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New To gluten-free, Question About Cravings


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#1 brewstate

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

My 7 year old son and family are going on a gluten free elimination diet to see if we can improve his mood swings and depression issues. Both my mom and sis are allergic to wheat so its not a far leap to assume it hereditary.

I have read as much as I can but haven't found an answer to my question yet. DS has been gluten-free for about a week. We are experiencing a lot of the withdrawal symptoms that many have mentioned. One thing I have found alarming is since being off gluten (I'm sure not perfectly yet) my son has developed crazy craving for dairy. He has pretty much disliked and didn't drink milk for 2 years and now he begs for milk, cheese, ice cream, chips with cheese flavoring, anything he can get his hands on really.

Is this part of the withdrawal symptoms or do you think something else is going on here? I don't particularly want to pull him off wheat and dairy at the same time since I'm worried it would overload him but I don't know what to do.

Help!
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#2 kareng

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

Why not test him for Celiac? At least the blood test, before you take him off gluten? That way you could have a diagnosis for school, college, hospitals, military, etc.

When a Celiac person starts to heal and is finely absorbing nutrients they couldn't absorb before, sometimes they crave the vitamins they are deficient in. sometimes they crave them but get it mixed up, too. Like craving sweets when what your body is saying is it needs fruit. So, maybe what his body wants is vitamin D & calcium?
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#3 1desperateladysaved

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

A yeast infection may make you crave dairy if you cut back on other carbs.

I did experience hunger cravings when I cut out gluten. I don't think it is unusual or anything.

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#4 Marilyn R

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

I'm not saying I'm normal, but I had and continue to have simalar cravings for dairy since going gluten-free. It drove me crazy when I had to give up dairy for awhile. During that time, I used coconut milk quite a bit in curries (Indian and Thai recipes.) Maybe he'd like curried fish (or chicken) over rice.
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Positive improvement from elimination diet. Mother dx'd by Mayo Clinic in late 1980s. Negative blood tests and Upper & Lower GI biopsy. Parathyroidectomy 12/09. Recurring high calcium level 4/10. Gluten-free 4/10. Soy & Dairy Free 6/10. Corn free 7/10. Grain free except rice 8/10. Legume free 6/11. Fighting the battle of the battle within myself, and I'm going to win!

As of 2/12, tolerating dairy, corn, legumes and some soy, but I limit soy to tamari sauce or modest soy additives. Won't ever try quinoa again!

Discoid Lupus from skin biopsy 2011, discovered 2/12 when picking up medical records. Systemic Lupus Dx 6/12. Shingles 10/12.

#5 brewstate

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

We are working on getting a diagnosis but lately his mood had been getting so bad that he had begun threatening to commit suicide pretty much daily and also have crazy tantrums and mood swings. Honestly, I begin to worry that he might actually do it so per my mom's suggestion, I'm doing an elimination diet right now to see if it helps. Otherwise, probably my only other option is therapy/and or drugs which I absolute DO NOT want.

At first I thought he might have leukemia or be anemic because he had permanent dark spots under his eyes, had lost 6 lbs in 1 month (that's 10% of his body weight), was extremely lethargic, loss of appetite, was having crazy mood swings, joint pain, and stomach issues. Its only been a week but I *think* I see some improvement.

The vitamin D angle may very well be the case and I guess for now I should keep letting him eat dairy as it doesn't seem to affect his behavior besides wanting more than usual. This is all very new to us so its also extremely scary.
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#6 kareng

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

Thats scary! Even more reason to get an official Celiac diagnosis, if that is what he has. You don't want him thinking he doesn't have a real illness so he can eat gluten in a few years. or schools or hospitals refusing to accomadet a gluten-free diet. You also don't want him on a bunch of drugs or with psych diagnoses when he really has Celiac.

Just an FYI - A wheat allergy isn't the same as Celiac.
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#7 brewstate

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Thats scary! Even more reason to get an official Celiac diagnosis, if that is what he has. You don't want him thinking he doesn't have a real illness so he can eat gluten in a few years. or schools or hospitals refusing to accomadet a gluten-free diet. You also don't want him on a bunch of drugs or with psych diagnoses when he really has Celiac.

Just an FYI - A wheat allergy isn't the same as Celiac.


I know they are not the same thing. My mother has celiacs and also highly allergic to monosodium glutamate and my sister is gluten intolerant so I know the basics just not much more than that yet (it seems heriditary to some degree in our family). I do want to get him tested obviously but haven't researched where to start yet. I'm just hoping the medical industry will take me more seriously than that and won't just try to medicate him with prozac or some other mood stabilizers.
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#8 Takala

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

Go to a doctor and get him/her to draw blood sample and send to lab for full celiac panel before you skew the results by being gluten free for very long. Very simple. He's got the symptoms, insist on this test, emphasizing he has symptoms of stomach problems, weight loss, and lethargy AND a family history. The cravings are also a symptom, but I don't know how many regular doctors would recognize that vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by malnutrition caused by gut damage = whacky food cravings.

I have had these big time and have successfully used a gluten free vitamin B complex, a calcium/D/magnesium supplement, and a gluten free multivitamin to combat it. (besides food selections). You know how some "experts" scoff at the idea of taking vitamins while on a balanced diet? This is when you ignore them, because they are not living in your damaged and non-absorbing body.

Unfortunately if it is celiac, that does also damage the part of the gut lining which can process lactose, the milk sugar in dairy products. Yes, pulling him off dairy might be overload, but at least knock it back down to lactose free dairy, such as yogurt and/or aged cheeses. If this doesn't help, then you may have to ditch dairy (at least temporarily for a month or several, during the healing phase) and go to calcium fortified, non dairy substitutes such as coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk or other nut milks, rice milk, etc. You can mix more than one kind to get what taste and texture you prefer, such as taking a nut milk and adding some canned coconut milk to it. You can soak chia seeds in nut milks to make "puddings" or mock yogurt. (just don't use RiceDream brand, as it is made with barley enzymes). There is also a powdered milk substitute called Vance's Dairy Free, which is potato based. There are also non dairy cheeses available, such as Daiya. Some people make "cheese" out of things like cashews.

Craving dairy can also be a sign of craving "fat" in general as a response to losing the carbs in gluten products. This can be countered by eating a lot more "good fats" in the form of olive oil, nuts, peanut butter, avocados, eggs, coconut oil, chocolate, even bacon, etc. Don't be afraid of things like hamburger meat at this time.... growing children need fat in a way that adults do not, and if they've not real overweight, don't try putting them on a low- fat diet. <_< The other good thing to add to the diet is to make sure that somehow you are getting at least 2 servings/day of green vegetables in them, even if you have to do this by making a smoothie with a banana added.
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