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Water Retention/edema


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#1 Kritter

 
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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:30 PM

Hi, I'm new here. I was wondering if anyone else has water retention or edema as a part of their celiac disease or gluten intolerance? My primary complaint is puffy eyelids and puffy fingers in the morning. Am I alone in this? Perhaps it's not even related to my gluten intolerance? Anyone have a similar experience? Thanks for any help/advise you can give!
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#2 loco_ladi

 
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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:49 PM

In my pre-gluten-free days I would get the puffy hands very badly, so bad in fact I couldn't even move my fingers for hours after waking up.... my doctor then sugested no salt, and I can tell when I have eaten to much salt as I will get the puffy hands.... needless to say I haven't cooked with salt for many years, and unless I eat something like chips or pre-cooked store bought stuff where they add salt I dont have any problems...

You may want to try this also, not sure it will help but its a easy fix if it works.
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#3 Kritter

 
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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:10 PM

Thank you! I was wondering if a meal high in salt made my hands more puffy, but I thought it might only be my imagination. Is it typical of celiacs to react poorly to salt?
I've just recently been told I'm gluten intolerant, and I'm only on my 13th day of a gluten-free diet. I wonder when I'll start to feel really good? I've so far been experiencing what I think is withdrawal from gluten. My stomach almost feels worse and more bloated than it did before I went gluten-free. Is that normal? I have so many questions!!! Thank you for your response!!!
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#4 sickchick

 
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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:49 PM

For one I crave salt like crazy and I know I use more now than before going gluten free.
I wake up with puffy eyes every morning. And my fingers are puffy right now! lol

Not sure why though! B)
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Collette

Positive Bloodwork Oct 1st 2007. Gluten-free 3 YEARS Oct 1st!
Dairy & Soy free since Dec 1st 2007.
Potato free since January 3rd 2008.
Remaining Nightshades since April 1st 2008. Back on September 2010. :)
Developed Rice & Tapioca & Corn Intolerances...
NO Carageenan.

In a constant state of evolution... sending love! :)

#5 Judyin Philly

 
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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:42 PM

Have you thought about a problem with dairy?
I know it seems rough when your starting out but you might try cutting back on that and the salty snacks. good luck with the new diet. it gets easier.
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Judy in Southern CA

#6 DElizabethE

 
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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:28 AM

Hi, I'm new here. I was wondering if anyone else has water retention or edema as a part of their celiac disease or gluten intolerance? My primary complaint is puffy eyelids and puffy fingers in the morning. Am I alone in this? Perhaps it's not even related to my gluten intolerance? Anyone have a similar experience? Thanks for any help/advise you can give!


Yes...yes...yes! And it's miserable too. Sometimes it can add 5 lbs (or more) to me first thing in the morning and I just have to wait for it to pass. I was diagnosed Nov. 2006 and have been on a gluten free (DF also) since. This only started a couple of months ago and I never ate a lot of salt to begin with. But now I check labels carefully for the sodium but sometimes make mistakes. I don't want to go to the Dr. to get on a diuretic unless it gets worse. So for now I just drink tons of water during the day. Does anyone know something else we can do for this? Thanks.
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#7 Kritter

 
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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:10 AM

Thank you everyone! At least I know that I'm not alone and suffering some strange, unheard of symptom! It is so nice that this website is available - it's helping me not to feel so isolated!!!
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#8 flourgirl

 
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Posted 26 February 2008 - 01:38 PM

I have had touble with puffy fingers, and face for years off and on, and I don't even like salt. Recently my Dr. asked me to start putting salt on my foods in the hopes of raising my blood pressure. I still don't add salt because I hate the taste of it. I figure there is more than enough salt in the foods we eat. I have noticed, now that you mention it, that since going gluten free I'm not having nearly the trouble with my hands. I still have a very puffy face, but I think that's still from my body adjusting and from being so ill. I'm wondering if the diet change is letting the fluid retention subside. Never thought about it being related to Celiac!
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#9 Kritter

 
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Posted 27 February 2008 - 07:24 AM

flourgirl,
That's interesting . . . . how long have you been gluten-free? I'm anxious to see results, but I've only been g.f. for two weeks now. Maybe I'm expecting too much, too soon?
Kritter
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#10 flourgirl

 
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Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:45 AM

Hi! I was finally diagnosed in November, 07. Even after all of this time I have a lot of illness, but I have seen some improvement. Seems like it's been forever! I thought I was dying last year...kept getting sicker and sicker and lost a lot of weight. Got so that I didn't want to eat anything, ever. If you read much in this forum, you'll see that some people feel better right away, and some take many, many months to feel closer to normal. I guess it depends greatly on how much damage you've sustained, how long it's been going on (we've been doing damage long before it got bad enough to really raise it's ugly head), and how sick your body is.

Hope you see some improvements quickly and feel wonderful soon!
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GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD, THANK YOU FOR OUR GLUTEN-FREE FOOD!

MUSIC IS THE BREATH OF LIFE
Theresa

#11 Kritter

 
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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:22 AM

Flourgirl,
Thank you - you are very kind. I do wonder how many little things that have plagued me over the years (that no one has really had an anwer for) might clear up now that I'm gluten-free. It will be interesting to see how much of it is related to celiac!
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#12 SheRides

 
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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:22 AM

Hi, I'm new here. I was wondering if anyone else has water retention or edema as a part of their celiac disease or gluten intolerance? My primary complaint is puffy eyelids and puffy fingers in the morning. Am I alone in this? Perhaps it's not even related to my gluten intolerance? Anyone have a similar experience? Thanks for any help/advise you can give!


OMG, yes. Please excuse this long reply, but I've got a story on this subject: My ankles started getting puffy off & on when I was in my late 20's, well before I thought I had a problem with gluten. Back then I remember this happening esp. after sushi + soy sauce (I recently found out that most commercial soy sauce contains salt AND wheat). I figured, "just lay off the salt", right? But it kept happening, even when I switched to low sodium soy salt (still contains wheat). Somewhere around age 39, after taking Aspirin for a headache, I developed such SEVERE pitting edema in my ankles that I couldn't wear shoes! The edema extended to my hips! My doctor said it could be either a rare allergic reaction to Aspirin or a sign of borderline kidney function. So, fine-- no more Aspirin or Ibuprofin, ever...

For the next couple years the fluid retention was intermittent. It was driving me crazy because I was trying to be SO careful about sodium and hidden sources of sodium, like preservatives. For a year or so I went on a low-carb diet (minimal bread) and rarely had edema. However, I still hadn't made the gluten connection. Then, about 3 yrs ago (off the low-carb wagon, eating glutens again), the pitting edema became nearly continuous. I was having many other symptoms too, including constant rhinitis, asthma, cough, nausea, anemia, fatigue, palpitations, and so on. My doctor was worried about my heart and my kidneys, but tests on those systems came back normal. For a while I thought maybe I needed MORE salt (!). The edema fluctuated but stayed around. I am (or have been until recently) a lycra shorts-wearing mountain biker. Mountain Biking is second only to my children as my total passion in life. The edema problem was very embarassing and I was quickly losing endurance due to water weight gain. As terrible goes, only the cough was worse than the edema. I couldn't stop coughing, couldn't sleep because of the cough, couldn't keep up with my friends anymore and, finally, I stopped riding. I grew demoralized, depressed.

I will shorten my story to.. "and then a lot of other stuff happened". Advance to January '08 and constant cough, edema, rhinitis, post-nasal drip, and daily vomiting. Just getting thru a shift at work (a hospital) was a monumental task. I believed my goose was cooked-- I thought I was dying and I had no idea why. Then somehow, sort-of by accident but somewhat influenced by my lung specialist, I ended up on a trial Gluten Free diet. Suddenly, my world changed! The rhinitis disappeared within THREE DAYS!!! The cough also faded, I stopped vomiting, and my ankle bones resurfaced! My energy came back too and now I sleep flat in bed again, like a normal person.

Here's the thing-- I recently went to an Allergist for the first time and he treated me like a kook (I thought). I am negative for wheat allergy (he says) and also negative for Celiac Disease per the antibody blood test. Yet here I am, Gluten Free now for 7 weeks and feeling better than I have in YEARS. I'm free of all antihistamines and asthma meds. I even went mountain biking yesterday, my first time in months. I've lost a lot of ground, but wow it's good to be back. Next month I'll repeat my Pulmonary Function Test. I'm expecting a huge improvement based on how I feel and some prelim. measurements taken at work.

Two weeks ago, I accidentally glutened myself (on falafels made with bulgar wheat). I coughed for the next 36 hrs and my ankles puffed up.

In conclusion and back to the subject, whenever I eat gluten I get moderate-to-severe fluid retention/ankle edema. It DEFINITELY goes away on a Gluten Free diet. So.. if I am not allergic to wheat, and don't have Celiac Disease... what the Sam Hill is going on????

P.s. I'm never eating gluten again.
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#13 Kritter

 
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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:46 AM

SheRides,

OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!! Thank you, thank you for your reply!!! Hidden in your answer was a gem that I will hold onto - you have no idea! I have been sleeping practically sitting up since Oct. I simply cannot breath at night. I'm so congested. My one great goal in life is to be able to sleep lying down again (as you mentioned!!!) I am SO hoping that this gluten-free diet does the trick for me!!! And I will hold onto your testimony and carry it around in my head as proof that it CAN help!!! I'm sort of assuming that the water retention and the congestion are part and parcel of the same thing - because they are both significantly worse in the a.m. - after I've been asleep all night (sitting up.) I am gluten-free now for 16 days. I guess your improvement with the congestion was significantly faster (3 days - wow!) but I will continue to hope and I will perservere with this diet if it can truly help me to breath.

I do have other allergies - but with the help of a fantastic Allergist, I have them under control. In fact, my allergist has written a book called "Food Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving Your Food Allergies" by William E. Walsh, M.D. You might find it helpful. He is the one who suspected that gluten might be an issue for me. I have had Allergists in the past who just are not "with it" - so if you have one who is like that - follow your own instincts first! You know your body better than anyone! I avoid sugar, eggs, dairy, msg, and citrus. STILL, I can't breath when I lay down at night. Since this particular symptom has gotten worse and worse over the span of several years, I suppose I will need to be patient to see results. I have noticed (after pretty bad initial withdrawal symptoms) that my mood is much better, and during the day I am breathing almost like a normal person. Also, anxiety symtoms are much better, and seem to only pop up if I accidentally "get glutoned" as they say! Isn't it amazing how many seemingly unrelated symptoms can really be part of gluten intolerance?

Bravo to you for getting on your bike again! You go girl!!! And thank you again for your reply - it gives me so much hope!

Kritter
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#14 Kritter

 
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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:50 AM

SheRides,
Oh, by the way, my blood tests came back negative for Celiac disease, too. My Allergist warned me in advance (as did my regular doc) that these things aren't always (or even often) accurate, and that I needed to try the diet to be sure if it would help or not.
Kritter
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#15 Ursa Major

 
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Posted 29 February 2008 - 11:32 AM

I was told when pregnant with my first child (29 years ago) to lay off salt because of extremely swollen ankles. Now I believe that it wasn't the salt at all that was the problem.

If you don't get enough salt your body can't function properly, as it is essential to life. Now, TABLE salt is NOT healthy, and that is of course what is in processed foods. The salt you should be using is natural salt.

I now eat quite a bit of salt (and it is helping my thyroid, too). But I am using Himalayan salt, which supposedly is the best salt in the world, and the purest.

The only times my ankles and finger joints swell now is if I eat gluten, rice, or eggs.

So, my swelling was related to food intolerances all along, and had absolutely nothing to do with salt intake. I might have damaged my body more all these years by limiting my salt intake.

Here is a link to an interesting article. Don't stop at reading the quoted article at the top (which is another ridiculous FDA recommendation), but read Dr. Mercola's comments underneath for the truth.

The truth about salt intake
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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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