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Sara S.

Member Since 16 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 19 2012 07:25 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: What Happens? Time Line

29 July 2012 - 05:46 AM

I get diarrhea about 6 hours later. At this point, now that I've healed for a year, I only get one or two rounds of diarrhea. Then I have constipation (no stool for about a day or two, normal transit time, then very hard stool for a few days after that). The day or two after the glutening I experience low mood: depression and anxiety, that lasts for the duration of the constipation. I also experience brain fog and difficulty with concentration and memory, also for about a week. It's severe enough to impinge on my progress at work.

In Topic: Before You Knew It Was Gluten...?

22 July 2012 - 10:55 AM

1. Yes. I remember the most depressed time of my life was on a student exchange trip to Italy, where I ate nothing but pasta and dairy. I was so miserable. I was also miserable traveling to Ireland where we ate lots of soda bread. I thought that I just didn't do well without a lot of veggies in my diet (so I went vegetarian for a time, but was unhappy without meat). I knew I wanted to eat mostly meat and veggies, but I could never figure out how to make that happen; my family ate out at restaurants a lot when I was a kid. I also remember as a teen I had what I called "the mystery disease" where I would sometimes have bouts of diarrhea, which would then clear up when I had my period. I could never figure out what triggered it. Looking back, it's embarrassing that I didn't ever think to get tested for celiac disease, and so didn't get diagnosed until age 29.

2. Yes. I was definitely never into breads and such. I liked cookies, but never cakes, breads, muffins, etc. Even as a kid I preferred veggies and meat, not crackers, pastries, breads, etc. I read a magazine article about the paleo diet when I was 16 and thought it looked great (but back then it was too extreme, eat elk, kind of stuff).

In Topic: gluten-free Restaurants, Portland Or

28 June 2012 - 01:19 PM

Has anyone tried one of the Ethiopian restaurants or creperies? A number of them claim to have gluten-free injera and crepes, respectively, but I can't figure out if any of them manage to be celiac-safe.

In Topic: On The Subject Of Memory Problems

16 June 2012 - 07:02 AM

I was losing my memory and ability to think. It got to the point where I couldn't read things I needed to read for work. This was still going on 10 months of eating gluten free. Then I started taking methyl-cobalamin (B12), folate, and some other B vitamins (along with the vitamin D I was already taking) and then the brain fog slowly started to lift. It's still not all the way back yet, but I'm completely functional now. I don't know if it was just time (> 10 months on a gluten free diet) or whether I was deficient in B-12 and folate.

In Topic: Still Fighting Fatigue 7 Months Post Diagnosis

13 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

I'm about 11 months since diagnosis and eating gluten-free, and I feel like I'm just now getting less fatigued. About a month ago I started supplementing with vitamins D and Bs (especially folate and methylcobalamin), and I feel that has made a huge difference.

The B and D vitamins are common deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency is found in about 40% of healthy people (defined as less than 20 ng/mL, though I've also heard that even above 20 ng/mL is still too low, and we should shoot for a level of about 40-60 ng/mL). Celiacs will likely have even greater incidence of vitamin D deficiency, on account of poor nutritional uptake, especially for fat-soluble vitamins (according to my gastroenterologist), and the lack of vitamin D from dairy for those of us who can't tolerate casein.

Deficiencies in the B vitamins can be tricky. Most doctors test blood serum levels, which basically only tells you how much you're getting in your diet. Few doctors test values from red blood cells: a better measure of how much you actually have in your cells. According to the Framingham Offspring study, 55% of people are low to deficient in B12. If your uptake is poor, or if you're a poor methylator (hetero- or homozygous for the less-active allele of the MTHFR gene), then you'll have a difficult time getting it from your food and/or converting it to the active, methylated form (for both folate and cobalamin).

So, I'm not sure if it just takes some of us celiacs a long time to heal, or if the key for me was the vitamin supplementation, but it seems like it couldn't hurt to either press your doctor for more/better tests of nutrient deficiencies, or even, to try a week or two of supplementing with the methylated forms of B9 and B12, folate and methylcobalamin, as well as vitamin D, and see how you feel.