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Hi, I have come to this forum because of concern about my mother. Not really sure what is going on with her. She is 70 years old, and has problems eating anything. We have come to the conclusion that maybe she has an allergy to gluten, because she has all the symptoms. Almost everytime she eats bread, or anything containg gluten, she gets very sick. She has terrible problems with bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, acid reflux, occasional constipation, and terrible panic attacks. The panic attacks seem to happen at the same time as the bloating. A few weeks ago, she wound up in the emergency room for A-fib, and they admitted her for a day, and had her wear a heart monitor after coming home. But tests showed she had no heart damage or blockages. But she has an irregular heartbeat at times. It is very scary for her. The bloating seems to be one of the biggest problems. She also had a severe dizzy spell one day, where she could barely make it to the bathroom her head was spinning so much. She seems to do better after not eating gluten. But sometimes she will go out to eat, and barely make it home, with the diarrhea.

 

She is becoming very depressed, because she doesn't know what to eat, and said she is starving all the time. She has been living off of gluten-free hot dogs, fruit cups, and eggs. All the bread she had gotten from Kroger, she doesn't like. I tried looking up some preferred brands, but there are no stores that carry them near us in rural Kentucky. Some websites have differing opinions about what you can or can't eat. We are just overwhelmed and don't know where to start. We are not even 100% positive that this is what is wrong with her. But she had x-rays on her stomach and mid-section a couple of months ago, so they didn't find anything.

 

She has always had some digestive problems, most of her life, but never this bad. She has never been diagnosed with IBS, but I'm almost sure she has that as well. Should we start keeping a food diary, and see what is making her sick? Can any other food additives do things like this? Her doctor doesn't seem to care about anything, I think he thinks she is a hypochindriac or something, they almost just brush off whatever she complains with. But she lives with me, and I know what sheis going through. Some nights she can't sleep, and wakes up in pain, and having a panic attack. It is difficult to watch, and I want to help her. Once it passes, she is okay, except for feeling run down. But the depression is getting bad, and she wants to eat more things badly. She stays hungry all the time, but doesn't know what to eat.

 

Any advice on where to start? What to do first?

Thanks so much for any advice.

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It is easy to eat out, I do it all the time!! Alot of restaurants have Gluten free menus and if not get a whole meat a potato like (not fried potato) and a veggie. Mc donalds has a Gluten free menu. There is a link in here to restaurants. This is a wonderful site!! Also if you look in the newbie thread there is ALOT of info in there!! And Links!! I feel for your mom!! I was at my wits end also!! Can you get her Doc to do Blood work for Celiac. I'd certainly want that done!! X-rays will not show Celiac... Suggest Celiac blood work to her Dr.!!   There is very knowledgeable people in here can tell you what blood work to ask for. You have come to the right place. Good luck and keep us informed. 

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First, I want to say, thank you for honoring your mother by helping her and believing her!  I am sorry she has had to endure doctors not believing her.

 

Have the doctors checked your mother for celiac disease?  Have they also checked her nutrient levels? I recognized some possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency in your list.  )https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/102704-low-magnesium-typical-of-celiacgluten-intolerance/  Even if she has tested negative for celiac, she could have a gluten intolerance.  

 

  First, I would have the doctors test, but if she already avoids all gluten, it would be false negative.  IF all of the  doctor's tests were negative than I would try a gluten free diet. This always would be the final test for gluten intolerance.   In order to do this you would have to discover any and all forms of gluten she consumes and eliminate them.  It can be tricky.  Then you see if she responds to the diet.  A response could bring good symptoms, or bad, but may show that there is a problem. 

 

She must get a varied diet with protein, fat, vegetables, nuts and fruit.  She may want to try some new meats or vegetables as substitutes for any not working.

 

 For example:  Fennel bulb is a vegetable I find invigorating.  It is found in the produce department at grocery stores.  The bulb is white, a little like an onion, and it have bright green feathery foliage, about a foot high.  This can be steamed or stir fried.

 

I hope you and your mother will get some definitive answers and that you will be able to make a difference with her diet.  This is a great place to get ideas of how to proceed. 

 

Get Well soon, these flowers ***  are for your mother.

 

D

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