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Is Craving Food A Symptom Of Celiac Disease?
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I have a really unexplainable constant need for food... for example I'll have a very large bowl of cereal for breakfast, and an hour and a half later am hungry. Even if i'm not physically hungry i'm still extemely strongly craving food, mainly fatty, starchy, sugary, carby foods. I'm not overweight but have been gaining weight lately probably as a result of this. I did notice that in my 2 weeks being gluten free (2 months ago) the cravings weren't there particularly, but this might have been because I knew most of the delicious foods were off limits! For example I remember I ate some pieces of chocolate and then put the rest away, but on most occasions i physically cannot stop myself eating it all and probably also everything else in sight...

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Are you getting all the vitamins you need? That might be why.

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You said you were gluten-free for two weeks two months ago. Are you eating gluten again? Are you doing a gluten challenge? It could be that you are not digesting your food and so aren't getting the nutrition from it.

When you decide to go permanently gluten-free, I suggest you eat lots of small meals instead of three big ones. I normally eat six times a day. Two of the meals are substantial, and the rest are snacks like yogurt or nuts, or a couple of slices of Udi's. Or ice cream. Mmm...ice cream. :)

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The common wisdom is that we tend to crave those foods that are not good for us. If you are indeed craving gluteny carbs that is a pretty good indication that you are addicted to them and, just as an addicted smoker should quit smoking, a gluten addict should quit gluten. Once you have been off gluten for a while the craving will go away, fortunately, as you began to discover.

Have you had the blood panel drawn for celiac disease?

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I have just been to have my blood taken, should find out within 5-7 days :) The doctor seemed to think I may have IBS though. And yes I am eating gluten again, since about 6 or 7 weeks ago. Even less than 2 hours after eating a substantial amount of food i'm physically hungry... rumbly tummy, shaky.

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I'm not sure it's so much of a symptom as it is a related issue due to the change in diet, as well as part of a condition of malabsorption. It's hard and sometimes I do crave sugary foods as well. If you went from a heavy gluten and sugary diet to a gluten-free diet without all the junk food, that may explain it. Or you could have an underlying issue with glucose levels. Unsatisfied cravings can be an indicator of something missing that your body is searching for. Have you discussed it with your gastro to see if some testing may be needed to help find a root cause? Sure, it could be hunger, but not an insatiable hunger day after day without a mental or physical force behind it.

If you just deny the urge to eat like that does it change the conditions you feel? I'm not at all trying to insult you by suggesting it's in your head, but rather wondering if your body reacts to the denial in some way or if the craving just lingers when you do that. If it gets worse I'd seek some medical advice, but if it just lingers it may be something you can deal with. My instinct would be to see your GP or gastro if you think the disease or some other condition within the body is behind it.

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That sounds like the onset of diabetes and not celiacs IMO.

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I have always wondered about diabetes, since I was about 13 I've had terrible problems with blood sugar. Sometimes (often) within less than 2 hours after eating I will be shaky, weak, light headed. I always feel like I have low blood sugar levels, so I bought a blood glucose monitor which either shows elevated or normal glucose levels. Sometimes I'll be shaking and very dizzy and weak, but my blood glucose is actually high! I even feel physically sick, sometimes even being close to being sick, until I get some sugar.

Doctors won't take me seriously at all, however, I had fasting bloods done years ago which came back normal.

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Cereal?

I know people that have eaten an entire box of Cap'n Crunch in one sitting.

Cereal is one of the least filling foods someone can eat.

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Foods high in carbs, especially carbs need fat and protein to round out the meal. With those additions it should help one feel fuller longer.

I have had some issues with extreme hunger. I would have an unsatiable appetite for days followed by days of no appetite at all.

When I ate at subway, before I went gluten-free, I would feel like I had just eaten hours later. I said it felt like an iron brick in my tummy. If only I would have mentioned that to my chiro she might have picked up on it earlier.

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I also had this. It could seriously put down 5-6 slices of pizza for example and go back to get more even when I was full to the point of being sick. Its like my stomache and brain did not communicate. If I got hungry and was delayed/denied food I became the biggest B to ever walk the earth! It turns out that the celiac was causing some vitamin deficiancies. The jury is still out on the blood sugar issues but since cutting gluten and supplementing for my deficiancies, I am so much better. I only eat 2 slices of gluten free pizza and Im satisfied.

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I also had this. It could seriously put down 5-6 slices of pizza for example and go back to get more even when I was full to the point of being sick. Its like my stomache and brain did not communicate. If I got hungry and was delayed/denied food I became the biggest B to ever walk the earth! It turns out that the celiac was causing some vitamin deficiancies. The jury is still out on the blood sugar issues but since cutting gluten and supplementing for my deficiancies, I am so much better. I only eat 2 slices of gluten free pizza and Im satisfied.

I sympathise absolutely - previously I have almost made myself sick by eating so much but I really had no idea at all that I was full! I ate a chicken burger and then straight after felt still hungry so I started eating a sandwich and half way through felt like I was going to be sick, it took me a bit of time to realise it was because I was so full but my brain wasn't 'sensing' it at all!

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I have always wondered about diabetes, since I was about 13 I've had terrible problems with blood sugar. Sometimes (often) within less than 2 hours after eating I will be shaky, weak, light headed. I always feel like I have low blood sugar levels, so I bought a blood glucose monitor which either shows elevated or normal glucose levels. Sometimes I'll be shaking and very dizzy and weak, but my blood glucose is actually high! I even feel physically sick, sometimes even being close to being sick, until I get some sugar.

Doctors won't take me seriously at all, however, I had fasting bloods done years ago which came back normal.

Oh yes! This used to happen to me all the time when I was undiagnosed. I had to make sure I ate something every two hours or I got the shakes and was light headed. Hypoglycemia is a symptom of celiac. My fasting blood levels were normal too.

Now that I've been gluten-free for 4 months, that rarely happens anymore. I can go 6 hours before I notice that I haven't eaten... no shakes at all... well, only if I drink too much coffee. LOL

I used to overeat too; not always but I did it. I always had pain when I ate so the pain of overeating was not that noticeable. Now if I eat too much junk food or simply too much, I notice it more because stomach pain is now unusual for me.

Good luck with your tests. :)

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I have had this too. I would regularly eat a meal then have a snack straight after.

It has mostly gone now gluten-free. It truly felt like I was starving, and I now think it was a result of lack of absorption.

I seem to benefit from sublingual b12 and a good multivitamin.

I forgot to take them away with me recently, and cravings came back again.

All anecdotal from me I'm afraid, but looks like you are not alone

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I cant even tell you how happy it makes me to know Im not alone in having this!

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I used to over eat as well. I could go to TGIF Fridays and get one their big pasta plates and eat it all in one go. Or 4-5 slices of pizza (before when i could have tomatos :blink: ). Or a full big stack of pancakes with a massive slab of ham. I could go on. I would get up in the middle of the night just because i "felt" hungery.

Now i'm the exact opposite. I have to eat small meals throughout the day or my GERD kicks me in the butt. Generally its smaller portions that i do. Still eating is a challenge for me. This is probably due to the fact at my lowest point i was dealing with vomiting, "D", insomnia, an allergic reaction (later discovered it was the tomatos!), panic attacks, jitters, massive weight loss (i'm talking 40lbs in little over a month), Major acid reflux (damaged my troat, took a year to heal) and a slowly dying gallbladder (not related to the "D", as it cleared up right after i went gluten free about 4 months before i had it taken out).

I used to have that feeling as well if i didn't eat (still do in morings if i have no breakfast). I know better now (diabietes runs in family, i get checked often, but no signs yet).

Also, always keep something on you that you can munch away on just in case you need it.

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    • Hello, I see you posted this a long while ago, and perhaps--I hope-- it's no longer a matter of concern, but I thought I'd mention that shortly before I was diagnosed for celiac's, I had distinct yellow blotches on the corners of my eyelids toward my nose. Some months after I had stopped eating gluten, the yellow gradually went away, and--as it just reappeared now several years later, I googled the issue again.  I am only speculating here, but I do believe it is related to liver problems, which, in turn, are related to celiac's. I don't think liver function tests cover all aspects of liver health. I say this because when I was pregnant I developed a temporary liver condition called interhepatic colestasis of pregnancy (ICP), but my liver function tests had been fine. (The condition is diagnosed based on bile levels in the blood, not on liver function). I discovered upon some research that (of course!) ICP  can be associated with celiac's disease.  My hunch is this-- that celiac's presents two problems to the liver: 1) the malabsorption of nutrients--esp. Vit. K2-- that are vital liver health; 2) since gluten registers as a toxin to the immune system (I think?), perhaps the liver gets overloaded processing so much toxic material. Or perhaps there's some other reason. At any rate, poor liver health and celiac's do seem to be linked, according to a few articles I've found. Anyway, hope your problems are resolved now.  
    • my daughter did stool test from enterolab but this gluten sensitive blood test is from http://requestatest.com/tests/search    
    • OK, was your daughter tested by a doctor or did you do one of these order online stool tests? And the same question goes for your tests. Can you give a link to the company?
    • NO. Approx. 1/3 of the population carries the genes for celiac but that does NOT mean they will ever present with celiac. Only a small percentage of them will. A gene test is really used more to rule out celiac rather than to diagnose it. What I meant was that since your daughter is diagnosed and IF you carry one or both of the celiac genes then there is a greater chance you are celiac or "early stages" especially in light of your symptoms. All 3 of those factors weighed together was what I was referring to.
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      Gluten Allergy is typically less severe than other Gluten related conditions like Celiac Disease.  People with Gluten Allergy will often experience abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea when they eat products containing gluten.  These symptoms usually stop when a person cuts gluten out of their diet.

      A Gluten Allergy IgE test can be ordered to help determine if someone allergic to gluten.  This test can also be ordered when a person is testing for Celiac Disease and has had negative results on Celiac specific antibody tests.  An allergy test can also be ordered prior to Celiac testing to rule out Gluten Allergy as a likely cause for a person’s symptoms.
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