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bleufulol

For Those Into Athletics/sports: How Has Celiac Affected You (Before And After Diagnosis)?

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Hi everyone,

 

I'd like to hear your experiences on this as well as get some advice on my own. I am not a diagnosed celiac but do think I am gluten intolerant; however I'm having trouble being as strict as I need to  (some negative family members don't think it's "real", I realize this is not an excuse but it's been a struggle for me). Anyway, I've been thinking about the connection between gluten and athletic performance for a while. I'm not a "serious athlete" but I'm more serious than most recreational exercisers, putting in 7-10 hours a week of running, cycling, strength training on average. My performance started to drop around the time my other gluten symptoms set in, and it just hasn't been the same since (with the exception of a couple of brief periods, which I do think coincided with me being stricter about my diet although I can't be sure). I quite often have back pain, uncomfortable bloating, and -- most prominently -- strange shin splints and leg pain that's not a real "injury". I was wondering if any of you have experienced this, or have had OTHER experiences pertaining to gluten intake and athletics. Obviously fatigue and GI problems are major symptoms, but I'm talking more of the weird ones (like my unexplained shin splints, which I never ever had back when I was running well, and it's def. not a shoe-related problem). 

 

Is there anything else that brought you relief? How -- and if -- did your symptoms resolve themselves?

 

I bring this up because it's gotten worse in the past couple of weeks, and I just discovered there is an ingredient in the lunch I eat nearly every day at work (we get free food so I usually take advantage of that) that does contain gluten. Guess I will need to avoid eating out basically all the time now...

 

Anyway, sorry if I sound like a madwoman, I'm not sure if that's just my accidentally-glutened brain or if I'm starting to lose my mind because I've been so frustrated with this. It's not that I'm trying to win races here, I just want to move my body without all of this pain and discomfort. 

 

Thanks.  :unsure:

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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People with untreated Celiac disease can have some major vitamin deficiencies. Those deficiencies can cause a lot of issues like muscle cramps, fatigue, etc. As well as the most well know symptoms like bloating, gas, " brain fog", headaches, etc.

there are non- Celiac people who go gluten-free to help thier athletic performance. Whether it is really the lack of gluten that helps them, who knows? Maybe it is the fact that they are being more careful with what they eat ( and thus eating a nutritionally better diet)?


 

 

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The learning curve for remaining gluten free is steep.  It sounds like you need to do more research on celiac disease or NCGI and the damage it can cause.   Review the forum's  Newbie 101 thread under the "Coping" section to learn about cross contamination and hidden sources of gluten.   In any case, if you're going to continue the diet, you can never cheat!  You can never let down your guard!  NEVER!  Regardless of what your family thinks.  It is tough to do, but possible.  My husband has been gluten-free for 14 years.  He wishes that he had a celiac disease diagnosis, but like you, he refuses do the gluten challenge.  After 14 years, we know that gluten makes him ill.  

 

That said, your athletic performance should be the least of your concerns, right now.  Your focus should be getting well.  This is advice from someone who is very athletic.   Anemia was my main symptom.  I could hardly breath let alone run.  I had just enough energy to focus on the diet and getting well.  Two months into my gluten-free diet, I suffered some vertebrae fractures doing NOTHING!  So, I was off my bike for about a year.  Yes, a year to heal from fractures, build up bone, eliminate the anemia, etc.  

 

Now, I am back in shape, running, cycling, swimming and teaching exercise classes because I am well and it took two years.  Two whole years!  

 

So, spend your energy on eating safe foods that will heal you.  If you do have celiac disease or NCGI, your symptoms should resolve and your athletic performance should improve.  In the meantime, just do gentle exercises like walking.  

 

Are you working with a doctor to insure that you do not have any additional problems like anemia, deficiencies, etc.?  

 

I wish you well!  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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A summary of a small study of athletes and gluten free.  Suggests that going gluten-free for someone without Celiac does not help athletic performance.

 

https://www.celiac.com/articles/24026/1/Gluten-free-Diet-Useless-for-Athletes-Without-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html


 

 

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