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Two Effects On Sleep


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#1 axmiller

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 08:02 PM

I have noticed that gluten and celiac produce two distinct sleep disorders for me. In one case, I cannot stay awake, and in the second situation, I cannot stay asleep. Here is what I have noticed:
First, I notice that when I get a gluten challenge that I get extremely sleepy. If the gluten challenge comes at lunch or dinner, I find that by 8:00 PM I can barely keep my eyes open. Come to think of it, this reaction was the one that made my doctor think that I had celiac disease in the first place. I had described to him that after a good night’s sleep and a breakfast of pancakes I took two shovel fulls of dirt in my garden and felt like I needed a nap. I then started a gluten-free diet.
Secondly, I have observed that non-soluble fiber additives in foods make me wake up around 3AM and keep me awake for around 1.5 to 2 hours. I do not get a gluten reaction to them, however I get what my gastronenterlogist calls digerosis(sp?). My intestines do not gripe as they do in diarrhea, they feel like they are running a marathon and I can feel my vena cava pumping vigorously. The whole thing generally keeps me awake for around 2 hours. Then I can sleep again. My intestines apparently work over actively on these fiber additives. When I am awakened I feel rather irritated and restless, leggy twitchy.
I have gotten this non-gluten reaction from non-soluble fiber additives such as methyl cellulose, gum arabic, xanthum gum. I find them in all sorts of salad dressings, ice cream, and here is the kicker, methyl cellulose and/or xanthum gum is used in some gluten free breads to give it the texture it lacks because they are made without gluten. At a time in the past, before I learned what foods had “hidden gluten” and I was precipitously losing weight, I tried eating a lot of gluten free bread and experienced such severe insomnia, I remember getting around 2 hours of sleep a night for a period and could barely keep my eyes open during the day. When I am strict about my gluten-free diet and am not slipped a hidden shot of gluten by food from a well-meaning friend or unknowing restaurant I sleep well.
So, if you are a Celiac sufferer and are having trouble sleeping, eliminate from your diet all and I mean all gluten. Then additionally, eliminate methyl cellulose, gum arabic, xanthum gum. How? No salad dressing unless you make it yourself. Get gluten-free bread and food without these additives. Tell me if this helps you too.

Alex Miller
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#2 ianm

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Posted 27 February 2005 - 10:33 AM

You sleep problems were exactly the same ones that I had prior to going gluten-free. since then I have done pretty good sleep wise. I will have to try your advice on the food additives to see if that makes any more of a difference.


Ian
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If all the world is indeed a stage and we are merely players then will someone give me the script because I have no f!@#$%^ clue as to what is going on!

What does not kill you makes you stronger.
Nobody cares about losers and quitters never win. If you fail with the cowards then what's the message you send?
Can't get it right, no matter what I do. Might as well be me and keep fu@$ing up for you. - Brian Thomas (Halloween, the greatest metal band ever!)

Ian Moore. Self diagnosed at 36 because the doctors were clueless.
Started low-carb diet early 2004, felt better but not totally gluten-free. Went 100% gluten-free early 2005 and life has never been better.

#3 cdford

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:29 PM

I was looking for a place to post a comment on the sleep thing when I came across this one. I accidentally got into some gluten yesterday...just a tiny amount obviously since it did not trigger any true allergic reactions like it often does. I then went to my son's baseball practice and sat around for a couple of hours, went and picked up a few items at Walmart, and have slept since. I am so exhausted that I manage to get up to go to the bathroom and take my meds then go back to sleep again. I sure hope it levels out by Monday since we homeschool and I have to have it together.

I also cycle through periods where I am up all night long and sleep only in short couple of hour sets. There have been a lot of them since the doc put me on fibers, etc. for my cholesterol. Since I cannot take any of the other meds for it, I suppose I will have to suffer through. The only good thing about it is that I get more done in the middle of the night when no one is hollering "Mom!".
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Donna
South Georgia
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!

#4 darlindeb25

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 03:41 AM

so alex <_< do you make your own breads--this is very interesting to me--i havent been sleeping well and i to am very wide awake around 3 am--what do you eat--i have been gluten-free for almost 4 yrs and i still am learning :huh: thanks, deb
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Deb
Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

#5 cdford

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:06 PM

Don't know if Alex makes his own bread, but we do at our house. I even mill my own grains and mix the flours up once a week. There are several good posts about making breads in machines and I gave detailed info on milling your own grains in a current post about lowering grocery bills.
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Donna
South Georgia
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!


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