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Gluten Withdrawal?


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#1 carriecraig

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:14 AM

Good Morning,

I was wondering if anyone has experienced "withdrawal" from gluten, once they started on the gluten-free diet? I have been gluten-free since mid-June, and am having bouts of light-headedness, brain fogginess, extreme hunger, I’m tired all of the time, and my stomach is still bloated after every time I eat, and I am having problems with gas. Anyone else have similar symptoms? Also, if you’ve been through this, how long does it take to feel normal?

Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated!

Thank you.
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Carrie
Blood test May 25, 2005
Positive diagnosis through Endoscopy June 13, 2005
gluten-free since then...

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#2 KaitiUSA

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:06 AM

Yes, I went through gluten withdrawal symptoms to. It's a big adjustment for your body so you do have to give it time. I can't say how long it will last because everyones symptoms go away in different times.
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Kaiti
Positive bloodwork
Gluten-free since January 2004
Arkansas

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#3 Jnkmnky

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:43 AM

I recently went gluten-free with three other family members. None of us experienced what you described. Maybe you're not getting enough vitamins. Our menu hasn' t changed, just the omission of gluten and most dairy. I use all gluten-free substitutes for our regular gluten full menu. Plus, with the elimination of dairy, I added one spinach/lettuce salad every evening. The kids may eat a half a cup of this, my and my husband more. But there's lots of nutrition is a salad. And we haven't had any cravings for gluten. I'm eating far less though. My kids are eating a little less and not asking for snacks between meals as much. Maybe I'm dishing out larger portions?
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#4 watkinson

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:24 AM

HI carriecraig,
I was wondering if it's possibe the you may still be getting gluten somewhere. It seems strange to have a negative gluten withdrawal reation. :( Usually people who are celiacs have a wonderful positive response when they give it up. :)
Have you checked your medications or vitamins? Maybe recheck all your products, toothpaste, lotion, ect. and recheck all your food stuffs.
Maybe you need more vitamins. You could try liquid or sublingual ones.

Maybe you went from eating alot of bread products to eating lots of fruit and vegies. When your system isn't used to it, fruit and veggies can cause alot of bloating and gas.

What about protein, are you getting enough? check to see if you are iron defficient. I would also recommend taking Omega 3 fatty acids. (fish oil). You can get good gluten-free ones (in caplet form) from whole foods. They help every system of the body from your heart to your joints, to your hair and fingernails. But best of all they really act as a brain food. Studies show it can alleviate things like depression, ADD, Bi-polar disorder, and improve Alzhiemers, (sp) brain fog, ect. Great stuff!! :D

Hope you feel better soon, Wendy
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#5 cdford

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 07:28 PM

Our endocrinologist says it is almost like the body is addicted to the gluten and reacts much the same way as an alchoholic when they stop drinking. It is a true withdrawal process. It does go away and life gets much better. The amount of time it takes varies from person to person.
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Donna
South Georgia
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!

#6 Jnkmnky

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 07:38 PM

I didn't see the dramatic withdrawl from gluten at all. Twice I've gone gluten free in the past year and neither time did I feel even slightly like I was going through withdrawals. My husband and two other non-celiac kids also just went gluten free...about a month ago, now. They all say the same thing. No cravings or need for gluten. Do you suppose it could be from the leaky gut syndrome where peptides are leaching into the bloodstream? Maybe the addiction is to the peptides? But not the gluten itself? That would explain why a celiac would experience withdrawal symptoms....Not from gluten, but from those peptides?
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#7 Jonesy

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 10:08 AM

:)
Regarding Gluten withdrawal, I remember asking the same question earlier this month, but I can't find the post. I went gluten-free on June 16th this year and my energy level was like a yo yo, and I was surprised that I felt worse instead of better.
My son-in-law (LPN) suggested that maybe I was missing some carbs and to check and make sure I was getting a good balance between carbs, fats and proteins.
For me it turned out to be carbs were missing and I started eating brown rice. That really helped. Also bought a pancake mix from Red Mill and that seemed to really satisfy what my body was asking for. It's different for everybody. In week 5 of gluten-free, my energy began to level off and this whole week I've felt well in just about every way. So hang in there and do your research. Discover for yourself what it is your body is needing. When you find that out, you'll be on your way.

You will get tons of answers by doing a search. I found all these postings to be interesting on that subject. I just entered "gluten withdrawal" and it came up with 11 pages on the subject. I did my search in "all forums", and "most relavant. Here is the link to the search results.

http://www.glutenfre...uten withdrawal

Hope this helps.
Maryellen
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diagnosed June 14, 2005 at the age of 77
blood test and biopsy

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#8 bean

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 12:25 PM

I had some of the withdrawls too - it lasted about 2 weeks for me. Depression, fogginess, anxiety - all that fun stuff! Maybe this will help you understand what's going on - This is from the book "Dangerous Grains":

The addictive nature of gluten is often overlooked. For some, the first days and weeks of following a gluten-free diet are characterized by food cravings, disorientation, irritability, sleepiness, depression, mental fogginess, fatigue, and/or shortness of breath. If you are a member of this group, the very fact that you are experiencing many of these symptoms should reinforce the need to exclude gluten from your diet. These are common symptoms of withdrawl of detoxification from gluten-derived opiods and brain neurochemical imbalances. The evidence suggests that about 70 percent of celiac patients will experience these symptoms when beginning a strict gluten-free diet.

...

Most individuals who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity are also addicted to gluten. The morphine-like peptides from gluten frequently stay intact because the bonds between some sequences amino acids are quite resistant to digestion. Those who have leaky gut will allow these opioids and other large peptides to enter the bloodstream. The addictive process has probably been at work in most gluten-sensitive and celiac individuals for many years, probably since childhood. This makes elimination of gluten a great deal more challenging than might be expected.


Jnkmnky - you don't have gluten-intolerance or celiac disease, do you? Maybe that's why you didn't present the withdrawl symptoms. You might want to put a note on your signature that you don't have celiac disease so that people wont assume that you are speaking from the perspective of someone who has it, but rather from the perspective of someone who loves & cares for someone with celiac disease ;)

- Michelle :wub:

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Michelle :)

Positive blood tests 4/29/05 (tTG & IgA)
*Osteoporosis (at 32!)
*Heartburn/Reflux (*ouch!*)
*Lifelong battle w/depression
*Dental enamel didn't form right when I was little (cavities cavities cavities)
*Neuropsych analysis lists all sorts of learning disabilities - which may be attributed to brain injury from an old accident or may be from celiac, who knows!

Had biopsy May 11th, 2005 - villi are FLAT! :(
gluten-free since May 11th :)

#9 carriecraig

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 12:41 PM

Thanks everyone! Today I have actually felt like a normal human being. I'm hoping that it will be clear sailing from here. Have a great weekend.
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Carrie
Blood test May 25, 2005
Positive diagnosis through Endoscopy June 13, 2005
gluten-free since then...

#10 cdford

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 12:40 AM

Yeah! Doesn't it feel good to know you are gettting better?
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Donna
South Georgia
9 yrs gluten-free
...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!

#11 sundance

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 06:35 AM

I've been gluten-free free for four weeks and I have been violently ill most of this time except the first week when I felt pretty good. I do have a long history of being very ill with chronic congestion, lymph nodes swollen, antibody deficient etc. so perhaps it is why. I have had an extremely clean organic diet for many years so it's not a lot of detox per se of junk but if my body has been so sick and it can now heal it makes sense this would be happening.
I'm glad to have found this board and information in regards to getting ill when removing gluten. It helps me keep some focus that there is the other side of this.
Is there anyone who had chronic congestion and lung infections that can tell me their experience when they went gluten free? My body sure is spewing stuff out that has probably been low grade chronic for years so it is a good sign, I think? lol
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#12 Guest_taweavmo3_*

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 12:20 PM

My daughter was diagnosed a few months ago, and I've finally decided to go strictly gluten free myself. I am fairly certain I have it as well....but I'm not going to get tested. I want to keep under the insurance radar at the moment. They aren't even covering all of my son's vaccines, so I figure as little testing I can have done, the better.

Anyway, I'm just beginning the second week into the diet, and I have definately felt what I would call withdrawl. I have been very irritable lately, just ask my poor kids! The fatigue has been worse than usual on some days, where I've had to put everything down that I was doing and close my eyes, just to get through the day. And, the headaches have been different. It's the same kind of throbbing headache I get if I miss my morning cup of coffee......the kind where nothing I take will make it go away. I've also been way more sensitive to dairy than before. I used to be able to tolerate a glass of milk with dinner, but if I do that now I wake up with terrible congestion and drainage, and I feel bloated. I definately feel like there is a change taking place, because occasionally I will feel really good, and just plain "happier" than I have in a long, long time. The other night, we had some family over. I was having such a good time, and just hysterically laughing out loud. It has been years, I can't even remember the last time actually, that I felt free enough of my anxiety and stress to really let loose and laugh out loud like that. It's a small thing, but it was definately an eye opener for me that I am on the right track here.

Sad to think how many people are going around popping antidepressants, or various other pills....when the treatment could be as simple as a diet change. Granted, it is a drastic diet change, but far better than the alternative.
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#13 drewsant

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 05:21 PM

I've had my depression worsen since going gluten-free. I just chalked it up to stress at work which has gotten much worse the last few months (I walk out of there feeling like I've been beat up--I get verbally abused every day over the phone working in the repair department of a phone company) and to the fact that I've had to change my whole diet, and that has stressed me out. Maybe it is partly those things, but maybe it is due to withdrawal. I've also had about 4 migraines since going gluten-free, never had them before- ever. Just had one last night as a matter of fact. That I'm pretty sure is due to the change in diet, since it was so extreme.
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#14 ianm

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 05:25 PM

I went through a very severe depression for a few months after going gluten-free. Looking back I think it was a combination of physical and psychological reasons. It eventually got better and my life has never been better. Keep at it because it will get better.
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If all the world is indeed a stage and we are merely players then will someone give me the script because I have no f!@#$%^ clue as to what is going on!

What does not kill you makes you stronger.
Nobody cares about losers and quitters never win. If you fail with the cowards then what's the message you send?
Can't get it right, no matter what I do. Might as well be me and keep fu@$ing up for you. - Brian Thomas (Halloween, the greatest metal band ever!)

Ian Moore. Self diagnosed at 36 because the doctors were clueless.
Started low-carb diet early 2004, felt better but not totally gluten-free. Went 100% gluten-free early 2005 and life has never been better.

#15 Misa

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:04 PM

Sometimes, someone writes something you specially need to hear that day and today for me it was Ian's post. I had one week during my six/seven week now gluten-free were I felt totally content with life, happy, lots of self-esteem and clear-headed. I hadn't felt like that in many years. But then I went back to my old dreary self again...bummer....so reading that Ian improved just made me feel some hope again. Thanx

Misa :D
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