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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Is Anyone Else Contastntly Hungry Or Craving?
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8 posts in this topic

I always seem to be hungry. Or if I'm not necessarily hungry, in general, I seem to be craving something. This causes me to go into the kitchen raid the pantry. It seems to be sweets that I'm driven to. And I can't let myself make any type of gluten-free dessert because I will eat the whole thing by the end of the night, no joke.

I figure it may just be some personal issue but I'm wondering if any other Celiacs have the issue as well. Is it possible my body is lacking something from the gluten-free diet?

Drat! Sorry about the typo in the title.

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I think a lot of us deal with this especially at first. For me it did level off eventually. If your not already do take a good gluten free multi and make sure you are getting enough protein and good fats in your diet.

To handle the craving for sweets without going overboard I often make stuff like a 'personal' cobbler. I take a single serving size of a tinned fruit or a single apple or peach and cover it with a gluten free granola mixed with some brown sugar, dot it with butter and bake it in the oven. That way I can have my sweet but not overindulge. Another trick is to make a batch of flourless pnut butter cookies or brownies and as soon as they are cool I freeze single servings leaving out only what I want to eat that day.

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I agree with Ravenwood glass about the proteins and fats. It sounds like you need to work very hard to balance your blood sugar (when it drops you crave sweet things). Some people (including me) have veeery delicately balanced blood sugar- I can't handle any type of refined starch (white rice, gluten free breads or pastas etc), sugar, honey. Even quinoa, brown rice, fruit or artificial sweetners cause me to have a blood sugar drop within a couple of hours and feel exhausted and crave something to pick my blood sugar up again urgently. Lentils and beans are about the starchiest foods I can handle.

I recommend having some decent protein at breakfast and lunchtime time, ALWAYS eating breakfast- early if possible, having a snack with fat or protein every couple of hours, never let yourself get really hungry, experiment as to how much starch or sweetness you can personally handle without it throwing you off- you may find that none. Remember that caffeine and cigarettes also spike your blood sugar and could make matters worse. There are lots of diets based on limited carbohydrates which you could use to provide recipe and snack ideas- the GI diet, the South Beach diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (although with this last one I avoid the recipes with sweet ingredients like honey or bananas).

Hope you feel less hungry soon.

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Thank you both so much for your replies and suggestions :)

LivesIntheSun - when you refer to your blood sugar, have you actually monitored your blood sugar levels or are you just going based on how you feel after eating? I would be very interested if it would be possible to actually track my blood sugar throughout the day. I have a terrible memory and have lots of trouble noticing patterns, etc. Is it possible to get a monitor without having diabetes?

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I believe that you can obtain a meter for free without a prescription, certainly you can buy one. For free ones ask the pharmacy, doctor or call the companies, many advertize free ones. The thing is that without a DX you will have to pay out of pocket for the strips. Some folks with diabetes but no insurance seem to find ways to manage that-find good prices, although I don't know the specifics. If you suspect problems it would be a good idea to test and collect data to help you make decisions. Good for you!

Paleo is another good low carb diet plan.

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I was like that the first several weeks. Cutting gluten and most grains resulted in much less sugar in my diet, and I was craving sugar, ice cream, cookies and feeling super hungry and cranky. The answer is more saturated fats. Avocados, yogurt, (grass fed) beef fat, coconut, etc. Eat more protein and drink more water, too. When I've had something sugary I go back to the cravings for a bit. When i get through them I feel much better and sweets don't even sound good any more.

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Good morning!

No, I don't test my blood sugar, I do it purely on how I feel. If I'm able to concentrate, have enough energy to do tasks, and my mood is even then I know its ok. If I'm a bit shakey, can't think straight, I have out-of-control cravings and I'm irrationally irritable or weepy, then my blood sugar has dropped. It shares some symptoms with having been glutened (for me), except that I know its my blood sugar because I eat and then I'm immediately fine. I did once do a 6 hour glucose tolerance test out of curiosity and I discovered that I have a very steep spike and fast drop in blood sugar in the first hour after eating something sweet. But if I was you I'd experiment with changing your diet and see how it makes you feel, and you'll have your answer.

Its funny watching it in some friends- a friend's son (who eats all manner of sugary foods), whines, goes silent, has temper tantrums before meals. Then he eats and he's fine, he skips and plays and chats. Then a couple of hours later he's bad tempered again. His mother is the same, don't even try talking to her if she hasn't eaten, but if she has she's very sweet.

I first tried a low glycaemic index diet in my mid 20s after an (incorrect) medical diagnosis of a hormonal condition, having read it could help regulate hormones. It was a big surprise for me, and my family, when my ravenous hunger and irritability went away. When further tests showed that the diagnosis was incorrect and I went back to my normal diet, these symptoms came back. So that was when I started to think that nutrition might be significant (it took me another few years to work out the gluten part of it). After years of experimenting around the area and being aware of it I know what works for me now and what I can tolerate.

There is a very informative book on the whole issue called 'Low Blood Sugar' by Martin Budd, going into the multitude of symptoms, physical and psychological, that can be triggered by low blood sugar. I don't care much for the diets he recommends, way too much dairy, fruits and fruit juices for me, but the explainations of the effects of a blood sugar drop on various bodily systems are very interesting.

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Thank you both so much for your replies and suggestions :)

LivesIntheSun - when you refer to your blood sugar, have you actually monitored your blood sugar levels or are you just going based on how you feel after eating? I would be very interested if it would be possible to actually track my blood sugar throughout the day. I have a terrible memory and have lots of trouble noticing patterns, etc. Is it possible to get a monitor without having diabetes?

Ask your doctor if he will prescribe the strips explaining to him that you strongly suspect that your having blood sugar related problems. Your doctor may or may not comply. I did multiple readings for a while after my doctor falsely diagnosed me with diabetes when I went to him for help after a severe glutening. Turns out being glutened has effects on my blood sugar, raising it quite a bit, but from what I understand being ill with a lot of things can impact blood sugar levels. He wanted me to test once a day but I tested before meals, 1,2,3 and 4 hours after eating and first thing in the morning and at night before bed. It was quite helpful in seeing how different foods effected my blood sugar and also helpful in realizing that I didn't really have diabetes.

As others have said you can get the meter without a script for the strips but if you can get your doctor to prescibe the strips many times the meter will be free.

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    • celiac disease is psychosomatic
      I was diagnosed a couple years ago and started gluten-free diet then. Test also showed damage to my small intestine. I explained to this doctor how I was barely able to get out of bed when I ate gluten in the pastand my intestines are still recovering from the damage. I only discussed this briefly. I consulted with this doctor concerning my dizziness explaining that I get dizzy/migraines when I eat gluten due to my celiac disease. I further explained that my dizziness has been cut in half since I went on a gluten-free diet so I am better able to get out of bed. The consult was about taking tests to figure out if something in my brain was causing my dizziness or this doctor specialized in testing the brain for impairments. In her summary, she stated that my memory impairments were probably due to being precoccupied with thinking about my psychosomatic symptoms. However, I only though about the test when I took it. And I only think about whatever task I am trying to remember when I try to remember it! I feel my symptoms rather than think about them all day long.
    • celiac disease is psychosomatic
      If you don't get the diagnosis you are happy with go to another doc.  Try to find a Celiac Friendly doc.  OR you can do what i did and give up and just go gluten free.  I didn't need a doctor to confirm that if my gas, bloating, migraines, depression, joint pain, rash, dry skin and brittle nails went away when i went gluten free that i must have celiac.  AND 6 months after i went gluten free on my own i had some blood tests repeated that i had done when they were trying to figure out what was causing my severe rash, all the things that were "wrong" with me or abnormal in the the first blood tests, went to normal on the second test.  INCLUDING MY THYROID LEVELS! Oh, i didn't mention that during this time they diagnosed me with early hashimotos.. 6 months later i was miraculously cured from this progressive thyroid disorder according to the blood test results.  I didn't have hashimotos to put it bluntly.   I am almost 10 years gluten free with no positive Celiac diagnosis.  But let me tell you this,  My daughter's neurologist did a DNA test on her 1 year after she too went gluten free and it came back positive for Celiac.  so.  js.     That's my story..  in short.
    • celiac disease is psychosomatic
      Were you officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the time she wrote that?  And, if so, for how long were you diagnosed & gluten-free but still complaining of those symptoms?
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie By the sounds of it you could have gluten sneaking in somewhere, or maybe blood sugar issues,  or just plain anxiety, but it would be good to know for sure so you know what to do next. I think maybe the best course of action would be to see your GP and  tell him/her all your symptoms.   I dread seeing my own GP because as lovely as she is she is very fond of sending me for blood tests (which always seem to include liver function, thyroid and full blood count) which for someone with health anxiety isn't the recipe for a peaceful night's sleep!  But she is right, those particular blood tests, and others, can hold important clues when one has a lot of vague symptoms.   Celiac testing is of course another set of tests, which Flowerqueen has described well above.    If you do have all these tests and anxiety continues to be a problem, whether caused by celiac disease, another medical condition or it just turns out to be a stand alone problem, one book that I would recommend that really helped me understand anxiety is 'At Last a Life' by  Paul David. I found it an immensely helpful tool in my recovery.   There is also a website. http://anxietynomore.co.uk/   Keep us posted Cristiana      
    • celiac disease is psychosomatic
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