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tmb

Member Since 15 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Mar 06 2009 03:38 AM
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Topics I've Started

What Symptoms Are Reliable Indicators For Recovery

23 October 2008 - 04:30 PM

Tjis might seem like a strange question to ask. celiac disease has negative impact upon our health and we all have various negative health as a result. I ask the question because recovery takes a while and symptoms appear to be variable.

Which symptom(s) is the most reliable to know if you are successfully going gluten-free, or perhaps there is another trigger hidden in other food. Improvement in symptoms are an obvious way to do this, however given the time scales of some of these, I am looking for other peoples experience on something that acts as a consistent means to measure progress or deterioration.

My own symptoms are skin rashes, stool problems, weight loss, general unwellness, susceptible to cold, infections, hives in cold weather. I find it difficult to take each of these and use them as a barometer for my progress. I understand that my skin might take up to 2 years to clear, and I see improvement in 3 months, however I have flareups and cant figure out if this is part of the healing or because I have eaten something with gluten in or I am reacting to some other food. Weight loss appears to have stopped and am now gaining, but this is also variable and inconsistent over short periods (days and weeks). Infections is hard to tell, my susceptibility to cold is also inconsistent but I cannot see any definite improvement. My stool is probably the best indicator of my intestinal healing, based upon color, fat content, bulk, looseness, smell, frequency. Having said this, I appear to react to walnuts (loosens the stool), but should not affect the skin? Cashew nuts did afect my skin itch and when I stopped eating these, my skin improved within a couple of days.

I also have some psychological/emotional changes. I think I was preoccupied with not knowing what the issue was and constantly looking, now I am pretty sure gluten is the major underlying issue. There is relief as well as a positive thought about being healthier and fitter, I might be younger at 52 than I was at 45. This is all good, however I also feel more apprehensive and wonder if this is biological or psychological. I know that gluten can cause some neurological changes, does the withdrawal also produce some kind of chemical change?

Has anyone else pondered the uncertainty of recovery in this way, and have comments on my experience, or perhaps a different experience?

I also accept that everyones experience will differ, however there might be more solidly reliable indicators that fit most of us.