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Gluten Binges... Help

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:03 AM

Has anyone ever gone thru gluten binges, eating anything and everything that you're not supposed to?

I seem to find myself in this cycle... I've been gluten-free for over 2 years now and for some reason, I still find myself in this rut. My addiction to chocolate has also gotten worse. We suspect that it also has to do with me being hypoglycemic but I've found myself in very intense chocolate binges as well. To the point where I find myself eating it first thing in the morning and making me feel sick to the stomach. And after I go on a chocolate binge, then I think since I've attacked my body that way, I might as well continue with eating cookies, chips, etc. This is the crossroads i'm finding myself in now... as I sit here with a massive headache, my stomach in knots and I'm sure the worst is still to come.

Does anyone else suffer from this bad cycle? I can only assume that it's tied to a food addiction. Really the only way to end this it to consciously stop... but I find it uncontrollable sometimes. Like I realize it when I'm standing in front of the pantry and reaching my hand in every box.... but I still can't stop. Anyone have any suggestions on coping and ending this???
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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:49 AM

Do you feel that you are bored with the foods you are eating currently? I know I am, so I've been googling to find more variety to my already restrictive diet.

Or do you think these binges are more of an illogical, uncontrollable urge? You may have to remove these gluteny foods from your house to reduce the temptation. I know, you could still go out and buy them, but it's a small deterrent from that immediate urge.

Or you could try to find yourself something else to do to distract yourself.....exercise, dance to the radio (OK, I'm old school :rolleyes: ), a new hobby......
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Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:23 AM

Has anyone ever gone thru gluten binges, eating anything and everything that you're not supposed to?

No, never.

Gluten and malabsorption from celiac nearly killed me and I lost 3 years of my life in gluten stupor, ataxia and burning nerve and joint pain. Dozens and dozens of symptoms. It was a nightmare.

The LAST thing I want to do is feel that bad again. No mouthful of food is worth that misery.

Maybe your symptoms are not that bad, so you "put up with it"?

Some people say if they are glutened, then they crave more. Maybe that is what is happening?

Because if it is just sweet things you crave (cookies, pies, cakes, muffins,etc.), there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives out there.

My guess is maybe you've got something else going on that makes you eat this way?? Under stress? Something like that?

Seek help with this, hon ---because if you have Celiac and you are recklessly bombarding your system with gluten, you may be creating major health issues for yourself.

I wish I had more helpful thoughts for you, hon.

Best wishes to you.
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Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:29 AM

Maybe you're low on some vitamin/mineral that is triggering this behavior? I know chocolate craving can mean you need Magnesium. OR maybe it's a low blood sugar issue and your brain is telling you to feed it?
Have you had a blood panel drawn recently? If not, it might be good to have things checked?

I absolutely WILL NOT cheat on my gluten-free diet. It helps that I'm "as stubborn as mule" and don't waver from things once I have my mind set.

Have safe snacks stocked so you can have options when you get the urge to snack.
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Posted 21 January 2012 - 03:37 PM

I'm saddened and glad-ened to find this thread, i'm stuck in a similar cycle. I very rarely go back on gluten, because the symptoms are too much for me but I do that with dairy, fructose, corn, nightshades, soy, yeast, eggs, <-- all of my intolerances. I feel it is very difficult to find somebody who understands this whole situation and so I want you to know that I fully understand your situation and I'm feeling for you, especially having just been bingeing on chocolate and what not an hour ago.. I've just started doing dairy for the last month after being off of it for a year.

You mention that you think it is food addiction, and also that you are hypoglycemic. These are the two things that also trigger my binge response, so you could be onto something with that. I know that mine is definitely addiction... Blood sugar addiction, and opiate addiction. Is there anything behind the eating that is bothering you in your life that you feel the need to suppress? Before you binge, what does the urge feel like? What are you eating when you eat normally? When do you usually binge? How do you feel beforehand, or is it at any certain time of the day?

There are two directions you could try to help this, you could go on a allergen and sugar and grain free diet to eliminate sugar ups and downs if you think it could be blood sugar messing with you. There is a period of withdrawal from sugar that will happen so the first few days are hard, then it's easy. This can be a riskier approach because you run the risk of yo-yos if you are unable to transition into it, at the same time if you hold this out your cravings should disappear completely because your palette, hunger hormones, blood sugar etc will normalize. Honestly I don't recommend this path to most people immediate after bingeing unless you are very stubborn and know what you want, high self discipline with little history of yo-yoing. It seems like a rare personality type can acheive this...
Or you can try to practice intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is letting yourself have whatever you want to have and trusting your choice as a good choice. No food is off limits. If you want a cookie after dinner you're allowed to have one. Maybe you won't want one if you're allowed to have it because of the negative consequences. Maybe you'll end up eating a nice salad when all of your options are open, because salad makes you feel good. But intuitive eating centers around loving yourself for your every choice and taking those extremes away. It takes away that voice that says "I ate it, I messed up, now I might as well eat shit all day!" and guides you towards what you truly want based on consequences of your choices and a gradual transition off of the choices that you find aren't suiting you. Main thing in intuitive eating is not beating yourself up about it, just realizing that you chose it to love yourself in some way...

I, for one, doubt you'd be bingeing to feed a nutritional deficiency because why would you be searching for a nutrient in nutrient-devoid food? But it is always good to get your vitamins/minerals checked because sometimes depression and also how well your body responds to a glucose/sugar load can be linked to deficiencies.

Some people are really helped by starting a journal here, at howtostopeating.com . These people are very good at supporting others through intuitive eating to stop binge eating. I have even ran upon a few who are gluten intolerant there.

Pm me if you ever want okay? I bet we could both use somebody to talk to who totally gets the situation. Sending love your way!
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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:38 AM

Ok, some ideas then. Maybe if you make sure to eat some protein/meat with every meal? Protein has a better glycemic index than carbs so it helps even out your blood sugar highs and lows. Ham and eggs is better in the morning than cereal or pancakes. Or at least eat some meat with your carbs, if you can't eliminate them altogether.

There are tons of recipes for snacks and candy in the recipe section here. So take a look through there or search for snacks you like and make some up. If you like chocolate make some chocolate snacks that are gluten-free. Chocolate isn't the worst thing in the world for you, it's just that the commercial versions usually have soy in them. If you are worried about chocolate get some carob instead.

Getting the gluten out of the house sounds like a great idea.

Taking one step in the right direction is a worthwhile start to fixing the problem. You did that by posting here. You are on your way! :D
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Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."
Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and hard work. have a good day! :-) Paul




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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

I have that problem with sugar. I'm supposed to be sugar-free with GAPS, I know full well refined sugar makes me feel ill, and I have a terrible time staying away from the stuff. I crave it fiercely and one slip-up keeps the craving cycle going.

I have to avoid buying sweets completely. If sugar is in the house I will eat it and make myself sick. It's fairly easy to exercise self-control with what goes into the grocery cart. I shop so that I can stick my hand into every box in the pantry and there is no refined sugar to be found. :lol: I'm not bad to the point where I would get in the car and make a special trip to get something sweet, so I ignore the craving. If I can go without sugar for a week or so, the cravings get much less intense. Maybe you could do the same with gluten, where you just don't buy any?

As far as chocolate, I'm not sure I understand how that ties into the gluten. I have no problems finding gluten-free chocolate. You can have intense chocolate craving before a migraine, or if you're depressed. Exercise may help if it's depression/anxiety. Can you take a brisk walk when the chocolate looks good?

I don't cheat on gluten. It makes me too sick and I'm scared half to death of getting another autoimmune disease. Two is plenty.
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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:54 AM

It a nutrient deficit, blood sugar levels amiss, vitamin deficiency driven behavior.

I don't have any desire to eat gluten, it makes me way too sick. Eating very much sugar at all, does the same thing. I can not eat much white, simple to digest cereal carbohydrate by itself at all, either. I tend to reward myself with ONE serving of chocolate product a day, contingent on "did I exercise?" I am very low carb compared to most people, this keeps me sane doing it. My spouse was teasing me last night when we were splitting a gluten free dessert, but I pointed out to him that I already had eaten another big salad for dinner, and fish and vegetables for lunch.... fruit and nuts for breakfast..... okay, there was some popcorn in there during the football game, but give me a freaking break ! ;)

Your body does not interpret "status low on vitamin B" as a distinct craving for vitamin B, but that in turn affects how all your other organs function, and your hormone levels and moods. Same with vitamins D, calcium, magnesium, etc.

You get low on blood calcium, because you cannot absorb it (gut damage), because your bones are being robbed because the pituitary tells your kidneys to keep the blood's mineral levels at a certain point. But your brain does not say, hmm, betcha there's a magnesium deficiency going along with that. Your brains says, desperately hungry please send more sugar right now. You eat sugar, your blood levels spike and then crash, you eat sugar to feel up again.

If you actually want to stop doing this, get the gluten out of the house or apartment or dorm room. If it is not there, you cannot eat it. Replace it with foods that do not have it. Then you must correct your diet that you are getting enough real food that you are satisfied and feel full with that. That may mean kissing things like breakfast cereal goodbye, and eating a higher protein and fat breakfast, for example, of eggs and vegetables and coconut milk in your hot drink. If you are waking up poorly, what the heck are you eating for dinner ? You should be eating a really hearty dinner of meat and vegetables and some form of good fat.

And you have to take supplements, gluten free, vitamin and minerals. Because you are not normal and you need them, just like the rest of us. Some people have to frame every single bad or less than perfect behavior into an addiction caused by issues or their lousy childhoods (try reading Frank McCourt's hilarious bio of his Irish-American childhood poverty, "Angela's Ashes") or "low self esteem," when they're actually slowing starving to death because they just don't know what to eat, because they haven't been taught any better, or they're poor and eating a lot of grain junk because that is what they can afford.
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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:13 PM

I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but it may also be a good idea to get counseling for this problem, especially if you feel you can't control it. Your behavior really sounds like an addiction, and sometimes we need help beyond our own willpower.
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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:01 AM

This is really weird and I'm not sure why it happens, but apparently if you are allergic to something and you eat it you will overly like it and eat excessive amounts of it. I've had this happen to me several times, where I'll find a product that is supposed to not have gluten in it and then when I try some I just NEED more and I eat more of it than I normally would only to get very sick. Now when I find myself going back for seconds or thirds and really liking something, I have to ask myself- okay do you really like this or are you just allergic?

I also have issues with binge eating if I skip meals or tell myself that I am going to stop eating a certain food- then I will try and eat it all at once in a way to get it out of the house :S I've been trying to cut back on sugar, and I found myself eating an entire SLEEVE of gluten-free oreo-like cookies. :(

BUT!!! This works for me!! I make smoothies with excessive amounts of healthy food- whenever I would otherwise be prone to binging. I put so much STUFF in them that I get really full without being uncomfortable and bloated. This is the only thing I've found that stops me from eating. I made this last night and it worked perfectly- 1 cup of filtered water, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 pineapple center (I freeze these from fresh pineapples for use in smoothies) and then I sprinkled cinnamon over the top and then blended until smooth. It's super thick and tastes bitter sweet and I think the addition of cinnamon helps as well. If you are craving chocolate you can always do bananas and cocoa powder. Then you just pour it in a tall clear glass and sip it. It's kind of my cheating way to binge without binging- but it makes you feel GOOD instead of bad and gives you the strength to say NO to the other junk.
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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:07 AM

I've had issues in the past with eating disorders. My worst enemy is having snack food in the house at all, as I will compulsively eat anything I can get my hands on, hungry or not. For me, simply being aware of the problem and keeping snack foods either out of the house or where I can't find or get them is all I need. For a lot of people though, counseling is needed and it may be a step you need to look into.

A big part of my problem was chocolate. I discovered though that the chocolate problem was entirely solved with one easy step. I switched from cheap crap (Reese's which were my favorite) to exclusively eating expensive, imported dark chocolate. It has far less sugar in it. It also has such an amazing rich flavor that a single small piece will satisfy my craving for days at a time. (Except that special time in a woman's life, which leads to a small piece once or twice a day.) A 3-4 ounce bar will last months, I think I got my last bar before Thanksgiving and still have about half left.

It's possible that trying a quality dark chocolate will help a lot with the chocolate cravings. Break off a small piece, about the size of your finger tip and put the rest away. Then sit quietly alone, close your eyes and savor every moment of it. It's the only thing that keeps me from eating pounds of chocolate a month.
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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:12 AM

Hi leehua
Sorry to see you're having problems.
I've had this problem in the past - been down the eating disorder/psychologists road and while this may be helpful generally with problem dealing in life, it had no effect whatsoever on eating problems.
IMHO it is part of the gluten intolerance/starved of nutrients, etc as per the other posts here. It also becomes a pattern that can be tricky to break. However, break it you must so get your fighting spirit out and get organised.

As already mentioned, quality protein is very important especially for breakfast. We always have leftover (make too much deliberately) dinner for breakfast - sort of mini-dinner. Mid morning eggs/nuts/fruit type combination. Lunch soup or salad with protein meat or fish. Often have a piece of fruit late afternoon but have more protein with it if hungry then main dinner meat or fish and veg. If you think this won't cut it, make a big pot of soup (veg) and have a mug of it anytime in between.
Once you break the cycle by giving your body lots of good food you will feel better/stronger and suddenly find yourself on like the opposite cycle - if that makes sense.

Very important - get the binge products out of the house and the good stuff above in.
I still can't have choc in the house. Even gluten free makes me appallingly bad - but I'm still not to be trusted with it :ph34r: and can't have a small bit. The only way is to keep it out of the house.

I also find it helps to find treats for yourself that don't involve food - music, exercise, meeting friends, whatever.
Oh yes, drink plenty of water - I find processed food, choc and of course, gluten are totally dehydrating and I once read somewhere that you can mistakenly think of eating when in fact you are thirsty - so have a glass of water first, just in case!

Anyway, these are things that have helped me.
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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

Oh yes, drink plenty of water - I find processed food, choc and of course, gluten are totally dehydrating and I once read somewhere that you can mistakenly think of eating when in fact you are thirsty - so have a glass of water first, just in case!

I have noticed that when I drink water/crystal light - I am less likely to binge eat!! Thanks for the advice Lady Eowyn!!
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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:20 AM

Have you tried a sugar control diet? It's very restrictive but after 2 months my blood sugar sugar was back to normal (I had reactive hypoglycemia before that) and my sugar and carb cravings were gone. I now am back to eating normally (but NEVER gluten) and plan on doing the sugar control diet a few times a year for a few weeks at a time for detox purposes.
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