I've been suffering for a long time with ADHD type symptoms, mostly lack of concentration and focus, tiredness, forgetfulness, zoning out, irritability and so on. Oh, and feeling like a hermit. Not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone... I recently became aware that these things could be caused by a gluten sensitivity, so I decided to try going gluten free to see if it helps.
I'd really like to hear from anyone who has had similar problems and has tried a gluten free diet... Did it help? Did you have to cut out other foods? I know some people have cut out dairy, but I'd really rather not go that far, I'm already fed up of trying to be gluten free! (and I love tea with milk in...) I'd love to hear how long it takes before people start to notice a difference with neurological symptoms - I know it's probably different for everyone, but it's always good to hear how it went for different people, it will help me decide whether to stick with this, or just give up! I've been gluten free since mid April this year, so for 5 or 6 weeks now. I'm just not sure whether I'm seeing any difference yet, it's kind of hard to tell. (There are some changes for the better, but my mum is sure they are attitude related, and not because of going gluten free..) If gluten is my problem, should I have seen a big change by now? Or does it happen very slowly? Is it worth my while to try a test, like having a day where I eat gluten and see if I notice a difference? I've never had any gut related symptoms, as far as I've noticed, and since I'm not even sure whether or not the diet is working, would I even notice a reaction if I ate loads of gluten for one day? Is it too soon for a test? Sorry for asking so many questions, I'm just feeling at a bit of a loss here, and don't really know what to do! I've just started an Open University course, and I really want to be able to concentrate on the work this time around.
(I'm also taking some vitamins to try and cover all the bases... B5, B12, D and Omega3 oil.)
Oh, one more question! I saw someone in another post mention that they thought eating gluten free bread and pasta was a bad idea, at least to begin with... Is that so? Why would that be? I've been eating the gluten free bread (from Genius) every day for breakfast... Is that bad?
Does no one have any advice at all? All I'm really looking for is a hint about how long it took people to start to notice a difference with a gluten free diet... I'm sure plenty of people have had issues with focus and concentration and have tried going gluten free to see if it helps... All I want to know is, did it help? Did you notice an immediate effect, or did it take a few weeks, or did it take several months?
I really hope someone can give me even a tiny bit of advice...
My son sees an autism/adhd specialist here in town as his primary care doc. She says that in her practice her patients do see some improvement of autism/adhd symptoms on a gluten-free diet. She does not go so far as to say one is the cause of the other, just that she has seen improvement in children, even those that test negative for celiac disease and have no other celiac disease symptoms.
Personally, I have not seen this in myself. I have gone gluten-free for an extended period and it has not helped me one bit in this regard.
- Vincent -
My son Timothy is Gluten Free, Egg Free, Diary Free, Soy Free, Almond Free, and Oat Free and yet still manages to get plenty of junk food some how!
I just started as well. I have ADHD and celiacs. I didn't notice a change until I slipped up and was glutened. That made me realize how much better I really was feeling. I had only been off gluten for 3 days, and it was a huge difference. And fyi it really really sucks the first time it happens, threw me out of whack completely shut down for a day now! Dont want you to make yourself sick, but it may help you see the change.
I have never been formally diagnosed with celiac (largely due to the fact that I have been poked and prodded so much that it just isn't worth it. Yet. I don't have children). All my life I've had severe constipation, insomnia, ADHD, and severe nausea (which I was tested for many things because of but never diagnosed as a child, and we tried many solutions but never found one) . Towards my young adolescent years I developed migraines, I started having trouble with anxiety and panic attacks, and I started having episodes of vertigo. My doctor suggested that I might have celiac but I refused the biopsy, and so we just did a trial gluten free diet. All of my symptoms got better or went away--including the ADHD--and I was diagnosed formally with gluten intolerance. All I'm left with is occasional constipation if I don't drink enough water or eat too much red meat and occasional peripheral neuropathy which my doctor says is probably a residual effect of the nerve damage. I went from being a B student who was uninvolved in or invested in extracurriculars, who went to a psychologist each week for general anxiety disorder and ADHD coping (meds gave me migraines) to an A student, all-district horn player who lives a normal and happy life other than a severe phobia of vomiting that I'm coping with after all those years of nausea. I've been gluten free and happy for over two years now. About a week ago I accidentally got glutened (the first time in like a year). I've actually been really surprised at how quickly the ADHD set in. I thought I'd have to be on gluten long term for it to take affect but the difference is seriously like night and day. All this week I've been struggling to accomplish anything in a reasonable amount of time, even simple tasks, like getting ready in the mornings. I keep interrupting friends, my parents, and even teachers while they're talking. I try to read or memorize things, and just to comprehend what I'm reading it have to read it several times. So seriously--ADHD-like symptoms and other neuro symptoms are real symptoms of celiac. And even if you aren't get tested, if going gluten-free makes a difference, even if ADHD was your only symptom, DO. IT.
Oh, and eat all the gluten-free bread and gluten-free pasta you want however, eat it within a healthy limit. I suggest either corn-and-rice or corn-and-quinoa (much less mushy than just rice) pasta, and Kinnickinnick soft white bread (its a new line. If your local store doesn't carry it, ORDER IT. NOW.) And Better batter is an amazing gluten-free flour substitute (though it's not cup for cup--no gluten-free flour is) and Nicole hunn on glutenfreeonashoestring.com has epic recipes. However, cutting simple carbs and sugar help ADHD as well, so just make sure you don't pig out on pasta and gluten-free baked goods