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student314

Can You Notice Immediate Effects From Not Consuming Gluten?

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I posted a few weeks ago with questions about digestive/anxiety issues, but no gluten intolerance/celiac diagnosis. I landed myself in my university's health clinic last week after my heart rate shot up to 140 and I had severe cramps and upset stomach after eating some whole wheat toast with peanut butter. I literally was unable to walk anywhere. Of course by the time I actually got to the clinic over an hour later, my heart rate had calmed down, though it did stay pretty constant at about 140 for 45 minutes. I explained what I had been dealing with (running to the bathroom with loose stools 3-4 times a day and the fast heart rate after eating) and was told it was IBS symptoms from my out of control anxiety (I had explained that I had started having panic attacks out of nowhere over the summer). I was sent to counseling and have started seeing a therapist.

 

My therapist is very supportive though and suggested that I continue pursuing that maybe my diet is exasperating my anxiety symptoms. I told him that the only connection we would find was wheat after the toast incident. The day I saw him I had had a sandwich for breakfast and half and hour later had an elevated heart rate again and then another half hour later had two panic attacks in class. He thought it could be beneficial to cut out gluten for a couple of weeks and see if it improves anything. I haven't committed to that yet, but this morning I did see what would happen if I didn't have gluten in my breakfast. It was amazing. I didn't get that extreme spike in my heart rate and I felt less edgy and more clear-headed. I had a sandwich for lunch and immediately my anxiety symptoms returned and I've had stomach cramps/rumblings for the rest of the day. Is it possible to have those immediate improvements in the morning just from not having the gluten in my breakfast? It is very possible that my mind just convinced myself that it would improve if I didn't eat the gluten. :)  Especially if all of this really is anxiety related. 

 

Also, would it be beneficial to cut out gluten for a couple of weeks without talking to my doctor or being tested just to test it out?

 

Thanks for reading all of this.  :D

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You need to be eating gluten to get tested.  Why not just get that done right away?  If you cut out gluten for a few weeks and feel a lot better, you may not want to start eating it again.

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You need to be eating gluten to get tested.  Why not just get that done right away?  If you cut out gluten for a few weeks and feel a lot better, you may not want to start eating it again.

 

The only problem is I'm not in a position to get tested any time soon. I don't go home for a couple of months and I don't think the health clinic here will test for it. I'd wait those couple of months, but my symptoms are interfering with my life. Being medicated for my anxiety is becoming more and more of a possibility and that's the LAST thing I want or need at this time. As soon as I mention my anxiety disorder, doctors immediately go towards that causing my symptoms. My therapist was the first person to agree that maybe it's something I'm eating.

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The only problem is I'm not in a position to get tested any time soon. I don't go home for a couple of months and I don't think the health clinic here will test for it. I'd wait those couple of months, but my symptoms are interfering with my life. Being medicated for my anxiety is becoming more and more of a possibility and that's the LAST thing I want or need at this time. As soon as I mention my anxiety disorder, doctors immediately go towards that causing my symptoms. My therapist was the first person to agree that maybe it's something I'm eating.

 

 

All you have to do is ask the health center & see what they say.  My son's college health center has a lot of services that surprised me. They even have eye doctors for eye exams one day a week. And our insurance pays for campus health centers.

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It sounds like you realy need to get tested and go glutenfree as soon as posible...

 

I had problems with anxiety and depression for many years. Looking back I now realise that those problems eased up when I cut back on gluten about 8 years ago. But I was never 100% glutenfree, and the anxiety kept sneaking up on me from time to time. I have been on a gluten challange the last two months, and the world has been quite terrefying. I'we been afraid to even open the mailbox or go outside after dark. worrying my head of that somthing could happen to my little girl when she is not with me, and crying alot for no real reason. I got off the challange this sunday, and noticed instant improvement in many of my sypmtoms. I've also had the heartrate problem you describe, but that only happens right after a mglutnfilled meal i think, atleast for me. Haven't had that at all the last four days. So yes, it is absolutly posible to notice immediate effects from not consuming gluten.

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In answer to your question, and as Mum in Norway agrees, there are immediate reactions to gluten which will immediately disappear when you don't consume gluten. There will, however, be lingering symptoms which are long term and will take many weeks and months and possibly years to fully clear.

 

But yes, the immediate gluten reactions will subside very quickly. They may come and go randomly within the first couple of weeks even though you are eating gluten free, I believe this is down to existing gluten in your guts making its way through as inflammation starts to recede - just a theory I have to explain what can be a puzzling, scary situation when "oh my god, my problems are coming back"!

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I never connected my heart rate problems with gluten until I read your post. I was diagnosed with benign tachycardia. My heart rate shoots up to 150 for no reason when I'm just standing still doing nothing. Now that I think about it, it probably is always after I eat a meal containing gluten. I should check it now that I'm gluten-free and see if it's gone!

 

But I do know that my anxiety and depression were 100% connected to diet. Eliminating gluten and sugar has virtually cured them. I don't see how you can live and go to school with continuing panic attacks. You need to go gluten free, but if you wait months and then go back to gluten for testing, that just won't do, it's like going backwards and damaging yourself after you've healed.

 

You can and should push to get testing done now, and in your current location. If the university clinic does not do it, they can refer you to someone who does. If whatever health plan you're on won't pay, consider assertively telling them you want the test even if you have to pay cash out of pocket. Or use a credit card. Sometimes doctors automatically deny a test because they know the insurance won't pay and most patients will balk at paying for their own test so the doctor does not even tell the patient that is an option. BUT IT IS. At least where I am it is, and at least as long as the doctor agrees the benefit is worth the risk. In your case it CLEARLY is worth the risk. Panic attacks can ultimately lead to suicidal thoughts, they can erode your performance, poor grades, bad job performance, it affects your whole life, and the tachy is not good for your heart and blood vessels. You don't want years of living with anxiety and panic attacks.

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Thank you for the responses! I will be calling the clinic tomorrow to schedule an appointment. I'll have to be pushy with them (something I'm not good at) but it needs to be done. I've already gone down another pants size in two weeks despite eating fairly normally, which is unusual for me who usually struggles with losing weight. Maybe that will catch their attention.

 

Also, I have another question. I never thought to ask a doctor about this because it's so embarrassing. But I've had hidradenitis suppurativa for a couple of years (self diagnosed, but I think it's a pretty obvious thing to self diagnose) in my armpits. The only time it almost completely healed was when I got sick a month and a half ago and ate basically nothing but fruit and chicken broth for about a week. As soon as I started eating again, it flared up. Is there a connection between gluten and HS?

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also, my experience has been to eliminate possibilitys with tests.  for example, you get the stool anti gliadan test you then you know for sure wheter you have a problem.

if that is negative,, try candida antibody blood test..

also, tick borne, LYME disease is prevalant these days and can mess with body and mind.  you'd want a western blot test for that, imo.

also, hormones can mess with mind and energy. 

heavy metals are a possibility, hair tests are debatable as to their accuracy some like'm some dont..

like i said, my experience is to eliminate possibilitys.

could be other food sensitivitys cropping up, like peanuts.

you could also try an "elimination diet" and cut out many of the problem foods and see what happens.

peace.

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So I went to the clinic yesterday, and they don't do celiac testing. What they did though is run some other bloodwork (like thyroid, iron, B12, and other things I can't remember) to rule out some things before they referred me to a GI. I got a call this morning saying everything was normal except for my iron levels, which were low. I don't know how low, but I'm going to get a copy when I go in this afternoon. They're going to refer me to a GI, so I'm taking care of that this afternoon as well. It feels good to finally being moving in SOME direction with all of this.

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That's great.  Glad you pushed.  

 

Sporadic low iron (Ferritin) levels and thyroiditis, were my only symptoms of celiac disease.  Hopefully they did a complete thyroid panel (including antibodies). When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto'sThyroiditis, only my antibodies were sky high.  My TSH, T4, etc. were all normal.  

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So my iron was 35 (range 50-150)

My b12 isn't technically low but it's not way up in the range: 243 (range 180-1000)

My TSH was 2.17 and unfortunately that's all they did for thyroid testing.

I was referred to a PCP and if she feels like I should see a specialist she'll send me to one. They told me she was a great doctor though and relates well and enjoys working with college students so that should be good.

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Ugh. So I went to the doctor today (a PCP). I mentioned the gluten thing and she immediately said it wasn't that. She disgustingly asked who told me it could be related. Instead I'm bringing her stool samples since I said there had been mucus in my stool before. At least she doesn't think it's just anxiety though.

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