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Anorexia Nervosa Induced Gluten Intollerance.
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Hi all, hope you can help me with this.

I'm a 30 year old male and had suffered anorexia for a year. At the worst point of my illness my BMI was 16.5 and energy intake around 750kCals per day (estimated by a nutritionist) for a duration of around six weeks.

Fortunately, thanks to the support and love from my parents, I've been in recovery and being putting on at least couple of pounds as week. The trouble I now have is I can't eat much in one go and certain foods, especially wheat, cause horrible bloating and sickness which has nearly triggered a relapse.

I've never had any food intolerances before, could it be that lack of food has damaged the part of my stomach responsible for digesting wheat?

I know that my gut fauna could've been depleted so I've being eating blue cheese (will also give pro-biotic yoghurt a go) and my stomach mussels have wasted away so any foods hard to digest will cause problems.

Does any one know if this will get better as my body recovers?

I'm worried the nerves could've been damaged which could be permanent.

My current diet consists of five bowls of porridge a day with whole milk and fortified with minerals, vitamins and protein powder (1000Kcals a day), plus another at least another 2000KCals (I try not to count, this is estimated form my rate of weight gain) in snacks (mostly fruit nuts and sweets) with the odd small meal.

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Your body has been under stress for a long while. Stress can trigger Celiac Disease. It can't hurt to have doctors order a full celiac blood panel.

How horrible if you were to sabotage regaining your health by eating foods that are not right for your body.

It looks like you are eating a large amount of dairy - cheeses, milk, protein powder - perhaps you are intolerant of dairy?

Digestive enzymes taken before each meal may help with your taxed digestive system.

Can you make soups/pureed foods - carrot/ginger soup always feels good to me. Chicken broth with vegies is soothing as well.

I definitely think it would be good to look into food intolerance and rule out celiac sooner rather than harm your healing body any further.

Good Luck to you :)

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I'm agreeing with Ski Lisa. I also think that is not a very balanced diet. 5 bowls of porridge is a bit excessive. Change out 4 of them for real food. Does your ED doc know you are eating this way? It may be making you gain weight but it is still an unbalanced way to eat.

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I'm certain I have no problem with dairy because I don't get bloated at all until I eat wheat, although some fruit also causes problems if I eat too much of it: figs, seedy berries and apple in particular but even small amounts of wheat seem to cause problems. If I just eat my porridge, cheese, chicken, nuts, potatoes etc. all day I never seem to have any problems.

I completely agree with you, I don't have a very balanced diet at the moment but it's only temporary and the porridge is fortified with my RDA of all essential vitamins/minerals and contains 69g of protein, 55.8g of it being from milk which has a good biological availability.

Unfortunately I'm mostly doing this on my own - the NHS aren't any good these days. I do have at least one real meal a day but it can't be very big because my stomach can't stand it. Today I had a small amount of cottage pie for lunch and will have a sausage and jacket potato for dinner.

I'm contemplating seeing a nutritionist on a private basis. I want to quit the porridge (making it is a pain) but don't want to try to change my weird eating habits too quickly or without guidance from a professional, as it could trigger a relapse. So far it seems to be working, my health has improved a lot: I'm no longer anaemic, constipated or have bad joints and I have loads more energy.

I agree, a food intolerance test is a good idea and I'll go private if needs be.

Maybe I'm hoping for too much too soon - it's only 3 weeks into my recovery.

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Ah bugger, my mum made me some jam tarts with soy/cornflour pastry; I ate one for breakfast and became bloated.

I agree that pur

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Alie, what exactly is this porridge made of?

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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
    • Thanks for posting.  I know it is difficult to talk about these sorts of things even on a webforum.  It is good thing for people to be aware though about celiac disease and that it can cause mental problems.  Gluten can cause brain damage and it can cause anxiety. If the brain does heal it may take a long time. I know that gluten can cause anxiety and obsessive thoughts.  My experience has been similar to your experience. When I first quit eating gluten I had a similar constant loop and strong negative feelings. There are lots of people on this forum who get anxiety when they eat gluten. Some people also experience gluten withdrawl where they experience anxiety after giving up gluten. It can take a long time for the body to heal and for obsessive thoughts to go away.
       It is normal for people to socialize with each other and to be comfortable about it. You said you have problems still socializing and being around people. It might be a depressing thought but it sounds to me like you still have problems with anxiety.  I would recommend considering what options you have available to treat the anxiety. When I quit eating Gluten I still had some symptoms, even though I felt much better. I have been slowly recovering over a period of about three years. I had obsessive thoughts even after I quit eating gluten.  Now I very rarely if at all think about those things. My experience is that my mind would latch on to certain things that caused me anxiety and focus on those things. Sometimes my focus would shift and I would latch onto other things. My ability to socialize has also improved greatly with time. I have made some dietary changes which I believe have helped greatly. It sounds to me like you have obsessive thoughts about things and maybe some brain damage. My experience has been that my obsessive thoughts about different things went away with time. I feel my obsessive thoughts were caused by gluten and not by what people did around me or any events. As my brain healed I became more self aware and things became less stressful.  I can't give medical advice on this forum but I can talk about my current diet and my experience with celiac disease. My experience with gluten is different from a lot of other people so it is a good idea to ask other people and to talk to a doctor.  I avoid oats and avoid almost all processed foods. I buy certified gluten free food. I eat healthy and I exercise every day. I take st John's Wort as I have read studies that say it may be as effective as some other anti-depressants for treating certain types of anxiety. It is available over the counter. I started with a small dosage and then stepped it up over time. I think it helps a lot.  This is also something that you should talk to a doctor about first. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Mahoney2/publication/7426926_St._John's_wort/links/540d8acc0cf2f2b29a386673.pdf A lot of people with celiac disease have vitamin deficiencies.  Vitamin b deficiency can cause anxiety. Some people do not process the synthetic form of vitamin b (from normal pills)  very well, and do better on an activated form of vitamin b. I take:
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      I think each of these helps lower my anxiety level.  I eat fruit with every meal. Canned fruit from walmart is cheap and good for you. I eat salad and and vegetables and avoid dairy.  I eat frozen fish often as it has healthy proteins. Eating healthy is very important. I eat potatoes and rice. http://www.livestrong.com/article/454179-what-is-methyl-b12/ I avoid eating soy sauce, soy, cheese, aged meats and fermented foods (I do drink certain types of alcohol in moderate amounts.) These foods contain lots of Tyramine. I might (or might not) have "monoaine oxidase deficiency" and if so high Tyramine foods should be avoided.  I thought I might have problems with elevated ammonia in my blood, but I am not convinced of that anymore. I limited my consumption of meat for a while as well as dairy but I am not sure if i helped.  I have heard that Celiac disease can effect other organs besides the brain and those organs can have an effect on the brain.  My current diet is working so I am going to stick with it for now. I try not to worry about things that are outside of my control. Be patient as it took me a long time to recover.  Let me know if you have any questions. There is a lot of information on this site and people who are willing to help.
       
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