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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Stress Dreams About Eating Gluten Foods
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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

I don't dream about eating gluten foods but dream about cross contamination. I have insomnia most of the time so just lay awake and wonder if I'm not sleeping because of cc. Sure wish I could get over this.

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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

I have high levels of anxiety when I'm not on a gluten-free diet, but find it subsides with a few things - making sure my diet is truly free from gluten (I have to be really strict, no bad toothpastes, etc); I have to make sure my B12 is up at the right levels (I get a shot every 3 weeks or so) and I have to make sure I've got my Vitamin D too - for some reason Vit D really affects my ability to handle stress... Plus it could be that your anxiety is more related to celiac generally - maybe you might need to go on an anti-anxiety med or antidepressent for a while until your body fully recovers from celiac?

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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

Definitely! I've been gluten free 3 years now and I still have those dreams. It's like, in the dream, I have a momentary lapse and end up taking a bite of pizza, a little muffin...something. Often times it's only after it's in my mouth, and I have swallowed, that I'm like "Oh no what have I DONE" and then during the rest of my dreams that night, I'm anxious and full of dread, just helplessly waiting for the inevitable gluten-attack to come. Several times, more recently, I've tried throwing up in my dreams right after I realize I've eaten gluten...but unsuccessfully. I have to say, it is a relief to wake up. Part of me initially is still dreading the fact that I'm going to get sick later. Then I realize that...wait no, that was just a dream! All just a dream! And then I'm relieved.

So yeah, I get gluten-y dreams every so often, at least once or twice a month. The last one I had was a few days ago. I was at a restaurant with friends. Not necessarily a gluten-friendly place. While other drama from my life was also occurring there, the gluten was present too. I was bracing myself for how to explain to the waiter about my condition, and I was going to ask for just plain salad with oil dressing or something...and literally, right as I opened my mouth to start explaining, the alarm went off and I woke up annoyed. Lol.

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I have occasionally had the dream that I accidentally ate some old favorite only to realize that I have to spit it out. I think I have even awakened trying to do so as if I were choking. Just this past week I had a horribly real dream where I found myself standing in the middle of our kitchen with flour all around. All over the floor, all over my feet, flying all around, on all the surfaces. I was just standing there crying, frozen in fear of moving and wondering why no one was helping me clean up. We live in a non gluten free home and no effort has been made to even try gluten-free for a short period of time and I feel pretty paranoid in the kitchen even after a year of being pretty lucky with cross contamination. Still feel the pressure though and I am sure this was reflected in that nightmare.

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Jackay - Haven't been able to sleep well either. Mostly due to stomach pains.

Lizzers - I may have to look into an antianxiety med for the time being. Although my arrythmia symptoms often mimic panic attacks so it can be confusing. However, I am definitely having some control issues since being diagnosed because I am not knowledgable enough about celiac disease yet and all the proper precautions. It is stressing me out and certainly making me anxious.

Aura - Glad to know someone else is having very similar experiences!

chasbari - The dream of being covered and surrounded by flour is terrible.. Hope that one never comes back!

Thank you all for your responses!

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Lol...only other gluten-intolerants/Celiacs would understand the horror of being in a kitchen surrounded by puffs of flour. These dream scenarios probably sound ridiculous to a non-gluten-free-person. But when you think of it...food is something we HAVE to be concerned with DAILY. So whether we like it or not, gluten and the fears that go along with being intolerant to it...are a day-to-day concern. So it's not surprising that those fears often bubble up in our dreams as well. <_<

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DWG - Yes, that is so true! I just wish I would enjoy my slice of pizza and my doughnut in my dream since I can't in real life!! Haha

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DWG - Yes, that is so true! I just wish I would enjoy my slice of pizza and my doughnut in my dream since I can't in real life!! Haha

Good point. I never thought of it that way. Even in our dreams we're traumatized by eating gluten, even though it can't hurt us. I can't think of a time in a dream where I ate gluten effortlessly/enjoyed it/had no stress about it.

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I've had very similar dreams. Mine is recurrent and about forgetting for a moment that I have to be gluten-free and take a bite of a sandwhich on the best bread I've ever eaten in my life.Then realize that I have to vomit, but even if I vomit I'm already contaminated!

There have been studies that corrolate the vitamin deficiencies in celiacs with depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia. I would highly suggest purchasing "Living Gluten Free for Dummies"; it is a great carsh course and starting point. I've only been gluten-free since Nov 2009, and found it very helpful.

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I had a dream last night that I ate french fries without checking if they came from a dedicated fryer. (Hahaha I am getting more advanced in the depth of my cross-contamination in my dreams) I woke myself up because I was so nervous and mad at myself for not checking before I stuffed them in my mouth. Once I realized I was sleeping, I started to laugh. My nightmares used to be about rapists and murderers... now it is french fries!!

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When I quit smoking it took a few years for these kinds of dreams to stop. They gradually came less often. In the dreams I'd suddenly realize I was smoking and be horrified that I'd failed again. Pretty soon, though, I got to the point where after waking up, I'd get a really good feeling, realizing that it was just a dream, and that successfully quitting.

Haven't had any gluten dreams yet.

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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I dream of big hamburgers and donuts!! I still wake in a panic sometimes!

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Sometimes I dream about waking up in the morning and I go directly to the kitchen, grab a slice of bread and start eating it. These types of dreams start to cause me panic attacks because I fear that I will wake up some morning and actually do this. I've been on this diet since January '10.

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just had to reply. I have had those dreams too. Usually I dream I'm at a party talking to people by the table with food on it and I absent-mindedly pick up a few pretzels or something and eat it them. Then I start to panic because I have to find a way to go to the bathroom and spit it out without being obvious, but the person keeps talking to me and can't get away without being rude. Sometimes I also dream about getting trapped in a situation where I will have nothing I can safely eat--like I go on vacation or something and the plane crashes on a remote island where the people eat only gluten-laden food! It sounds really silly, but I always wake up scared.

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I've been gluten free a little over two weeks, but I keep having strange stress dreams where I am eating loaves of bread, muffins, etc. I've woken up in the middle of the night terrified before realizing I was dreaming. I am experiencing some anxiety over hidden glutens and cross-contamination during waking hours. Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

this must be common because I have experienced day time anxiety about accidental glutening then having dreams where i ate something like pizza or bread or cake....

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I have these dreams often as well, more so when I'm not feeling well. I just had a dream about eating spaghetti and pretzels the other night. In my dream my husband warned me not to eat them, but I was like "who cares?!" and ate them anyways. Then I started freaking out, wondering what I had done and how sick I would become. It caused me to wake up, and I was so happy it was just a dream. :ph34r:

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Yes I have these too! The worst part is that the guilt follows me throughout the day. I always end up going "Oh god, I messed up this morning didn't I? Oh wait no... that was a dream" But I always have to remind myself that it was a dream.

I think these dreams are extremely helpful little reminders of the dread we are trying to avoid with gluten. They have prevented me from cheating a few times, I am ever so grateful for them :) Even though, I no longer cheat, anyways! It really does make me appreciate life without gluten

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hahaha the gluten dreams, where you just eat and eat and eat and eat!

I get those every few months or so, where I eat everything I miss.

Though, the weirdest one I had, was when I am swimming inside a clam chowder in a bread bowl. You get use to them, and when you wake up, you binge on gluten free substitutes!

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I had a dream a couple nights ago about eating something that looked like chicken teriyaki. I ravenously consumed it, and after I was done, realized the dish probably had gluten in it! Definitely not one of those dreams you're bummed out to find isn't real, that's for sure!

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I have occasionally had the dream that I accidentally ate some old favorite only to realize that I have to spit it out. I think I have even awakened trying to do so as if I were choking. Just this past week I had a horribly real dream where I found myself standing in the middle of our kitchen with flour all around. All over the floor, all over my feet, flying all around, on all the surfaces. I was just standing there crying, frozen in fear of moving and wondering why no one was helping me clean up. We live in a non gluten free home and no effort has been made to even try gluten-free for a short period of time and I feel pretty paranoid in the kitchen even after a year of being pretty lucky with cross contamination. Still feel the pressure though and I am sure this was reflected in that nightmare.

I had the strangest dream that I opened a bag of flour and just scooped a handful of it into my mouth! and then I was like, "WHAT AM I DOING?????" and can you imagine trying to get WET FLOUR out of your mouth? it was horrible....

probably stemmed from me being glutened by a "gluten free" cupcake that same day.

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I've been having dream after dream including stress about gluten, but this type of thing happens to me whenever I am focused on something or learning something new. I've immersed myself in reading everything and cleaning everything, etc, so it makes sense to be dreaming about it.

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I actually ate a spoonful of flour once, before the blood test, because I was all like, "no WAY am I going to get a false negative on this!!"

It's really, really gross. :/

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I don't dream about eating gluten foods but dream about cross contamination. I have insomnia most of the time so just lay awake and wonder if I'm not sleeping because of cc. Sure wish I could get over this.

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