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janiney08

I'm So Damn Hungry! Help!

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Hi All, I just found out I have celiac 3 weeks ago and that is why I have had a low iron problem my entire life, anyway...I'M STARVING!!!!!! I have been trying to eat lots of nuts/veggies/fruit. I guess I can try more protein but I'm ravenous and trying not to go overboard on the gluten free products! HELP!

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I've only been gluten free for 9 days, but have the same problem. I eat all day long it seems like... Mostly raw veggies with hummus and some home made soup with veggies. I don't know if you have other food intolerances, but protein does seem to help me. Chicken, pork chop, beef. I brown ground turkey mixed with the hummus, or avocado on lettuce leaves, turkey lunch meat (sorry I can't remember which brands are gluten free right now)  rolled around zucchini strips or cheese if you can have that or mustard, Hidden Valley ranch is gluten free. Scrambled eggs with almost any veggie or meat in them....  I'm sure someone will come along soon with more ideas.

 

 

Welcome!

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Thanks, I will remember hummus tomorrow with my lunch and I think I will hard boil some eggs too to have with breakfast. I just had a KIND bar and some cheese I feel better now lol Glad to know I'm not alone!!

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I was eating four big meals a day when I was first diagnosed! So hungry. Try to enjoy it/take advantage, it might not last that long ;) 

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Thanks! I hope I get use to it, Kaite I see that you had trouble with your iron too....I am anemic and have been going for a few weeks now for iron iv's, did you iron absorption increase with the gluten free diet alone? Hope you don't mind sharing!

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No problem, I'm sure you'll get used to it. That only lasted a week or so for me - the difference now is that I actually feel hunger, whereas before I just used to feel my blood sugar crashing when it was too late, so to speak. And I can finish much larger meals now than before :D (pig). 
I took prescription supplements for about six months and a blood test after three months showed that my iron levels were back to normal. I've been off them for three months (took myself off them with doctor's agreement) and I feel fine but I'm due blood tests next week which will tell me either way. I think it depends on the extent of the internal damage and how quickly you heal but I think it's six months to two years for absorption to improve completely - as ever, symptoms and healing vary person to person.

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Four years ago I was in the EXACT same spot, I got diagnosed in my mid-40s.  I lost lots of weight and had no idea what to eat at all.  I was starving.  And little or no alcohol for six months since the intestines were injured.  That was real tough.  What to drink/not drink is a whole other thread...but on to my very first gluten free diet from the first days and weeks:

 

Breakfast--gluten free cereal (lots of the Chex are gluten free now) with sliced bananas because they're more filling.  I couldn't do milk at first, so I used soy milk at the time.  You get used to it.  Scrambled eggs and a baked potato (believe it or not).  I was too lazy to make home fries.

 

Lunch--tuna or gluten free lunch meat on gluten free bread.  Goodbye Gluten (believe it or not) is about the only gluten-free bread I can tolerate taste-wise...but know that nobody's really gotten gluten free bread close.  I gave up on frozen gluten free bread since it would disintegrate as soon as it thawed.  You can throw in a fresh ingredients salad with gluten free dressing (lots now, look them up by brand).  I did lots of salads with canned tuna in them.

 

Snack--my first post-celiac snack was Nestle's toll house semi-sweet chocolate chips (most are just now being labeled gluten free, check closely on the back) and Diamond Almonds mix.  Most Diamond nut products are gluten free, look that brand up too if you like nuts.  I had to gain weight back, thus the nuts mixed with chocolate for my sweet tooth.

 

Dinner--Broiled or baked chicken breasts, fish, pork...all the raw stuff you cook yourself.  Steaks and baked potatoes with gluten free margarine like Olivio or real butter (look up your brand).  Steamed raw vegetables or from frozen (the plain, frozen vegetables).

 

Progresso has labeled soups gluten free right on the front or the side of the can (in smaller print with some other facts).  There is "gluten free" Mac and Cheese made by Annie's I think it is.

 

A note on meats...DON'T get any meats that say things like "up to 12% solution" or whatever.  Economy grocery stores carry those a lot, so steer clear there.  BUT at the same time there's a store here called Aldi's which is an economy store but labels TONS of their regular products as gluten free, I've seen the labeling almost double it seems in the four years since I had to start gluten free myself.  If it says gluten free, you are good to go.

 

YOU WILL GET THIS DOWN...trust me and after awhile it just becomes regular.  No, you can't go out to eat many places like you used to because you've gotta get gluten free...but there's more places than ever before with a gluten free menu and you can go there ONCE in awhile.  If you're not negative for active celiac yet (the <20 Iga reading) DO NOT take chances.  Your life truly depends on stopping the active celiac condition in your gut but it CAN be done...but you must eat only whole foods or goods (think the "perimeter" of the grocery store) OR gluten free labeled products.  It blew my mind the first time I walked into a grocery store and realized I couldn't eat most of the of the stuff in there.  I never gave it a second thought.  Now I don't even think about that anymore, and just go for the stuff I know I can have and the mind-blowing is in the past.

 

One of my first celiac tricks was...if I wanted to know if I could eat something and it wasn't labeled, I would need to see three sources that told me it was gluten free:  these boards, manufacturer's website and a third place like gfoverflow.com.  If I got three "yes" answers for gluten free then I could eat it.  For example, Heath bars (my weakness).

 

After awhile, you will have quite a regular and full list of "safe" foods.  The hard part is passing up most things everyone else eats (even with the family...they'll have to accommodate you there) and sticking to what you KNOW you can eat.  No guessing, because there is no cheating.  Your intestines have been injured and have to heal.  And the WILL heal and stay healed with gluten free eating.  But you can't cheat, you'll get sick all over again and you put yourself in a high risk category for really, really uncool illness.

 

It was hard as hell for me, I hear ya.   But like anything new you will question, learn, assimilate and incorporate it into your daily life and routine.  You are now the FIRST source and LAST word for celiac among your not-understanding or even well-meaning friends and don't be afraid to be really on top of it.  Get these good habits right at the beginning and honest, with time it's like driving a car.  Second nature.

 

Not second nature now, but it will be.

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My chiropractor told me to take about 1 Tbsp good fats (butter, coconut oil, or olive oil)  with each meal.  Fat helps one to get full and stay full for hours.

 

I am doing SCD diet.  I find the grain free food very filling.  I make pancakes with 1 cup nuts 1 cup water (Or coconut milk) and two eggs.  Put in  1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt.    Almond flour is the favorite of my family and pecan next best.  I place all in a food processor and blend well.

 

A filling shake I make includes 1 can coconut milk, 10 strawberries and 1 TBSP honey.  I usually save some of this for later.

 

Hang in there through the hunger.  Your body is making adjustments and this could just be a sign of that fact. 

 

Dee

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greek yogurt was my 'go-to' starvation fix.  i will still drink kefir if i think i'm going to be out and don't want to be starving to death.  it's been nearly 4 years, but i still find myself insanely hungry at times.  i am still pretty thin but working on gaining more weight - my husband and i call my appetite "fatty" lolz "fatty" eats about every 2 hours.  still.  and i am a very slow eater, so it seems like all i ever do is eat....

 

seriously, for years:  eating hurt.  period.  now that it doesn't, i guess my body is making up for it.

 

(are you gonna eat that?  because, i totally will.........  :D )

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I kind of did the opposite. When I had to go gluten-free, because I felt deprived, I let myself buy any gluten-free product that tickled my fancy including things I hadn't bought in a decade, like cookies. When I found out I also had vitamin deficiencies I switched to cooking extravagantly. Lobster tails, stuffed poached salmon, lots of white sauces. Not good for my waist line, but it didn't seem to have too much affect on my weight. For iron, I added more lamb dishes because I don't really like beef.

After I got the deficiencies on track, I went back to eating the same way as before going gluten-free which was mostly cooking for myself from scratch with a few premade items for convenience.

Sure, every once in a while some gluten-laced item might catch my eye in the grocery store and I miss it, but for the most part, I don't feel deprived. Limited somewhat, but not deprived. And yes, I did have to increase my exercise levels in order to reverse the weight gain after my cooking binge, but I prioritized my nutritional health over my physical appearance - at least until my clothes started to not fit anymore.

It gets easier, much, much easier.

And if you aren't already shopping at a grocery store that carries gluten-free items in abundance, find one, even if you have to travel a little ways. If you live out in the boonies, can you make a monthly or bimonthly trip into the city to stock up, have your grocery place special orders, or order items online? Stores that carry organic and natural foods are likely to also carry lots of gluten-free items. I'd guess that 99% of the foods out there either are gluten-free already or there are gluten-free options available. The key is to find the brands that have fewer ingredients and fewer chemicals because those foods are also likely to have fewer sources of gluten hidden in some odd name or ingredients like malt being added just for color.

The only reasons to be deprived are cost and availability. Otherwise, gluten-free is mainly a problem of not having conveniences.

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The hunger can be normal. One of my least favorite symptoms before my diagnosis was the excessive hunger. Then when I was diagnosed, it went to a whole new level. I was painfully so hungry for quite a while... maybe 3 or 4 months straight. No matter what I ate, I was still so hungry that my stomach would hurt. I would have to get up in the middle of the night and eat a bowl of cereal because I was so hungry that I couldn't sleep.

I think I had asked about it here at the time, and was told that it was a normal symptom for some, because the body is deprived and can now absorb nutrients and wants more and more. Don't worry though, that hungry feeling did taper off. I still have days when I am more hungry than I should be, but it's not nearly as bad as it was in the beginning. I think my iron deficiency made my hunger worse, which I see you have too. Mine is almost resolved now from being on the gluten free diet and taking supplements.

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A friend of mine who can't eat gluten warned me about gaining weight from all the gluten free products out there so I've been conscious. I'm an average size girl so I'm not worried about loosing weight really. I did find a gluten free bakery right by my parents house so I'm trying not to overdo it there but they have awesome cupcakes! I guess as long as I'm grazing on healthful foods throughout the day I shouldn't be too worried. The convenience thing is getting to me, I feel like I might loose some weight only because there last 3 weeks there have been bagels, muffins, cake, cookies, pizza and more cake in the office I knew I wouldn't have resisted otherwise.  

 

I am going to talk to a gastroenterologist that was recommended to me on June 5 and am anxious to talk to him about everything since my hematologist is who ran the blood test. I'm curious about the iron effects on hunger too. I was eating a ton of ice before my iron iv's which is a totally weird side effect of being anemic and that has stopped and my levels are finally normal now. I have more energy and do feel lucky that I don't have those instantly sick, bloated terrible side effects I know so many people have if I accidentally eat gluten, even though I know not absorbing nutrients isn't a good thing either!

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As you can see everyone here has gone through your stage.

 

I would perhaps just add that, as now your intestines are healing, it may be better to eat the healthier stuff for now.  It's almost like the paleo diet food I guess.  Yes it's more cooking but even that becomes part of the habit too.  I seem to recall I think that it was about six months or so before the doctor said my blood work reflected that I was in good shape.  I can't explain the particulars because I can't relay them accurately, but in other words it took six months of true "gluten free" before my blood work normalized.  And it was exponentially better each test, but it took that long in my case.  And my regular pre-sick weight came back after about one year, but I had a pretty unusual liver-related symptom of the celiac that also had to recover (and it did).

 

Peace.

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