SkylarkMember Since 26 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Aug 07 2014 05:07 AM
Gluten-free since 2005, self-diagnosed with an elimination diet. My doctor told me how long and how much wheat I would have to eat for blood tests and I laughed at him. Pretty sure I'm celiac and not merely gluten intolerant since I had borderline anemia, hypothroidism (now have Hashimoto's), aphthous ulcers, signs of B-complex deficiency, intermittent carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, bipolar illness, IBS, gastritis, white spots and ridges on my nails, tooth enamel problems, and food sensitivities possibly from "leaky gut". All but the bipolar illness and thyroid disease resolved on a gluten-free diet.
The bipolar illness is a story in itself. Gluten gives me depression and fatigue, and even now I have an episode of a few days of anxiety and depression along with GI symptoms if I'm glutened. Rather than doctors figuring out I was celiac, I was treated with Prozac in my 20s and it helped some. SSRIs are now known to trigger manic episodes in susceptible people and after eight years of Prozac, I had my first manic episode. I had seven years of bipolar illness treated with lithium and depakote (later Lamictal) and I had breakthrough episodes all the time and awful "brain fog" from the meds. I was so malnourished from malabsorption, half my hair fell out from the depakote. My doctor said he'd never seen that happen in someone my age.
After going gluten-free and finally having some energy and less depression, I decided to take on the bipolar illness. On the advice of a remarkable psychiatrist friend, I went off my meds that weren't working well anyway and onto on the rather controversial EMPowerPlus vitamin and micronutrient supplement from TrueHope. To my delight, it worked! I had monitoring by my own psychiatrist (not the friend) and therapist as I did this, and both were quite surprised at the improvement. I was declared "in remission" after nine months by the psychiatrist. My therapist followed me for another year and then told me I didn't need to come any more as I was well.
I now enjoy good mental and physical health as long as I can avoid the ubiquitous gluten and keep taking my EMPowerPlus and fish oil.
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