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Unusual Dreams, Heavy Sleep And Day Exhaustion
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For years I've had trouble sleeping. Tossing and turning, sweating, and nightmares that sometimes made me wake up so violently angry I'd leap out of bed growling and uttering nonsensical curses in a demon voice. I went gluten-free a month or 2 ago, and at first I really responded well; I could actually sleep at night. I actually didn't hear my boyfriend's alarm through my earplugs a few mornings! Bathroom, mood, and sleep issues got better, then I guess I started reacting to contamination, and I keep having issues.

I guess I got glutened again a few days ago, and I feel as hopeless and miserable as before. The dreams/nightmares feel like daydreams, like I'm not in deep sleep when they happen. It's like I am awake and conscious of tossing and turning the whole time, and I only know I was "asleep" because of the weird dreams.

I feel like I might be an extreme case, because I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, and if you are what you eat, my brain and nerves were mostly built from wheat protein. :(

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For years I've had trouble sleeping. Tossing and turning, sweating, and nightmares that sometimes made me wake up so violently angry I'd leap out of bed growling and uttering nonsensical curses in a demon voice. I went gluten-free a month or 2 ago, and at first I really responded well; I could actually sleep at night. I actually didn't hear my boyfriend's alarm through my earplugs a few mornings! Bathroom, mood, and sleep issues got better, then I guess I started reacting to contamination, and I keep having issues.

I guess I got glutened again a few days ago, and I feel as hopeless and miserable as before. The dreams/nightmares feel like daydreams, like I'm not in deep sleep when they happen. It's like I am awake and conscious of tossing and turning the whole time, and I only know I was "asleep" because of the weird dreams.

I feel like I might be an extreme case, because I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, and if you are what you eat, my brain and nerves were mostly built from wheat protein. :(

I got glutened a few days ago too. That night, I slept normally. The night after, I didn't get one wink of sleep. (I tried relaxed breathing, meditation... everything.) The next night, I slept like a bear in hibernation. I'm wondering what tonight will bring.

Wishing everyone a good night's rest, B)

(That's me with my blinders on because of the full moon!)

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This is my first post, so far so good on the gluten free diet but I'm still getting the hang of it.

Since going gluten free two weeks ago I've had both positive and negative changes in my sleep habits (which have been one of my main concerns). Firstly I've been sleeping more deeply, however I've also been experiencing unusual dreams every night where I am getting in car accidents or being followed by people I need to kill. They're waking me up in a cold sweat and I believe leaving me to be exhaused through out the following day. Has anyone else experienced dreams similar to these? Is there anything that can be done to aleviate these (eat less of something, more of something, vit. etc?) Thanks for your help!

Hi, I have recently went gluten free (Two weeks now) I just wanted to let you know I too have been having strange dreams!!! Anxiety ridden one's too. Boy I tell you this is ruff go for me here, but I know this is the root of my issues and won't give up. I am exhausted from these dreams and not sleeping very well at all, but yet in some ways when I am sleeping it seems to be a deeper sleep. I read someplace that when we are dreaming we are in the deep stage of sleep, so this could be one of the positives to our dreaming? :-)

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    • I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

      However, an idea did just come to mind, and that is, can my primary care doctor do such a test? I had normal blood work done, but they didn't really say anything about testing for celiacs. I can get an appointment with my primary care doctor much sooner than a GI.

      When I was talking to my PCP last, I asked her what I should expect as far as testing goes or what she may have been concerned about. Her reply was about a HIDA scan for the gallbladder but also any test needed in case of IBS or Celiacs. Just the way she threw that in there like an after thought and left me hanging kinda had me worried.
    • I am not a doctor that's for sure.  So, I can't even answer your questions.  If you know you have pre-diabetes, you probably are working with a doctor.  Can you email them and ask for a celiac blood panel?   You can work on the weight loss and diabetes -- that you can handle yourself now and take action.  I have diabetes and my glucose readings are fairly normal now without medication and I'm thin.  Being overweight does not cause diabetes.  It's either autoimmune (type 1) or you become insulin resistant (type 2).  You can cut out all sugar and  processed stuff ASAP to help take action and start walking 10,000 steps (helps with the insulin resistance).    But the prediabetes is not going to kill you in the next year.  Whatever's in your gut is more likely going to get you much sooner.  But heck, I'm not a doctor and I don't even know you!    
    • Hi Steph, Yes, celiac disease can cause a myriad of symptoms and damage to the body,  Have you completed all celiac disease testing?  Usually they do the blood antibodies test first and then do an endoscopy.   You shouldn't go gluten-free until all testing is completed. Gluten is in many processed foods.  But if you stick with whole foods it is not hard to avoid gluten.  Getting used to eating gluten-free may take some time, as we need to adjust our preferences in diet.  But there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Some celiac disease organizations recommend avoiding oats also for the first 18 months of the gluten-free diet. Celiac disease impairs the ability of the body to absorb nutrients (including vitamins).  That can make it hard for the body to maintain itself and heal/repair damage.  So celiac can easily impact any part of the body. Sardines, tuna, mackeral and salmon have good amounts of vitamin D in them.  There are supplements available also, but not all are good.  You can check them at the labdoor website.  Nature Made is a good one and not expensive.  Internal damage from celiac can cause liver issues.  Those will probably clear up after being on the gluten-free diet a while. Recovery from celiac can take  months, and can be a rocky road.  The more you stick with whole foods and avoid cross-contamination issues the sooner you will heal IMHO. You may find that dairy causes problems for your digestion at first.  But it make stop being a problem after you have healed up some. welcome to the forum!
    • Will this be dangerous considering how long I have to wait for any testing? I may not even get a blood test in November but here is hoping. I just worry having to wait so long will cause serious issues, not to mention delay of weight loss which I need for the pre-diabetes. Do ulcers have a chance to cause yellow stools though? I suppose a stool test will be needed for that for any signs of blood in stools but visually it does not seem so. The biggest issue is not knowing what else could be causing the yellow stools as this would not be a diabetic or ulcer thing. And without negative signs on the gallbladder or liver, it is narrowing down the list.

      At the very least this is making me assume I can wait on a final scan of gallbladder and attempt blood tests and endoscopy if they recommend it.
    • The first step is getting a celiac blood panel.   Any medical doctor can order one.  Live near Chicago?  They are do free screenings this month (check their website).  The cost is less than $400 for the complete panel.  If you get a positive on any one of them, then you should be referred to a GI for an endoscopy to obtain intestinal biopsies.   Here's more information from a reliable source and not just some lady on the internet: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ Having had my gallbladder removed (probably ruined from undiagnosed celiac disease, but I don't know that for sure), I would recommend a HIDA scan.  I have no idea how expensive that one is.  It's a nuclear test that checks for functionality.  Basically, is your gallbladder squeezing bile into your small intestines when those fries or bacon come down the tube.  Mine happened to actually be rotting (infected).  ER suspected appendicitis, but it was a rotten gallbladder.  I never had any stones (that's what the CT or the ultrasound can find).  I am sorry that you are ill.  Keep eating gluten until all testing is complete.  This is important.  Go gluten free now?  Here's why you shouldn't..... http://theceliacmd.com/2013/04/six-reasons-to-test-for-celiac-disease-before-starting-a-gluten-free-diet/  
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