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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Brain Fog Is Going To Kill My Career
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17 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I have been recently diagnosed with coeliac and have been on a gluten-free diet since September. Lately, I have been experiencing 'brain fog' and it is a nightmare.

I have always considered myself to have an awesome memory and always bragged about my short-term memory as I would be able to look at my notes just before being tested in an exam and remember what I had looked at quite accurately to get those extra marks. But lately my short-term memory is stuffed and I am only just realising. I have not liked my job for some time as I get so bored and there is no urgency in what I do. I started to not be able pay attention or concentrate well and put in down to "creating bad habits in a job I hated".

It is not so much the inability to concentrate but my forgetfulness is now shocking. I am building a house and it took me three days to remember to send through the title, I forget to put numerous things onto my shopping list. And worse, I have been offered an awesome new job and received a phone call to pick up my job contract over a week ago and just plain forgot. Even my boyfriend asked a couple days ago if I heard and I said I hadn't, even stating that it was "weird" I hadn't heard from my new boss about my contract. It took me a whole day to remember that he had called to come pick it up. I feel so awful and promised myself to pick it up today.. however he called this morning and asked me if I picked it up and sounded disappointed I hadn't. How can I explain it is not my fault and unlike me without sounding like it will affect my new job as I have so much learn.

I read that it can be an affect of cheating on the diet.. I am so careful, however my partner is not and still ingests gluten at home and I still get sick on occassion. I have decided that tonight I am going home and disinfecting the whole kitchen and removing all gluten from the area (at least until I figure out how to create a gluten friendly kitchen with gluten in it).

But does anyone have any tips on how to improve my short-term memory and inattention or stop gluten contamination from happening to me? I am so scared I will not be able to concentrate or remember things in my new dream job :(

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Once you have time completely gluten-free the fog WILL lift. I know it seems as though it will not, but it will. If time gluten-free does not improve your health it will be time to look to other possible intolerances.

I lost my career to undiagnosed Celiac Disease -- you are diagnosed -- you can salvage yours before it is too late.

Hang in there -- get ALL gluten out!

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Make sure your nutrient levels are good. If you are short on vitamin B, you will get brain fog. There may be other reasons. Keep walking in the right direction.

I hope you will get better soon,

Diana

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Does your boyfriend brush his teeth before kissing you? There is a source of cross contamination right there.

Also, post it notes are lovely for when you cannot remember a thing. As soon as you think of it, write it down and place it on your bathroom mirror. That way you will not forget.

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Thanks guys.. it is hard not to feel sorry for yourself sometimes, isn't it? I was quietly crying at my desk this morning because I became so overwhelmed with frustration and hopelessness.

I never thought that coeliac (celiac) could affect so many aspects of my life.. it is exhausting at times.

I am able to have a free blood test this week to have everything checked (vitamin and nutrient levels, etc.), as part of a health survey I did so I will definitely follow through with that.

I will also do the gluten clean out and if I am not feeling better by doing that then I will try cutting out all grains, and/or dairy.

I just want to be all better now so I can stop feeling so bad.

Thanks for your comments :)

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Does your boyfriend brush his teeth before kissing you? There is a source of cross contamination right there.

Also, post it notes are lovely for when you cannot remember a thing. As soon as you think of it, write it down and place it on your bathroom mirror. That way you will not forget.

Yeah sometimes he'll eat something then touch my hand or something.. and I'm like "Thanks for wiping your gluten germs all over me". And the other day he was washing up dishes and I was trying to cook. I asked him to wash a cutting board and he was trying to tell me was clean, I was like "it is COVERED in bread crumbs". Frustrating! So I think I need to talk to him about it as he just doesn't think sometimes.. but I would love to not have gluten in the house all together - I think he knows how upset I am at the moment so I think I can get him to agree (at least until he can more careful).

Post-its are a good idea.. I'll give that a try. Thanks :)

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and separate cooking items == like a bright green cutting board for your stuff -- preparing on a safe surface is of paramount importance

You can share a kitchen...but some duplicate items are essential -- we were combined for a while -- I went from a 4 slice toaster to two - 2 slice toasters -- one being covered in a bright green cover so no chance of cc. Separate colander, wooden cooking utensils, non-stick frying pans, etc...again separate color of items really helps.

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i keep a notepad and pen nearby me anytime i'm sitting down and jot to-do's down. i jokingly refer to it as my "portable brain." i used to be smart (hahahaha) but know i am definitely not as quick as i used to be. i don't know how much to blame it on undiagnosed celiac for 40ish years, how much is hormones, being middle-aged . . . or what. no matter what the cause, it helps me keep track of things. i started a new job this past september and had a few panic moments thinking i wouldn't be able to remember what i was being told. i decided getting it done right was more important than looking foolish, so i started jotting it all down on my notepad. it's really helped.

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Hi Brownie, I have more sympathy than anything because I am going through the same. gluten-free diet helped, now I have cut out grains, too.

Not a medical advice, but meditation helps me a lot. Have you ever tried breathing exercises? These things increase mindfulness, which I find help with my awful forgetfulness.

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Be sure to check your shampoos and lipsticks--lots of gluten action could be going on there.

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Not as bad, tho, as that cutting board just covered in glutenoid crumbs. Yuck! Completely unacceptable ! Really, you must get yourself some new, CLEAN, VIRGIN cooking accessories, mark them boldly with a permanent marker, and tell Mr. Contamination Vector to keep his glutentrash off of it !

Oh, and definitely use post it notes, and a notepad to jot things down immediately, if you don't have one of those cutesy electronic devices with a place to put calender reminders. It is interesting how aging effects memory also, in the sexes. As my parents aged, I noticed my mother, who didn't drive, could still remember routes to get to places she had been, and could navigate other drivers, like my stepfather, who could not remember as well. Now, I've noticed this interesting thing going on with my spouse, he can't quite remember where some store is, for example this weekend, but I could remember what street it was on, and what town, and how to get to it from a certain route to the north. But we were south of it. So he whips out his little new phone with the new map app and looks it up to confirm that I had the correct street (of course I did ! ;) ) but he's going to take a different route. I would have driven back up the highway to find the starting point I already knew, to re orient myself, without using the map. That's the difference. We live in an area which had a huge, huge growth rate in the past dozen years, population quadrupled, and they are still putting in some connector roads, and there is a whole slew of these new roads only a few years old yet that I just don't have memorized, but he does. So he takes the new route, and because it is dark, I am not quite following how he is doing this, but I don't really care. 5 years ago, I would have mentally insisted that I could be able to immediately pick up on this different route. Now, when we got close (by the street address) coming from the opposite direction, he started doubting himself, and I had to point out which side of the road we would be turning on to enter the parking lot, and soon enough, the store appeared.

But I wasn't worried because I was basically familiar with the entire area. However, I've learned that if we are going to a new place, I need to be less complacent because men do tend get too fond of their little electronic gizmos, and tend not to actually pay attention to the real, physical landmarks of where they are. :rolleyes: This is why I had to remind him to not turn left immediately as we were leaving. :lol:

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I totally understand where youre coming from, my boss recently told me I was 'forgetting things and to use a notebook' which is not good when my job is safeguarding!!. A few months ago I went gluten free for 4 weeks and on the last 2 weeks my mind/memory was amazing like never before ...unfortunately I now have to eat gluten until biopsy is done so Im very frustrated!

I'm sure you need to give yourself time to heal and you'll be fine :) but a few ideas to try while you wait:-

* Drink water to bring oxygen to the brain which helps memory recall.

* Ginko/Ginseng - my boss used to swear by it.

* Yoga - helps with destressing/clears the mind

* Beetroot surposedly good for the brain and parsley for the adrenals

* B complex

* Why not try a 3 day juicing detox for mind and body: Jason Vale on youtube

Good luck, you'll be fine :) oh and Congratulations on your New Job!!! :) ...knock em dead! ;)

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I have been really good this week :) and I really appreciate the advice.

I have been putting in reminders to my email and leaving post its about so I can remember stuff.. it seems to be working as I haven't forgotten anything so far... at least that I know of!I

I disinfected my pantry and removed the bread and wheat flour (finally) - have relocated the bread to a cupboard/benchtop in the laundry (ditched the flour) which will store Mr. Contamination Vector's gluten treats and toaster, his OWN cutting board and knife. I also brought new chopping boards. Next I will be cleaning out my cutlery drawers as I am sure some bread crumbs have made there way from the bench into the open drawer at some stage. Also, I really need a good check of my makeup.. I have checked most of my lip stuff, does the other makeup matter if it goes on your face and that? (is that a silly question?)

When I wrote my comment on here I was so upset. But I am actually looking at things with a clearer head now that I have had time (and with some help) and have come up with solutions and I feel a bit better. Sometimes I do panic and get overwhelmed (damn anxiety) - but I must be positive!!!

Thanks Veggie Gal, I am very excited about my new job and feeling better about it .. I drink 2-3 litres of water everyday!! But yoga and a juice detox may help too. Maybe buy some gingko tablets. I'd try anything at the moment!

I just went through the gluten challenge myself recently so I know exactly how hard it is!!

So I wish you luck and hope you get the answers you seek.

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I have been really good this week :) and I really appreciate the advice.

I have been putting in reminders to my email and leaving post its about so I can remember stuff.. it seems to be working as I haven't forgotten anything so far... at least that I know of!I

I disinfected my pantry and removed the bread and wheat flour (finally) - have relocated the bread to a cupboard/benchtop in the laundry (ditched the flour) which will store Mr. Contamination Vector's gluten treats and toaster, his OWN cutting board and knife. I also brought new chopping boards. Next I will be cleaning out my cutlery drawers as I am sure some bread crumbs have made there way from the bench into the open drawer at some stage. Also, I really need a good check of my makeup.. I have checked most of my lip stuff, does the other makeup matter if it goes on your face and that? (is that a silly question?)

When I wrote my comment on here I was so upset. But I am actually looking at things with a clearer head now that I have had time (and with some help) and have come up with solutions and I feel a bit better. Sometimes I do panic and get overwhelmed (damn anxiety) - but I must be positive!!!

Thanks Veggie Gal, I am very excited about my new job and feeling better about it .. I drink 2-3 litres of water everyday!! But yoga and a juice detox may help too. Maybe buy some gingko tablets. I'd try anything at the moment!

I just went through the gluten challenge myself recently so I know exactly how hard it is!!

So I wish you luck and hope you get the answers you seek.

Way to go Brownie!!!

Keep it up and be nice to yourself if the fog gets thick ;)

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i'm not an expert on this, but have been told that your skin is highly absorbent and you shouldn't use anything on it that has gluten. in other places i've read that you must take it in orally. so . . . who knows? i'm thinking to be on the safe side, i'd make sure all the cosmetics are ok. i've called manufacturers and checked websites - it's doable to check them all out.

glad you're feeling better!

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I too am having memory problems and have been for a long time before I was diagnosed in August 2012. I suspect however that I was gluten intolerant for a long time without realizing what it was. What led to my diagnosis was a outbreak of dermatitis hepetiformis. I do hope time will be the factor to help my memory. I am 72 years old so wonder if it is all due to celiac?

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You may have some level of adrenal fatigue and/or hypothyriodism. When I got burnt out and severe adrenal fatigue my memory went from really good to borderline dementia. I was also intolerant to casein, if you eat lots of milk/cheese maybe you should trial casein first. You probably don't have to remove cream/butter/ghee though since the milk fat isn't very allergenic

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