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quester

Gluten Sensitivity Or Disordered Eating? Not Sure What To Do?

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Hello. I was wondering whether someone might advise. I have very important work coming up in the next week. I have been eating gluten free. I have digestive problems - severe IBS runs in my family, and grandmother had to start eating a gluten-free diet to manage it BUT when she was in her EIGHTIES. I started to eat gluten free because I read that it might help with IBS. I often regurgitated food involuntarily and also experienced constipation.

It is difficult to tell whether I felt any better because I started to restrict calories at the same time. I was eating 500 calories a day. However my digestive system was much better, but probably because I was eating less and only certain soft foods? I was still eating regular oats and as far as I can tell, had no problem with them (but I only ate 20g a day?). I increased to 1200 calories. I eat 1500 calories a day now (I'm very short). The problem I'm having is that I have problems with eating. I used to make myself throw up a lot. I didn't do what others would describe as a 'binge' (hence couldn't be diagnosed with bulimia), but I ate things and threw them up - biscuits etc.

I am basically posting this because I had to go on antidepressants again and it increases your appetite. Something bad happened last week and I ended up throwing up. I think because I started regurgitating food and then it triggered me to eat and throw up because I couldn't stop regurgitating the food. Basically, what this means is that I've started eating gluten again. I now have no idea what to do. I have no idea whether it is better for me to not eat gluten or whether it is all in my head. I haven't been able to stop eating and throwing up - I always do it on gluten-containing products. This is usually biscuits just b/c, I basically just choose whatever is cheap and that I have bought before. I have been doing this every day. It is ridiculous given I eat gluten-free (even oats) the rest of the day.

I did it again today, and because I then began to think that perhaps the gluten-free thing is all in my head and because I was too tired to  continue throwing it up for some reason, I then ate many other gluten products - a sandwich and a KitKat and a packet of Maltesers (I think this was a binge, but it is not a binge because I knew what I was doing and was deliberately eating things I hadn't been allowing myself to eat? At the same time, I have no idea why?). I know this sounds so idiotic, but I basically have no idea what to do as I am worried about eating gluten, because after this I feel unable to concentrate.

I mean, what I mean is - is this just all in my head. Because, what I mean is that I feel I cannot care at all about anything and cannot concentrate. I am not that bothered about overeating (I have probably overeaten by about 2500ish calories today?) I have eating problems, but am not generally concerned with gaining or losing weight. I am just wondering what to do. I have no idea whether I am sensitive to gluten or not. I stopped eating gluten because I thought it would help with digestive problems. I am wondering how I am supposed to know whether or not to eat gluten, on the basis that it might be all on my head. On the one hand, I am thinking, 'OK jsut eat gluten. You functioned on Weetabix for breakfast before'. I then wonder whether I avoid gluten-containing products for no reason at all. I do not like eating bread at all. On the other hand, I think, 'You have important work next week. Don't eat gluten because it might mess you up', but then what if it's all in my head and I keep then eating / throwing up gluten-containing products?!

I understand that this post is bloody ridiculous.  I know I could go to a Doctor, but I don't feel I would get the results back in time? Does this post make it sound like not eating gluten is just all in my head? Because I don't know what to do about this but I have had a hard time doing things since I started eating gluten again. But I don't know why that is and then again, it might just all be in my head.

 

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Whether you have a sensitivity to gluten...I couldn't say.  Maybe.  Maybe not. 

 

To me, you seem to have an eating disorder that is separate from any food sensitivities.  I would urge you to get some help for the eating disorder first.  If the only thing you can think about is food and throwing up food, that is an eating disorder from what I have seen.  I'm not sure of your age, but I'm guessing this isn't the first time you have had to seek treatment for ED.

 

Its been a few years since I have worked in an ED unit, but I don't think symptoms have changed much.

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I will start with this: I know absolutely nothing about eating disorders...so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

 

When you say regurgitate.....is that the same as purposefully throwing up food you've just eaten? Or is it more like acid reflux? Like it comes back up a little bit...but on it's own? I ask because I'm not sure that I was understanding that part correctly.

 

I do think you need to sit down and write down all of the concerns you have....no particular order just all of your concerns. Then look over that list and try to put some order to it. Then...work on those things that you know you have the physical and mental ability to work on. I know how overwhelming some things can be.

 

Then call and make a doctor's appointment and bring your list with you. Go over everything on that list with the doctor. Show the doctor the things that you figured out you could work on yourself and the things that you aren't sure you can work on and the things you know you need the doctor's help with. Hopefully that can at least give you a clearer idea of what you need to be doing.

 

Hugs to you. I'm rather overwhelmed and concerned with so many different things right now! I think I need to take my own advice and go make myself a list!

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Thanks a lot both. I think it is now clear to me, that I have been deflecting on to food when I should be concentrating on work ... !!! I guess I am just confused as to whether I ought to avoid gluten or not, just while I have important work to get through in the next 2 weeks. Also, I was confused as to why after I ate so much (and so much  sugar as well!), I was exhausted rather than energised, and now I have shockingly overslept. Yes, when I say regurgitate, I mean bringing up undigested food unintentionally. I do mean on its own, but when that happens, sometimes I am triggered to then purposefully eat and throw up 'properly' because I cannot stop regurgitating anyway. It is I like I do not digest the food, because e.g. now I still bring up the 'taste' of what I ate yesterday (the sandwich, which I had a feeling would not go down well)?! Which is disgusting. 
 
I cannot tell at all what I am doing, and whether or not there is any reason for me to avoid gluten. I think I must stop throwing up and, focus less on food and perhaps not eat gluten just so I don't make myself paranoid that mental states are caused by food. I will just get myself into an eating pattern again so I can focus on other things. Thanks a lot both. I know if I had read this post I would have been like '...WTF', so I'm a bit ashamed to have written it. Bah. Thanks! 

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It looks like you have got a bit more clarity from writing here.

I wanted to add was that while you are still eating gluten, you could talk to you doctor about getting a full celiac blood panel. You can't do this if you are off gluten.

I know you mentioned family members with IBS, and gluten sensitivity, and celiac runs in families.

Non Celiac Gluten Intolerance is serious too, but the only test currently is to try a gluten-free diet.

Many people have a mental aspect to gluten issues, and experience addiction and cravings. This gets complicated if running alongside an ED. My experience is that when I don't eat gluten my cravings go.

I hope you can progress with this and start to work things out. Do stay and ask questions if you think we can help.

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Hugs to you. I tend to ramble also when I am stressed about something. :) I just wanted to make sure I was clear on what you were posting...sometimes what someone gets out of a post and what someone was actually trying to say can be on two different ends of a spectrum.

I would definitely get a Celiac test done if you can handle being on gluten long enough to do it.

 

I am rather new to all of this as we are just in the process of getting everyone tested. My youngest son goes in for a biopsy on June 19th and everyone else is getting at least the blood work done. Once my son's biopsy comes back my house is going gluten  free whether anyone else has it or not. We all have the freedom to go and eat somewhere else, given our ages but at 6 years old...he doesn't. I'm not going to make him eat something when everyone else gets to eat something else....he'll have enough of that to deal with.

I've read a couple of different places now, that gluten can effect both mental well being and physical well being. Acid reflux has been something I've seen as well. Is the regurgitating gone or lessened when you're not eating gluten? Or is it more stress related?

 

Good luck getting it all figured out. I don't think this is all in your head. An ED can make things more complicated....but I think the simple fact that you're asking shows that you're ready to get it all figured out. I think questioning if it is all in your head is normal. I've been doing that the whole time my son has been sick because people keep telling me he's just doing it to get out of school. :/

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I cannot tell at all what I am doing,
I'm a bit ashamed to have written it. 

 

It is so difficult to get perspective when we are sick no matter what the reason.

Don't ever be ashamed to ask for help.

I don't know if gluten is a problem for you but first things first okay? Go to a doctor you trust and tell your story. Sure they will want to treat the anxiety problems but it's going to be difficult to manage any other problems without treating that too.

I think you are brave and wish you luck finding answers to these problems. 

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Okay, I'll try to keep my thoughts straight here.

It sounds like your ED is stress related (work) and you should definitely try to get a hold on that as you maybe causing damage by throwing up so much. I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux at 15 and I got a sore on my esophagus from the acid coming up, making it impossible to eat or drink anything but water with out excruciating pain!

Gluten symptoms do include depression, brain fog, panic... Actually there aren't many symptoms that you couldn't include because it causes deficiencies which can cause all sorts of symptoms.

If you choose to go gluten-free you can't consider your diet gluten-free if you eat a biscuit and throw it up (unless its a gluten-free biscuits) CC ( cross contamination) is also something you have to be weary if. Oats also have to be bought specifically gluten-free most are not.

If I were you I would stop worrying that you may be avoiding gluten for no reason. If you don't want I wait on the test, seriously go gluten-free for a couple months see if you find improvements. That really is the only way your going to know.

Hope you find the answers you need and are able to de-stress.

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