Glad to hear that this withdrawal phase won't last too long. I'm just a couple weeks into it and fairly miserable. Just keep reading the posts here and know I'm not alone keeps me going.
Hi Molly, my worst withdrawal symptoms seemed to last 6 weeks, and now I'm doing loads better. A turning point for me was that I took some time off work two weeks ago, as I really wasn't coping. Got a book called Wheat Free, Worry Free, The Art of Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Living that I read through. I visited some health shops and just spent some time 'loving' myself. Watching movies, working in my garden and just thinking and praying. It really helped me come to grips with the lifestyle change and what was going on in my body. I think what happens with most of us, is that we find out we have to cut out gluten for whatever reason, and sort of have to make an overnight change, as life doesn't stop to allow us to catch up. And a few weeks later, you start wondering; "what just happened, why am I gluten free?" And it is a big adjustment,and we are allowed to mourn, get angry and upset about it, but not for too long. I found that even though there were some real symptoms I was battling with, I was also allowing a lot of self pity, which I needed to deal with. My pain level and exhaustion was also quite bad, which didn't help the moods. So after my leave, I realized I need to take things easier, and cut down on my busy schedule. That helped a lot to for not only my exhaustion, but my state of mind.
So Molly, you will be okay, it is going to take a few months for our brains to rewire themselves and be happy with the gluten free life and for your body to heal, but it will all be worth it. If you are really struggling, ask your doctor/nutritionist or health shop for something herbal and gluten free that will help ease you through this process. For me it was anti-inflammatories and herbal pills to help me sleep.
So I just went gluten-free four days ago. So far I am not finding it too hard (I live alone so its easy to control what comes in and out of the apartment)-- my stomach issues are quiet for now (except for gas, but I am chalking that up to eating more veggies than usual), and my energy and mood feel better than they did before.
But yesterday I woke up with a weird pain in my right hip area. The skin hurt (like if I touch it) and by the end of the day it was flu-like achy. I slept well last night and woke up and that weird pain is back, plus my legs feel sore- like I worked out (but I didn't- I was in my office all day helping students with their papers.) My skin feels sensitive-- like when I move and my dress brushes the area I feel it. This is super weird as it has never happened before-- could it be gluten withdrawal that I have heard about? Even when I was feeling pretty sick I was tired but not achy, and other than these strange muscle aches, I feel fine. (Cheerful even)
I've been gluten free for 2 months, and what you are describing is something that affected me for about 5 weeks. I was told its peripheral neuropathy. Some days my body would feel bruised, and it'd hurt when my husband touched me, or if I put my legs together while lying on my side. I only got really bad a few times, while typing it would feel like I was actually hitting my fingers against a hard surface or at times like I was touching a hot plate, when the surface was in actual fact fine.
The good news is that it has gotten a lot better! And the great news is that as your body heals, and you start absorbing nutrients these strange aches and pains will start going away as well. The bad news is, that you will probably experience a few gluten withdrawal symptoms over the next couple of weeks. Depression, anger, irritability, insomnia and general aches and pains. So don't feel like there is something wrong with you while it is happening.
Think of it, like if an alcoholic stopped drinking alcohol, they go through withdrawals, now gluten is toxin to your body, but it does still make your brain happy, like drugs or cigarettes would, so now when you cut it off, you're brain is going to freak out and your body is going to go through a healing process.
Try rest alot in the time ahead. Be vigilant regarding your diet, that you aren't getting gluten in, which will make the process longer and leave you feeling sick. And like suggested by another member, make sure you are getting the right supplements in.
All the best to you! This journey is going to definitely be worth it!
So sorry it's been so tough on you! And you definitely can make it cheaper, but it's unfortunately like a lot of things: it'll take more work. But it's absolutely do-able!
Firs, though, I'd second the question of supplements and such. Are there any probiotics mentioned? You may want to google: make your own probiotics. There are some very interesting ones out there that seem reasonable, and you can make yourself for little money.
For foods, I'd go very simple. Think this when you are trying to plan your grocery budgets: I am now living in the 1800's. What would I eat?
Did they buy spices at the store? Rarely, they usually had an herb garden instead. Just a couple packets of seeds that you put in the back yard could help. And herbs taste better when they're a bit stressed, so don't bother with expensive stuff like fertilizer and such. Although you could make your own compost from plant food leavings.
Did they buy pre-made foods? Rarely. They made their own breads, their own pastas, they bought veggies and fruits in season (farmer's markets are very good for this, and tend to be cheaper than the local grocery stores, if you check out what the smaller farms have to offer. I was spending $30 in a week on the same food that cost me $50-$80 a week at the store. I have to look up how to cook some of it, but it made a big budget difference.
We buy grain in bulk from a few sources on-line - Twin Valley Mills is a good one for sorghu, although you have to save up for it, as they sell it about 30Lbs. at a time. Rice is usually a bargain. See if you can find some ethnic markets near you. Mexican ones typically have good prices on corn based goods in bulk. Asian markets have good prices on rice based goods in bulk. Indian markets often have good prices on exotic spices in bulk, although I haven't checked these for gluten content, so you'd have to check that. Also on bean based flowers. African markets often have cheaper sweet potato flour in bulk.
Essentially, we look for everything in the most basic form, now, and get to forget that modern processing exists, for the most part. It's been very hard. And a lot of work. But I went from paying 3-4 times our normal grocery bill to paying about 2/3 of it. HUGE difference.
Oh, and eliminate dairy and eat more beans instead of meat and you'll see a big drop in grocery budget, too. :-)
Thank you for all the advise. Yes, the supplements are for pro-biotics, omega 3 and a bunch of other stuff. It's been really hard to even find some who knows how to treat Celiac disease were we live (small town outside Cape Town, South Africa).
We have been given a bread machine, which will help, as a loaf of gluten free bread is 8 times more expensive than ordinary bread. We also have a fantastic organic vegetable garden which feeds us a lot, and next year will hopefully produce some fruit as well.
The beans is a great idea. I've not got much experience in cooking vegetarian dishes, but have started experimenting. My mom in law is a vegetarian and her dishes are amazing, so have asked her for some of her favourite recipes.
The chat with my husband didn't go to badly, he basically said we'll make it work, that I'm worth it. Lovely man!!
Thanks again to all for all the advise and support! xxx
I was about to post a topic on how the cost of this is overwhelming me, when I saw this post.
I've just come back from the Nutritionist. One stool test later at the cost of more than a tenth of our combined salaries, as well as the high price of the consultations. I'm now been told to go on all sorts of gut healing medication and supplements. This after a day out shopping for gluten free products to stock our cupboards with. We honestly can't afford it, we are just making it every month, we don't have spare money for medical bills, we can't even afford to go watch movies or buy new clothes. I don't know what to do! I'm too scared and sad to tell my husband what this is going to cost us for the next few months as they want to put me on progressive treatment.
This feels really unfair! And my poor husband, 5 months into marriage, he finds out his wife is going to either cost him a whole lot of money or be sickly forever.