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Gluten Withdrawal?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Angelica

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 05:02 AM

So I just went gluten-free four days ago. So far I am not finding it too hard (I live alone so its easy to control what comes in and out of the apartment)-- my stomach issues are quiet for now (except for gas, but I am chalking that up to eating more veggies than usual), and my energy and mood feel better than they did before.

But yesterday I woke up with a weird pain in my right hip area. The skin hurt (like if I touch it) and by the end of the day it was flu-like achy. I slept well last night and woke up and that weird pain is back, plus my legs feel sore- like I worked out (but I didn't- I was in my office all day helping students with their papers.) My skin feels sensitive-- like when I move and my dress brushes the area I feel it. This is super weird as it has never happened before-- could it be gluten withdrawal that I have heard about? Even when I was feeling pretty sick I was tired but not achy, and other than these strange muscle aches, I feel fine. (Cheerful even)

What's up?
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#2 RiceGuy

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:16 AM

Many here have reported having such odd aches and pains develop after going gluten-free. It doesn't sound like gluten withdrawal to me though, as that is more neurological, as in cravings and effects on mood, etc.

If your fiber intake has increased substantially in just the few days you've been gluten-free, then it might be that your digestive system hasn't had time to adjust yet. There is also the possibility of nutrient deficiencies, even if your diet provides adequate nutrition. Research in this area is ongoing, and to date there isn't much known as to why many people experience all sorts of aches and pains at first. Some believe that the problems have been there for awhile, but the body might have been too overwhelmed with the problems caused by gluten to react much to the other things.

Many find it very helpful to take nutritional supplements, at least for awhile, until the body has had time to heal. A co-enzyme B-complex, and a separate sublingual methyl B12 tablet/lozenge are often very helpful. Vitamin D3 is another which may help. Magnesium is especially helpful for muscle/joint/nerve pain, and it is what I needed to resolve leg, hip, and other pains/weakness.
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#3 zoogirl

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 05:36 PM

So I just went gluten-free four days ago. So far I am not finding it too hard (I live alone so its easy to control what comes in and out of the apartment)-- my stomach issues are quiet for now (except for gas, but I am chalking that up to eating more veggies than usual), and my energy and mood feel better than they did before.

But yesterday I woke up with a weird pain in my right hip area. The skin hurt (like if I touch it) and by the end of the day it was flu-like achy. I slept well last night and woke up and that weird pain is back, plus my legs feel sore- like I worked out (but I didn't- I was in my office all day helping students with their papers.) My skin feels sensitive-- like when I move and my dress brushes the area I feel it. This is super weird as it has never happened before-- could it be gluten withdrawal that I have heard about? Even when I was feeling pretty sick I was tired but not achy, and other than these strange muscle aches, I feel fine. (Cheerful even)

What's up?


I have had very similar symptoms in the past but before going gluten-free. I chalked it up to fibromyalgia which I was diagnosed with a few years ago, but someone else told me it could be shingles and that they can be that mild especially with flu-like symptoms. I looked it up in a few places and it sounds like that's true. They can be mild like that the first time you get them and then worse the next time. No idea if that's what it truly was, but it sure sounds like it could be. My symptoms were just like what you described and went away after 2 or 3 days.

zoogirl
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#4 sandsurfgirl

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:34 PM

Your body does very weird things when you first go gluten free. Hang in there and make sure you are't getting any gluten in unexpected places.
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Lots of doctors diagnosed me with lots of things including IBS, lactose intolerance, wheat intolerance, and quite a few of them threw up their hands in total confusion.

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#5 Brigit

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:23 AM

So I just went gluten-free four days ago. So far I am not finding it too hard (I live alone so its easy to control what comes in and out of the apartment)-- my stomach issues are quiet for now (except for gas, but I am chalking that up to eating more veggies than usual), and my energy and mood feel better than they did before.

But yesterday I woke up with a weird pain in my right hip area. The skin hurt (like if I touch it) and by the end of the day it was flu-like achy. I slept well last night and woke up and that weird pain is back, plus my legs feel sore- like I worked out (but I didn't- I was in my office all day helping students with their papers.) My skin feels sensitive-- like when I move and my dress brushes the area I feel it. This is super weird as it has never happened before-- could it be gluten withdrawal that I have heard about? Even when I was feeling pretty sick I was tired but not achy, and other than these strange muscle aches, I feel fine. (Cheerful even)

What's up?


Hi,

I've been gluten free for 2 months, and what you are describing is something that affected me for about 5 weeks. I was told its peripheral neuropathy. Some days my body would feel bruised, and it'd hurt when my husband touched me, or if I put my legs together while lying on my side. I only got really bad a few times, while typing it would feel like I was actually hitting my fingers against a hard surface or at times like I was touching a hot plate, when the surface was in actual fact fine.

The good news is that it has gotten a lot better! And the great news is that as your body heals, and you start absorbing nutrients these strange aches and pains will start going away as well.
The bad news is, that you will probably experience a few gluten withdrawal symptoms over the next couple of weeks. Depression, anger, irritability, insomnia and general aches and pains. So don't feel like there is something wrong with you while it is happening.

Think of it, like if an alcoholic stopped drinking alcohol, they go through withdrawals, now gluten is toxin to your body, but it does still make your brain happy, like drugs or cigarettes would, so now when you cut it off, you're brain is going to freak out and your body is going to go through a healing process.

Try rest alot in the time ahead. Be vigilant regarding your diet, that you aren't getting gluten in, which will make the process longer and leave you feeling sick. And like suggested by another member, make sure you are getting the right supplements in.

All the best to you! This journey is going to definitely be worth it!
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#6 Angelica

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 05:04 PM

Thanks!

The pain eased today. I feel better today and I finished clearing out my pantry-- my neighbor (who is a friend) got four large paper bags of gluten containing groceries (lol). All good stuff-- as I tended to eat whole grain so lots of organic, multigrained pastas, good soups, flour, etc. She was amused, but commented that it would help them save on groceries this week. Her husband was tickled about the cookies.

Hanging in there on the gluten-free thing. Headache today, but my period is coming so that could be it. My energy is up, and so far my stomach has been quiet. Hopefully, all good things.
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#7 Molly R

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:30 AM

Glad to hear that this withdrawal phase won't last too long. I'm just a couple weeks into it and fairly miserable. Just keep reading the posts here and know I'm not alone keeps me going.
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#8 Brigit

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:31 PM

Glad to hear that this withdrawal phase won't last too long. I'm just a couple weeks into it and fairly miserable. Just keep reading the posts here and know I'm not alone keeps me going.



Hi Molly, my worst withdrawal symptoms seemed to last 6 weeks, and now I'm doing loads better. A turning point for me was that I took some time off work two weeks ago, as I really wasn't coping. Got a book called Wheat Free, Worry Free, The Art of Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Living that I read through. I visited some health shops and just spent some time 'loving' myself. Watching movies, working in my garden and just thinking and praying. It really helped me come to grips with the lifestyle change and what was going on in my body. I think what happens with most of us, is that we find out we have to cut out gluten for whatever reason, and sort of have to make an overnight change, as life doesn't stop to allow us to catch up. And a few weeks later, you start wondering; "what just happened, why am I gluten free?" And it is a big adjustment,and we are allowed to mourn, get angry and upset about it, but not for too long. I found that even though there were some real symptoms I was battling with, I was also allowing a lot of self pity, which I needed to deal with. My pain level and exhaustion was also quite bad, which didn't help the moods. So after my leave, I realized I need to take things easier, and cut down on my busy schedule. That helped a lot to for not only my exhaustion, but my state of mind.

So Molly, you will be okay, it is going to take a few months for our brains to rewire themselves and be happy with the gluten free life and for your body to heal, but it will all be worth it. If you are really struggling, ask your doctor/nutritionist or health shop for something herbal and gluten free that will help ease you through this process. For me it was anti-inflammatories and herbal pills to help me sleep.

All the best!
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#9 mushroom

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:09 AM

I was fortunate to not go through terrible gluten withdrawal, but for the nicotine withdrawal when I quit smoking I needed help. I said to my doc, okay, I've quit smoking, so how are you going to help me stay quit? I would lie in bed at night and every muscle in my body was contracted and aching and sleep was impossible. He gave me some valium, and I made it through to the other side :D I am dating myself now by saying that this was prior to the days when there were stop-smoking aids :P
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Caffeine free 1973
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