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Feeling Very Lethargic
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I was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago. I have been feeling terribly lethargic, exhausted, and weak. I also keep getting mild headaches later on in the day. I have eliminated gluten, and eat alot of veggies, fruits, nuts, rice and chicken. Stomach problems have gotten a little better. I think I may be sensitive to soy, which I consume every now and then. Could this be causing this.. or?

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I felt worse for the first 6 weeks....tired...hungry....irritable. It got better....much better!!

Hang in there!!

Soy is a problem for many. You could try eliminating it and see if that helps. Dairy is also one to give up for a little while too.

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Gluten does quite a bit of damage to our intestines, varying per person, and causing us to not absorb and get the full benefits from the nutrients we ingest. Make sure you take a multivitamin. Many take a powder or liquid at first because it's more easly absorbed. It can take quite a while for the intestines to heal and for some to completely get over that exhaustion. You could get blood drawn to see if your deficient and test for things like anemia and thyroid and other problems that can cause fatigue. Hang in there. It can be frustrating but let your body rest if it needs to and make sure you're eating well and not skipping meals.

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It takes varying times for recovery. I got partly better in a week but it's taken me a lot longer to regain the rest. Dairy is definitely another thing to check out as that and Celiac disease often go hand in hand. I get similar reactions to glutening when I've tried dairy again.

Most Celiac symptoms are due to malabsorption, so a SAFE multivitamin should help. For me I found that i needed extra potasium, electrolytes, and iron, but everyone is different. Also check, double check, triple check everything! Medicines and vitamins can be dangerous as dairy and gluten are frequently a part of their makeup in the forms of lactose and food starchs. It may be worth paying extra just to get one that says "Gluten Free". Keep in mind that every time you have a whoops it sets you back some too ; )

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Ill cut out dairy and soy and see if that helps. Thanks! :)

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Ill cut out dairy and soy and see if that helps. Thanks! :)

When I cut out dairy and soy (at the same time, if that matters... I'm not sure) I was on the couch for 4 days of exhaustion, tremors and light-headedness. FYI! Good luck.

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Yes, initial recovery is difficult for many. Stick with it and you'll begin to feel better.

I highly recommend taking a digestive enzyme with your food. This is especially important during the healing phase (the first few months of gluten-free diet). Extra enzymes will help to extract the full nutrient value of the food you eat.

I, too, was very sensitive to soy and dairy at first. I know it's difficult to give up so many foods at once, but it will certainly help in healing your intestines (and it may help with those headaches as well...I know that a small amount of dairy used to give me terrible headaches.)

The lethargy you report is common among celiacs. Although your intestines are healing now, they were not functioning well during the entire time you were eating gluten. You may still have a nutrient deficiency which requires supplementation. You could be low on iron. But iron overdose is toxic, and could lead to fatal poisoning, so have your iron or ferritin levels checked before you start taking iron at doses higher than 20mg daily.

B-vitamins is another supplement to consider. They're cheap and widely available (WalMart), and because they're water soluble, any excess is excreted in urine. B-vitamins are essential for metabolism and energy production, so this might help with lethargy.

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    • Mnoosh,    Can you give us a link to the article you read about the increased risk after being diagnosed and maintaining a strict gluten-free diet??       IMO,   You are over reacting to a misprint or most likely a misread article.
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    • Take a deep breath and calm down!    The incidence of cancer with Celiac Disease is rare.......it can happen but the vast majority of people never have that experience.  You may have somewhat enlarged lymph nodes due to inflammation from undiagnosed Celiac but that will all calm down and go away once you get going on the diet.  Believe me, there are many of us that have things happen during the diagnosis and early recovery period and everything turned out just fine.  There is an elevated risk for some cancers with Celiac but that risk goes back to that of the general population after a couple of years on the gluten-free diet. I cannot remember the exact time frame but it is somewhere between 2-4 years, I think.  So many of us went years without a diagnosis and when it was all figured out, we have gone on to be healthy with little complications.  Really...do  not worry about this.  Concentrate on learning all the ins and outs of this disease and how to live gluten free happily.  We are here to help you and guess what? The diet is not as bad as some make it out to be. Many things can be made gluten free and are every bit as good as their gluten counterparts. The diet may not be convenient but it is not hard. I would not lie to you!   
    • Well....one common symptom that most celiacs have when they are diagnosed (or undiagnosed) is anxiety.  So, there is a risk of cancers, but science has demonstrated that that risk goes down on a gluten free diet (if you have celiac disease).  In goes down to the same risk as those without celiac disease.   I kind of was a basket case.  I drive my family a bit crazy because I was anxious.  I felt a bit stupid too.  I guess I had a little brain fog going on too.  All that resolved after I healed. Welcome to the fourum.  Read our Newbie 101 thread under "Coping" (pinned at the top of the page) and learn about hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination.  I think most of us do not worry about cancer. We mourn the freedom to eat anything anywhere!   I did not have swollen lymph nodes, but I am sure others have and they did not have cancer.  Hopefully, they will chime in and set your mind at ease.  If not, you can search for "lymph nodes" at the top of the page (little magnifying glass).  There are lots of members with the same issue!  
    • I was recently diagnosed as having celiac and to be honest the part I'm having the most trouble with isn't the change in food or lifestyle. I'm really upset about what I've read about the risk of cancer increasing with celiac disease. I think this is playing into my fears because I currently have lymph nodes all over my body-my Doctor says they are not considered swollen or concerning, but I don't usually feel nodes. The lymph nodes and horrible diarrhea for the last 3 weeks were what got me into the the doctor for lab work. My blood work came great so I'm wondering if anyone else experienced lymph nodes reacting when they found out they were celiac? Also how do you deal with anxiety surrounding the increased risk of cancer? Thanks!
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