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gifree

Member Since 05 Sep 2010
Offline Last Active Oct 30 2013 01:27 PM
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#715743 Emotional And Physical Damage

Posted by gifree on 11 July 2011 - 04:24 PM

So, so sorry to hear about your emotional and physical trauma. This community has been a wonderfully supportive and educational resource for me and hopefully for you too. Hey, look, now that you know how to manage your condition, you have a whole life ahead of you to live with gusto!
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#715479 Mental Fatigue

Posted by gifree on 10 July 2011 - 09:22 AM

I feel your collective pain. I'm now 39 and for years have been unable to pin-point why I always felt tired, anxious, and unable to focus. Sadly, it was only recently, with my Celiac diagnosis, that this has all crystallized. Although I'm well educated, I can hardly recall anything from undergrad and graduate school. Celiac has most definitely affected my career aspirations and horizon. And, until recently, I'd look at my peers with envy. How are they able to focus so well? Why have they achieved great successes in their respective professions and I have not? Why do I feel so lazy at times? After work, I had two speeds, either directly to the gym to blow off all of the day's anxieties or directly to bed; no ability to simply decompress...too tired! Of course, this would make me feel like I wasn't being truly productive...but I couldn't...and now thankfully know why. Anything that required sustained attention and/or required me to sit for extended periods of time gave me great anxiety, particularly for things that I had no interest in. I'd take physical pain over anxiety any day of the week.

However, since my diagnosis last June, the above has slowly changed. I'm hopeful that between the diet, which still has its challenges, medication and supplements, I'll get to where I want to be. Hang in there...I can tell you that life does improve. I now have days that I feel really good...which I never truly experienced. You don't know what you don't know. GI Doc says that I likely had Celiac all of or just about all of my life. We just have to try a bit harder than those without Celiac...but also have a greater appreciation for life's joys as well.
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#656533 Cognitive Challenges & Career

Posted by gifree on 26 November 2010 - 11:53 PM

Ok, so I'm at a cross-roads; mid-30's male, well-educated, but a host of cognitive and neurological issues that have proven to be exceptionally challenging and have made career success difficult.

Back-story: Approximately 6-months ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and am making the adjustment. I don't knowingly eat anything with gluten in it, but am still feeling pretty crappy overall. I was/am a Marsh 3, so had near/complete villous atrophy.

I was actually relieved to be diagnosed, 'cause I knew something just wasn't right and in the 6-months since the diagnosis am increasingly aware of the deep impact this disease has had on my body, mind and spirit. Specifically, I had/have bad daily anxiety, brain fog for years and imo, very poor long-term memory. I grew-up in an intellectual family, and so am reasonably articulate and have both a BA & MBA, which I think, to some, masked the truly destructive nature of the condition. I would often complain to family members / wife, that I have little to no long-term memory, and they would point to academic accomplishment or mid-level career success as grounds for foolish speak. What they don't fully know, is how difficult the journey has been and how hard I had to scrap & struggle every day just for career survival. I was overwhelmed by anxiety and perceived cognitive deficiencies (forgetting co-worker names, clients' names, work flow, software programs, etc)...you name it; now unemployed and scared, but need to re-enter the work force. It hasn't proven to be that easy.

So, what do I do? I asked a few medical specialists about memory tests, but they glibly say that I'm fine and shouldn't necessarily pursue anything further. I just think that I need to be a bit more direct and forceful. When I say I have limited long-term memory, I truly have limited long-term memory. I was able to function in school, because my short-term and working memory are intact. However, my memory operates like the accounting principle FIFO: first in, first out. Meaning, I am only able to adequately recall current information. I'm a voracious reader or should I say researcher, though, so often have enough to speak @ in current terms, but if I don't actively use the information, I can't recall it. And, it not only frustrates the hell out of me, but has also impacted me vocationally. I also know that anxiety can badly effect memory, but the perceived memory issues are so pervasive, that I'm wondering whether it isn't something more? I've read that Celiac can cause plaque and/or calcium build-up in the brain, block neuronal connections, etc.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any success stories?

Thanks in advance!
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#644007 Ok, Now What?!

Posted by gifree on 04 October 2010 - 06:39 PM

Hi All-

This forum has been a wealth of knowledge, and clearly a great community to be a part-of, in our shared quest to lead a gluten-free lifestyle. thank you!

Ok, so, I was diagnosed 4-months ago with Celiac Disease - complete villious atrophy. Hey, i never do anything half-assed. In all seriousness, I'm sure this ain't good, but am hopeful that a (near) full recovery can made over time? Comments? Fortunately for me, my health prior to the diagnosis was not bad -- I just thought fatigue, a dull pain in one's stomach, and increasing cognitive issues (of the issues that I was aware of), were going to be a part of my daily life. So, from that perspective, I feel very fortunate to have been diagnosed. BTW: I'm a male, in my mid-30s.

All that said, I feel worse in many ways, now that I'm on a gluten-free diet. My energy levels are all over the place; my stomach is much worse now than when I was consuming gluten; and I now have the benefit of some, i gather peripheral neuropathy, in that my limbs are starting to tingle/go numb. On the plus side, my anxiety level are much better (daily unabating anxiety was horrible) and headaches have dissipated slightly. I know that my vitamin D levels are low, and likely have hypothyroidism -- latest results, 4.875...same as my mortgage rate :-)

Thus far, I've met with 2 GI docs, both of whom told me nothing other than to follow a gluten free diet, a great primary care physician (whom I just began to work with) an ENT who has also been great, but it's not his speciality, and a nurse practitioner, who recently conducted a comprehensive food panel. Those results have me a bit concerned. Sticking to a gluten-free diet...I can do that, but the panel results were gruesome: in addition to wheat, rye, oats, barley & cow's milk, cheese, etc, I am also sensitive to -- apple, asparagus, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, celery, corn (ugh, this is a real, real challenge, cause I believe most gluten free products use corn as a binding agent, as well as in my supplements and meds), cucumber, eggplant, garlic, grapes, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, green pepper, white potato, tomato, watermelon, baker's yeast and yogurt. In reading other posts, I understand that developing other food allergies is not all that uncommon. Can these dissipate over time and eventually, the food be reintroduced to one's diet? I feel like I might as well hang outside with the rodents, 'cause my diet will be no different.

I plan to have a vitamin array conducted, a bone density scan, etc. Curious, what else should I be doing as part of my normal 'newly diagnosed' protocol and what else should I possibly be doing, given the profile I described above? I also plan to meet with a registered dietician, but my understanding, from a recent local celiac support meeting, is that truly gluten-free educated dietitians are hard to find.

Thanks for taking the time to read my saga...all comments/suggestions welcome!
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