you know what I mean? I've had this disease for 33 years and am still not at peace with it - I HATE it and I am very sarcastic about it.

Can someone out there help me get motivated and shed some more light on the anger issue?

Thanks,

Kerstin

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I can tell you that I get major mood swings. I also have a huge temper, as well, probably from Celiac. But ever Celiac is extremely different. Some people are thin, can't gain weight. Others are overweight and can't lose it. Some people have D, some have C... some people have insane brain fog (like me) to the point where they can't function normally. I'm sure you already know this, I just felt like typing that out for some reason=p

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. . . . always on the edge and always bickering.

Hi Kerstin,

I say it's not only possible, I think it's even *likely* that this will change w/ a gluten-free diet.

My own frame of mind changed for the better SO drastically when I finally got all the food intolerances out. ("So drastically" is actually an understatement)

You may even be amazed at who you are w/ a couple wks 100% gluten-free. No cheating and check the toothpaste & everything.

Maybe it takes longer, maybe you can tell in one week that you should've done it long ago.

How can you not give it a good shot?

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Hi Kerstin and welcome :)

Wow--what a story. The first thing that I thought of was that even if you don't feel any symptoms, you are still damaging yourself internally by continuing to eat gluten. I don't mean to scare you, but the chances of intestinal lymphoma in an untreated Celiac is anywhere from 40-100% greater than normal. That's just one example.

I think it's quite possible that your anger issues are caused by gluten. Gluten caused depression, anxiety and panic attacks for me for many years before I had any overt GI problems.

Even now, when I accidently ingest gluten, I get anxious, weepy, sad and not too pleasant to be around.

Why not give the gluten-free diet a chance for real this time? I'll bet that you will notice a difference in your moods and you may even be surprised at other, maybe small things that also improve.

I'm glad that you found us here--this is the absolute best place to come to for support!

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Hello Kerstin, and welcome to our boards. I am German as well (still a German citizen), even though I've been in Canada for over 29 years now.

I used to get complete meltdowns, where I would go into a rage and hurt myself (cracked a bone on my arm once from hitting my arm against a sharp corner). My son still remembers me throwing his new truck (a recent birthday present from a friend) across the room and breaking it when he was mabye four or five.

Since going gluten-free I haven't had any meltdowns, other than when I was glutened. I know, the meltdowns are supposed to be 'normal' with people who have Aspergers and/or Tourette Syndrome. Maybe all other Aspies and people with TS should try the gluten-free diet, too!

You know you have celiac disease. Please do yourself a favour and go back to the gluten-free diet. I am sure it will make a huge difference.

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Hi Kirsten,

I feel your pain...I have young kids too. I think of celiac reactions as several levels: contamination, contact, ingestion of large amounts. My first indicator that I have a contamination reaction is the yelling. I hate the person I become at that point and try hard to shut my mouth and bite my tongue, but that is VERY hard to do with young kids and no patience. The anger and yelling is the reaction that I hate the most and cannot control. I have no patience left, I yell at anything, I want to crawl in a hole and die. I am having one of those days today thanks to yesterdays lunch. And it looked perfect too.

IMO, if you know you have celiacs from the biopsies, bite the bullet and go gluten-free for 2 mths. Track the changes in yourself. You will find that the anger stops. You'll find yourself laughing and playing with your kids more. You'll realize that without the gluten, you are the person you want to be rather than this angry person now. As I said, the anger is my fisrt indicatiopn of a problem, and that is becoming my reason for not eating out much anymore and I LOVE to eat out! I just can't afford the more expensive safe places.

So what part of Atlanta are you in? I used to live on the south side. Loved it there.

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Hi everyone,

thanks for the welcome. I will try (once again) to go gluten-free and see if I notice a difference. It just seems like such a monumental task to do it...I think I'll start by cutting out the obvious stuff and then I worry about things like condiments etc. later.

I do have a Whole Foods nearby, which I'll hit over the weekend. I guess I'll also put in another order at Kinnikinnick, I like their English muffins. For obvious reaons I have not been in the market for a while and will have to start researching what's new out there. Does anyone know a Ritz substitute?

Thanks again for the support,

Kerstin

(PS: I live in the northwestern part of Atlanta, near Marietta)

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I think Glutino makes crackers that are like Ritz crackers. BTW, I wouldn't wait too long before ensurign that all cosemtics etc are also gluten-free. I react to contact. Maybe its an allergy too who knows. But if you are going through the effort to be gluten-free, clear up are the questions about cosmetics, bathroom supplies, lotions, etc that way you give this diet a fair chance to see a channge.

Cherry Brooke Kitchen makes great gluten-free chocolate cake mixes.

BioNature is my favorite pasta

Glutino makes great crackers, waffer cookies, etc.

Gillians French Bread rolls are the best. Frozen food item

Belle and Evans frozen chicken tenders are kid favorites

Those are a few ideas to get you started.

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Well, you should hope it is your only symptom. You don't want lymphoma or colon cancer to be the next symptom!

Check out The Gluten File and read up on neurological symptoms, sounds like you might have that.

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thanks for the welcome. I will try (once again) to go gluten-free and see if I notice a difference. It just seems like such a monumental task to do it...I think I'll start by cutting out the obvious stuff and then I worry about things like condiments etc. later.

. . . . Does anyone know a Ritz substitute?

It's really not monumental at all. It'll be second nature before you know it.

I say why wait on condiments etc? 90% gluten-free doesn't make 90% of the symptoms go away.

Ritz? Used to love 'em. They can't be more important than the difference betw 'angry & bickering' & 'happy & fun'.

Do 100% gluten-free, toothpaste & everything, and you may just be AMAZED at your new mindset in just a week or two. :)

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I'm sorry you have struggled for so many years. I can relate to your experience, being in that in-between spot is really hard, and yes the diet is hard. Anger is part of my symptoms. For my friend, it is main symptom and it almost resulted in a divorce. Her husband is so thankful! Some other ideas....I would also keep a journal of how others find you after about 3 months. Ask them now and write it down. Then in three months ask them again. Don't mention the gluten connection, as it is so "weird" for most that they will not want to connect the two. Also, I found it harder when trying to go gluten free when I sought after substitutes (that were never the same) and ate bits of gluten inside things (that kept me wanting more, its not uncommon for people to experience it as addictive). It was easier at first to just eat other stuff -- rice, corn, fresh vegies, meat -- there really is a lot of food. Then I didn't have to read labels, and later on when I returned to substitutes, and started reading labels, it was less overwhelming. Also, I would tell myself how "it's just food" - why should "food" be such a big deal? Food is not at all related to what matters to me most in life. And, yes, you can get carried away with "I have this little symptom" is it gluten? The connection between eating something and then behaving a certain way can also feel dehumanizing. But if you persevere, all these things will get better as you adjust, and feel better emotionally. It's a hard road, but also consider this in terms of long term -- 40-100 times more likely to get intestinal cancer is you are a celiac eating gluten, as compared to 12-23 times more likely to get lung cancer if you smoke. And, well more importantly, if anger is a symptom, you will find yourself in a new way -- the real you.

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Also, I would tell myself how "it's just food" - why should "food" be such a big deal? Food is not at all related to what matters to me most in life. 40-100 times more likely to get intestinal cancer is you are a celiac eating gluten, as compared to 12-23 times more likely to get lung cancer if you smoke.

Arpita,

thanks you for your kind words. And thank you for those numbers, that IS a scary comparison I never saw like that before!

Kerstin

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Hello Kerstin

I just wanted to chime in on the anger issue. My daughter is Celiac so we went gluten-free in our home. As a result I realized that I was sensitive to gluten, and my main and most prevalent symptom is anger. Like flick a switch and I am angry and yelling at anything and everything. Like someone mentioned above, that's how I can tell that I've been glutened - I turn nasty.

I do get a few other symptoms but the anger/moodiness is the one that makes me comply with the gluten free diet. I quite simply don't like myself on gluten.

I hope you do give it a try. It has changed my life for the better.

mamatide

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It might help you stay gluten-free if you do it for your children. I'm sure you want to be around to see them grow up, and the longer you keep eating gluten, the more likely you are to suffer from complications like cancer, Alzheimer's, neurological symptoms, etc.

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