Panic Attacks & Gluten
Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:07 PM
First of all, I just have to say that I love being a part of this forum and learning SO many things about Celiac Disease that I never knew before (even though I've had it my whole life). All of your posts have been an inspiration to me in expanding my knowledge about my own tolerances, diet, etc. Thank you so much.
But now I would like to start a topic. I know many members on this forum get more symptoms along the lines of GI, but I'm actually asymptomatic (on surface, anyway) in that area. What I AM very sensitive to is cognitive/mental ability...if I'm glutened, one of the symptoms I know I've been suffering along steadily is panic attacks. Sometimes they're minor and I can easily control them, but other times I just can't it...they take control of me instead.
I just eliminated something from my diet which it turns out I cannot have, but thought I originally could (I had no idea that mainstream cereals contained malt or malt flavoring in them!). It's been 3 days and I'm already feeling more alert and focused than I have in a very long time, but I still had a bad panic attack today. And yesterday, I was supposed to be somewhere for school but couldn't go b/c I had a BAD panic attack right before I got in the door. My body was shaking, I couldn't see straight, I was still paniky...my friend had to drive me back to campus!
So, here are my questions...
1) Does anyone on here seem to notice a correlation between panic attacks (if they have them) and getting glutened?
2) If so, then how long does it take for the panic attacks to go away? I don't expect them to go away overnight, but I would like some insight. I'm a college student with a very busy, rigid schedule, and I can't keep on getting spontaneous panic attacks that are bad enough to send me home or excuse myself. And, if the problem is gluten (which I feel that it is), than I'm not about take medication for it and mess up my system more.
Thank you to all of you once again for your support...
Your three most important things in life: health, love, and faith.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 11:33 AM
The brain and nervous system will heal, but does so much more slowly than most other body tissues. So in my opinion, the more careful you are to avoid ALL gluten ALL the time, the faster your nervous system damage should heal. Panic attacks are truly AWFUL. I'm so sorry you have to deal with them. But some people on this site have shared that theirs have either lessened greatly or gone away entirely after being faithfully gluten free. So there is definite hope. Anxiety is the presenting symptom in many gluten sensitive people, so it stands to reason that eliminating gluten should greatly improve that situation.
I would suggest that you make sure you don't have additional food sensitivities, however. Some people who are truly gluten free, but still having symptoms, have found they were also sensitive to dairy or soy or something major like that. Once they were removed as well, true progress was finally made.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:01 PM
I'll have to look around on this site for other posts about this b/c I'm very curious as to what different people have to say. And also because I don't want this to be a repeat thread for anyone...haha
But some people on this site have shared that theirs have either lessened greatly or gone away entirely after being faithfully gluten free. So there is definite hope. smile.gif Anxiety is the presenting symptom in many gluten sensitive people, so it stands to reason that eliminating gluten should greatly improve that situation.
Your three most important things in life: health, love, and faith.
Posted 15 February 2009 - 07:25 AM
Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:42 AM
Glad you found us! I suffered from panic attacks for years before being diagnosed. All those years, I had no idea that it was something I was eating--and for a long time, I didn't even know what the panic attacks themselves were.
I would get a racing heart, feel overheated, breathless, and nauseous, and had an overwhelming feeling of fear and panic. Even on a good day, I was anxious and as I got sicker I began to have depression.
The good news is that since I've been gluten-free, I have not had a full-blown panic attack. There were several near-misses at the beginning--and even a couple later on, but I was able to calm myself enough to get through the situations.
As for the anxiety itself, I noticed a distinct change for the better after 18 months gluten-free. From that point, the depression was gone and the anxiety was and continues to be much, much better. If I'm accidently glutened (by cross contamination), I still (after over 3 years) get anxious, irritable, and have a bit of trouble finding words--sort of an overall brain fog.
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"
"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou
"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev
Posted 07 April 2009 - 02:30 PM
Well, you're not alone. I've been suffering from anxiety, mild depression and occasional panic attacks for a few years. I also have GI problems. My mother and sister both have Celiac, and my sis went through a horrible experience with severe anxiety that only got worse with meds and gluten. Now that she's on the gluten-free diet and off her meds, she's doing so much better. I havn't been diagnosed yet, but I decided to go gluten-free a few weeks ago to see if i'd feel any better. I do! I've felt a noticeable difference, but I havn't been super strict, and have tested my reactions to gluten. Yeah, i get stomach problems a bit, but the big symptom i've noticed is brain fog and anxiety. I'll be fine for days, then -so far the day after I eat gluten- I've had some fairly serious attacks, one of them at work, and I keep freaking out at home for no reason. Of course, there's a lot of stuff going on in my life, but I believe quite strongly that gluten makes it a lot worse.
so, it will be interesting to see, for both of us, how long it will take to feel better. All I know, is no more gluten for me (good bye beer... sniff sniff...)
~ Be a light unto yourself. ~ - The Buddha
- Gluten-free since March 2009 (not officially diagnosed, but most likely Celiac). Symptoms have greatly improved or disappeared since.
- Soy intolerant. Dairy free (likely casein intolerant). Problems with eggs, quinoa, brown rice
- mild gastritis seen on endoscopy Oct 2012. Not sure if healed or not.
- Family members with Celiac: Mother, sister, aunt on mother's side, aunt and uncle on father's side, more being diagnosed every year.
Posted 10 April 2009 - 05:36 AM
I have been Dx with the equivalent of Panick Attack in French speaking countries "Spasmophilie". The word spasmophilie comes from spams as the person who has it gets neuromuscular spams. They also usually say that North-Americans don't recognize "spasmophilie" and don't treat it as an illness. And this is why I want to take this opportunity to talk to fellow panick attack sufferers...what did your doctor do when you had your first attacks? Did you get treatments? In France, they say only 5% of all panick attack/spasmophilie cases get a good diagnostic and treated. Others usually are thought to be imaginary ill people or treated for different mental related illnesses. Thanks God, I had the major crisis/the tetany where all the body gets a reaction and all your muscles are tensed even in your eyes. It is very impressive and I received an injection of minerals to come back to my normal state. I later learned with the doctor that I had carences (maybe deficience is the English word?). He told me it was amazing I didnt break a bone...but that was over 20 years and I was a teen. I wonder if doctors still think that bones and calcium are that much related. I was born in Africa so maybe I just had some good bone consititution with all the sun
Anyway, today I check my book about spasmophilie/panick attacks and many of the symptoms for celiac are there and making me wonder if I am just back to a more active panick attack/spasmo.
Now, maybe your panick attacks are not treated here in America (or these French doctors were lying) but as far as I am concerned I got treated for deficiencies. I learned to watch my calcium, magnesium and a healthy lifestyle with normal meal times and sleep time helped.
Now, to answer to your question after that long detour, I don't know if my panick attacks are triggered by gluten. Btw, the first panic attack was a strange one so I guess that when I have other attacks I don't even realize or I dont always recognize them as attacks. I sometimes feel shaky, have palpitation etc.
Sept 2009: Negative blood tests (I was on and off gluten)
Sept 21 2009: gluten free
Sept 21 2011: gluten free for 2 full years
Dec 2012: chronic fatigue and leaky gut.
Feb 2012: IgG reactions to almond, amaranth, sesame, sunflower, dairy, eggs, beans and of course gluten.
March 2012: modified GAPS diet.
Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:43 PM
Posted 08 May 2009 - 01:21 PM
Villus blunting and positive blood test
Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:08 PM
Posted 30 May 2009 - 12:26 AM
I remember when I did have the panic attacks it was as if my body was overreacting. My mind would be mentally more calm than my physical body. Since going gluten-free my panic attacks have completely disappeared. I also do not worry nearly as much as I used to about stupid stuff.
As you can already see, you're definitely not alone. It's amazing what an impact gluten can have on the brain.
Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:21 AM
Posted 30 May 2009 - 10:15 AM
But he hasn't had one for a long time, now. He's only been gluten-free for about 20 months, and I'm pretty vigilant, so he hasn't had a serious " glutening" for a long time. I'm not sure whether he would have one again if he got seriously glutened.
Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:08 PM
When i get gluten by accident i get extremely angry, my friends and i call it "wheat anger", or "pws" (not pms) post wheat syndrome.
Here's how mine goes like clockwork... I get contaminated food, my stomach burns within 15-30 min then i get super tired, by the next day i barely can get out of bed i have joint pain, muscle pain, muscle weakness, my entire body hurts i get bad sinusitis headaches, my allergies go nuts my brain doesn't seem to function correctly, i have problems concentrating and remembering words i want to say...
as all the goes away and i start to feel better... about 3 days later i have super out of nowhere anger for no reason, everything and everyone pisses me off and i feel like i want to punch things, i don't want people around me, i feel closed in, i have anxiety and am jumpy and moody . I just try to kinda joke it away with my boyfriend, he knows and understands whats up and i try really really hard not to be personally mean to him or anyone else because i know it's the gluten making me feel this way. Then as fast as it comes it disappears 12-24 hours later out of nowhere and i am completely the opposite super happy, goofy and normal again.
I believe it is a total chemical reaction in my brain from the wheat. It is like this every single time i get glutened like clockwork.
If you still have anxiety you may be getting cross contaminated food. I eat no cereal unless it says gluten free (usually in the organic section) the only large company cereal i know of that s gluten free is general mills rice chex (must say gluten free on the box) and as of june 1st they will have other flavors gluten free but the package must say so... I actually don't eat out often at all because it seemed i was getting contaminated food no matter how careful i was. I research everything i eat as well as resturants, medications and beauty products. I recently was unknowingly being glutened by birth control pills, the active ones had no gluten but the inactive ones did which i didn't take but them beings packaged together contaminated the active pills and i progressively got sicker and sicker and moodier and moodier and finally figured it out... and changed pills.
Wheat is in everything... The best thing to do is only eat things you are sure of for awhile like fruits, vegetables, plain meats you prepare yourself (with no sauces unless it says gluten free) and see how your anxiety changes. You may just need to do more research about what you can and cannot eat. You may also need tested for malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients that can cause depression, anxiety, body pain etc.
Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:13 PM
WOW...is this ever interesting. I would not call what I get panic attacks, however, I get what we are now calling "episodes", as I get lightheaded, sick to my stomach, dizzy and cannot stand up, I have to go to bed and sleep it off, it is kind of like a stupor. When I wake up, then I am fine or on my way to it, need a little time to recover. My friend and I have thought, after looking back over the years, these were caused by gluten and once I went gluten-free, they disappeared, like for FIVE years now. Recently, I ate regular oatmeal twice and had two "episodes" and all I can think of is that it must have been the oatmeal as I eat totally gluten-free otherwise. I don't even have celiac disease, or I don't think so, I am gluten intolerant/sensitive. I was tested through Dr. Fine at his operation down there in Texas and they said I have the gene. I passed it along to my granddaughter, who is almost 11 and was diagnosed when she was one. She has it bad. She gets violently sick if she gets gluten. Normally I don't, if I have just a touch of it. Thanks to the person that started this thread, it has been very interesting.
all regular oatmeal is gluten contaminated, you can get gluten free oatmeal that is not contaminated in organic sections.
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