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tspiggy

Coping With Brain Fog

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Diagnosed and gluten-free nearly two years, I'm feeling 100% better.  I've got label reading, cooking, avoiding cc at home and eating out pretty much down to a science, and I take my own food to family gatherings or events like weddings (by all accounts I'm apparently not missing much at those events, lol).  I never cheat, so the only times I've ever been glutened have been from eating out.  It takes about 3 days for a reaction to kick in -- fatigue, crippling anxiety and brain fog -- and it takes on average a week to feel normal again.

 

The tiredness is never enough to affect my daily functioning; I just take catnaps here and there when I can, and I go to bed earlier than usual.  The anxiety is sometimes bad enough to affect my quality of life, and I finally realized I may have to resort to Xanax to get me over the hump until I feel better.

 

But muddling through that brain fog...lordy, lordy.  My concentration is shot, my short-term memory is ridiculous, my attention wanders frequently.  When I talk to someone my voice sounds as if it's coming from a distance.  There's a rational part that knows what's happening and that it will pass, but man, I hate feeling trapped inside my own head.  Is there anything I can do to help clear it more quickly?  I've tried drinking more water, getting more sleep, taking brisk walks to clear my head...it works temporarily but essentially I'm stuck riding it out until my body finally rids itself of the gluten.  Any suggestions?

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How old are you--some of the brain fog might be associated with just getting older (menopause for women).  I roll my eyes at myself a lot when the brain fog stuff is really bad....lordy is right!!

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My brain fog is also awful and afects my daily life. It gets even more magnified when I got glutened (cross-contaminated food), symptoms start ca 10 hours after eating gluten. 

Symptoms:
Very slow reactions (to danger or when somebody speaks to me, makes driving a car too dangerous for me)
Difficulty concentrating (understanding what is wanted from me when somebody speaks, reading, studying)
Very low on energy - just want to sleep all the time.

The enhanced symptoms last for 30 hours, then 2-3 days I get a little better, and then 3 days of aftersymptoms (I get more severe brain fog than usual every time after having eaten something). So, a week of hell because of some wheat grains in the buckwheat package.

I try to find ways to avoid/overcome this symptom, because for me it's the most disturbing one:

1. There is not much to do if the brain fog is caused by gluten. Usually I take Gluten Ease or Veganzyme before eating meal that may contain gluten, these enzymes are designed to break up gluten, but I've read that they don't work if you are celiac (I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity), because immune system still recognizes gluten in your body. I don't know if they really work on me, because I started taking them recently and haven't been glutened yet.

2. I also get brain fog every time after I eat, due to other food intolerances (or just leaky gut). Fortunately then it only lasts for 1-3 hours. A good way to deal with it is to do sport or go to sauna - elevated heart rate pumps toxins out of your brain and speeds digestion up.

3. I'm going to order DAOsin to help digest the excessive histamine, which I think is the main reason for the symptoms that arise after ordinary (non-glutened) meal (I am histamine intolerant).

 

4. I'm also going to visit my psychiatrist and hope this time I can convince her to try to prescribe psychotropic edications to alleviate the brain fog (I know that in USA medications like Ritalin and Aderall are taken to boost one's brain even if one does not have ADD, sadly in Estonia only psychiatrist can prescribe them). I've read from this forum that medications like these won't work if you are food-poisoned (read this comment), but they could wake me up from the little remaining brain fog I have all the time (when the food-poisining is already dissipated).

Convincing the doctor to at least try this is going to be hard task. Last time I showed her my food diary and talked how strict I am in my diet, she thought I had some obsessive-compulsive disorder towards food (like the persons who have anorexia or bulimia)!?! What she did was that she sent me to a food-psychology department where they wanted to leave me for 10 day in-hospital trial, where I would be having group discussions about my obsessive attitude towards food, make me relax and feed me with "healthy" food with me overcoming my fear about it (a diet also consisting of bread and cakes). That time I took my leave from that hospital as fast as possible, because the diagnosis given after being glutened for a week in that asylum would be a "mad person" (the last sentence not by word-by-word but I think you get the main irony in this story :D ).

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