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Celiac Symptoms During Menstrual Cycle, As If I Ate Gluten!
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19 posts in this topic

Hello, this is my first post on here. I'm about at my wit's end, dealing with these symptoms, and the back and forth in my mind is almost as annoying as the intestinal trouble, so I thought I'd get input from others...

Some background first: I'm not fully diagnosed with Celiac, but I strongly STRONGLY suspect it since I have had most of the symptoms and I have siblings riddled with autoimmune diseases (3 siblings with Type I diabetes, one of whom also has thyroid trouble, and a brother who can't eat gluten and isn't yet diagnosed with celiac but we strongly suspect it for him as well since he had the major and minor symptoms associated with it). My GI doctor was not working with me and barely even talked to me and instead stuffed me with meds, saying I had IBS. I never got the chance for an endoscopy (maybe at the end of this year...), even though I requested it to rule out Celiac. He didn't even support me going off gluten, just to see if it would alleviate my intestinal troubles; I had severe symptoms for a quarter of a year (some of which were embarrassing and put a huge damper on ANY out of home activity), was EXTREMELY fatigued (and I've always been a sparkplug), and I lost a lot of weight quickly once I hit my worst (almost 15 pounds in 2-3 weeks). I finally couldn't take it anymore and decided to go gluten free, as we'd done for my brother, because I could no longer do anything except force myself through a day's work (literally FORCE; I had to mentally gather myself while alone in the bathroom several times a day just to plow through) and practically beg for sleep each day. I wanted to see if it'd help.

After going completely gluten free, for the first time in MONTHS, I noticed an improvement, and felt so good I was almost beside myself with happiness. I thought I'd found the solution. However, I've still had up and downs which make me really upset, because I start second guessing... But after several weeks now, I'm about 99% certain it's the gluten, since I've had more good days than bad.

AND NOW MY INQUIRY! Does anyone (women, of course) have "Celiac symptoms" during their period, even when they haven't ate anything (so they think) with gluten? I'm starting to wonder if that's a common problem, because I'm currently on my period, and am having the same "glutened" side effects (severe bloating, constipation, cramps), and these are NOT my typical menstruating problems! I'd had this before but it was early on in my gluten-free venture, so I thought I was merely healing... I had also second guessed a restaurant choice early on, and thought maybe I'd contracted gluten (although it was made on a dedicated line; the place caters to food allergies), but now I'm wondering if it was only because I was on my period.

The only questionable things I've eaten this week were 2 Jolly Ranchers.... I wasn't sure if I can trust them yet, but thought I'd try them out. Bad time to try, since I can't isolate a cause now, but... I suppose I'll see how I feel during my next cycle.

Hopefully that all made sense.... Please write if you have "gluten" problems during your cycle!

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I have noticed that glutening symptoms are worse when I am having my period, and a few days before. I was very happy when I finally got my diet clean enough that I didn't even notice when my period was coming. It may not be that you ate anything different. There may be something in your diet that you only notice a reaction to when you are having your period.

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I get bloated prior to my period, which feels like a glutening in some ways. That'salso the only time I get migraines now (used to have them frequently), and i get that heavy fatigue back. I KNOW it's not gluten though because I control my entire diet; I don't eat fast food or go to a restaurant more than once every month or so.

This month was worse for me for pms symptoms, but i think it's partially due to eating poorly over the holidays; too much junk and sugar. I did wonder if I'd glutened myself because I was feeling so poorly but I'm pretty sure I didn't. normally it is less extreme, and I have had a couple of months (since going gluten-free) that I barely noticed it.

I think you are right to just wait it out. Overall I have noticed that my pms is improved since going gluten-free, so hopefully your next cycle will be easier. Best wishes.

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Some months are worse than others, but I have periods from hell. Endometriosis is a blast. My cramps are so bad that about 6/12 months a year I spend 1-2 days a month curled up in bed completely non-functional. My hormones go completely whacky, PMS doesn't begin to describe how much fun I am in the days leading up to my period. On top of that, I have always (since my first period and every month since, FUN!!!) gotten horrid bloating that requires me to own a pair of "fat pants" a size bigger than the rest in case I am required to leave my house and D.

Honestly, if I were glutened the day before, or first two days of my period I wouldn't know until I had that BAM! hit by a train feeling a few days later. My immediate symptoms of a glutening are bloating, cramping and D, which without fail accompany my period. Luckily I don't believe I have gotten gotten so far during my period. Mostly because I spend the time laying around, feeling sorry for myself and drinking milk by the gallon instead of eating. I know this isn't encouraging, but my periods have strangely gotten like 100 times worse since being gluten free. :ph34r:

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My cycle changed a few months after I went gluten-free; it got worse before it got better. Now, at almost a year, my period is so much easier to handle. It could be that your body is adjusting because you are beginning to absorb more nutrients?

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It could be something you ate, or it could just be that your period FEELS 10 times worse because the rest of the month you actually feel pretty good! If you don't know your period is about to start, then it's pretty easy to wonder, is this a glutening? Oh. Wait. No. Just the monthly horribleness.

It is also likely that if you do get CCd over your period, it's going to affect you more since your immune system is weaker then (same as you're more likely to get a cold).

If in a couple months it's still getting worse, talk to your doctor (um, your family doctor, since sounds like your GI is not much use) about it.

Aside from that, I'm glad you've found that the gluten-free diet is helping. You probably do have Celiac or at least Gluten Intolerance. Screw the GI. If you believe you have it, and you're better gluten-free, then you probably have it (That's my approach). So stick to it, keep healing, and hopefully it'll settle down in a few months.

Happy Healing!

Peg

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My period symptoms got much worse after going gluten free...I ended up calling my doctor because it was getting to be too painful. She switched my birth control medication and hopes that will help. I never had really bad PMS symptoms but the bloating and cramps got really bad after going gluten free. Hopefully it will settle down soon and the new medication helps. Feel better! And welcome to the forum!

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Kim, I feel your pain. My GYN explained to me that all women have looser stools if not D before and during their period because of the hormone fluctuation - for me, this also includes gas and bloating, no matter what I eat. Unfortunately, with a Mirena (for likely endo), my cycles are not regular and can last longer than usual, and I think that's partially to blame for a couple of weeks of discomfort for me (nothing changed food-wise before or since then, and I'm nearly back to "normal"). So, yes, I think normal hormone fluctuations with our cycles can cause similar issues to what we associated with gluten for those of us with those problems.

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Hi -

 

I read this post when it was first put out there but could not relate at the time because I felt great. BUT my period last month I felt sicker than usual (I do normally feel a bit of nausea the first few days while I am cramping but then it goes away..).. then this past 8-9 days (a few days leading up to my current period and then the full week so far) I have felt off and on strong nausea and stomach pains in my upper abdomen (not lower where I usually have cramps), a lot of bloating and then I do tend to go to the bathroom after these tummy aches.. Today my period is almost gone, I felt good all day but just now after dinner (steak and veggies) I felt very sick.. I'm writing this on my couch using my heating pad for comfort on my upper back (which is usually my go to when I get the horrible glutened symptoms) ANYWAYS to get to my point.. I am starting to get nervous.. I thought I had my diet under control and have felt great up until this past week or so with the off and on sickness. My stomach gets upset after meals - not every meal but usually in the evening.. I am going on vacation in 2 weeks and now i'm terrified i'll be sick the whole time. Were there more people out there that ever have "glutened symptoms" during their period? Not just intensified period symptoms? Because this feels nothing like my period to me, it feels like I ate a loaf of bread!

 

Thanks for any input anyone has!!

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I too get these symptoms and MAJOR fatigue. I have a friend that was having it 10 worse than me and lasting a whole week, I noticed that she always craved dairy during PMS I told her to try to lay off the meat and dairy the week before and during her period (because of hormones in the animals) to see if that helped and it cut her symptoms down 50% I don't know if this will help with everyone but worth a try.

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Is it possible you are taking a medication for PMS or period symptoms that contains gluten?

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hmm this is interesting... I dont crave dairy but I usually crave red meat and salt (like.. salt so bad I wish they made hard candies of pure salt!!) Maybe I could try to lay off the red meat during that time, I get so fatigued I always feel like it will help me if I eat the red meat (but its probably just all in my head).. that would also explain why I feel sick in the evening and not after breakfast when I don't even have meat.

 

I usually take pamprin for my symptoms and its gluten free. But that was a good thought, thats the only thing I take. Thanks for the ideas

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I get bad leg cramps. Also, my skin feels much more sensitive.

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D before your period is caused by prostaglandins. If it starts up, take an Imodium. It works.

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my period still fakes me out because i think "oh, boy.  what have i eaten?"  thinking i have glutened myself.  headache, fatigue, etc and the big 'D' - then i go look at my calendar lolz - usually, i am wanting to eat wierd things, too, so it doesn't make it any better!!  salt!!  chocolate!!  :D

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Eat a banana a day the week before to, it helps with cramps (potassium). I eat like crazy before I start! No joke, doesn't have to be anything specific just food and lots of it! I have learned if I steer clear of processed foods it helps. I also take evening primrose, it doesn't help right away you have to take it for awhile.

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could be IBS, it's known to level some women during menstruation who can deal with it the rest of their cycle. 

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Hormone changes can do funny things to your body.  Look up PMS and most of what you are saying goes right along with that.  I used to be like clockwork and the day before I would start my period, heavy D.  The week leading up to my period, I couldn't eat enough food or so it seemed.  Severe headache the first day, then cramping like you would not believe...4 Advil every 3 hours and I still was in pain.  Fortunately having children rectified most of those symptoms for me.

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I noticed a difference in my cycle as well since going gluten-free. Growing up my period was always very bad (Extreme pain, cramps, bloating, D etc . I also experience ovarian cysts that dissipate once my cycle is over. On the pill it was a breeze. Even getting off the pill for a year I was dealing with everything very well.

 

But as soon as I went gluten-free they became much more painful and then my cycle started to get longer (35day instead of 28). To the point now, I'm not even sure when its going to come and if I've been 'glutened' or not. 

 

3 Weeks ago I started a new diet. No grains of any kind or sugars (SCD). It goes beyond eating gluten-free and it extremely HARD to follow.  

Although I am still finding pain this cycle, Ultrasounds show my cysts aren't there this time around and its come on exactly the 28th day as It use to before going gluten-free. So I feel like my body is sort of correcting itself. 

 

Overall hormones play a massive roll in our cycles and it could change for a number of reasons including stress. But I truly believe now DIet is even a bigger part of the picture. Try eliminating "Gluten Free" labeled foods (As they often don't truly help anyway-especially the sugary ones) And for two weeks before your period eat clean foods (vegetables and meat) You might be surprised as I am. 

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