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mbledtke

Brain Fog Back - Cannot Figure Out Why - Help!

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Oh boy, do I need help.  Hoping someone can give me some insight.....

 

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in March 2013.  I immediately went gluten free, and noticed incredible improvements in my overall well-being - most markedly mentally.

 

For most of my adult life I suffered with anxiety, depression, irritability, brain fog.  I took antidepressants (Zoloft) for a time, but have been off of them for approx 7 years.....I have taken Xanax on an as-needed basis (if my anxiety got intolerable - this usually only happened a few times a year for a day or two at most.  Another thing that I feel is related is that I have always lost a good amount of hair when I showered in the morning.  

 

My diagnosis came after a LONG bout of gut pain/GI issues.  I had NO idea that my mental difficulties were related to gluten.  Within about 10 days of stopping gluten my gut problems resolved completely, but to my delight, my anxiety and brain fog disappeared COMPLETELY!!!  It has been like a new life for me - I have felt great!!  The only time I get the anxiety/brain fog back is if I accidentally glutened.  I am VERY strict - CC only seems to happen when not eating at home.  The other thing we noticed is that within a few weeks of going gluten-free I no longer lost any hair in the shower.  

 

So, here's my problem.  My anxiety/irritability/brain fog is BACK.  It's bad.  Basically I have been living like I've been consistently glutened for the past 3 months or so.  I am NOT eating any gluten.  I am vigilant about that.  I cut oats approx 2 months ago to see if that would be a culprit (I only ingested certified gluten-free oats anyways) - no change.  I have terrible brain fog  - I feel so lightheaded that it sometimes feels like I'm about to faint.  I've had a few anxiety attacks, and am constantly irritable and anxious.  I am a professional, and find it hard to work with my patients - I sometimes feel so lightheaded that I'm not even sure I'm formulating sentences correctly.  I find it sometimes hard to find words.  I feel like I'm losing my mind.  I am also back to losing a lot of hair in the shower.  SOMETHING has changed, but I cannot figure it out.  

 

This all started around April/May of this year.  Around that time I had herniated a disc in my back, and was on muscle relaxants, pain killers, and steriods for that.  I assumed my foggy headedness was due to all the drugs I was on, but I have been off all meds since the first week of June, and these feelings have not subsided.  Around that time I started a relatively high dose of Vitamin D - around 7000 UI as I was vitamin D deficient.  I have heard anecdotal evidence that too much Vitamin D can throw off your magnesium, which can lead to brain fog and depression - stopped the Vitamin D about a week ago - no change yet.  

 

Have seen my primary care doc a few times.  Tested my celiac blood panel (best it has ever been), Thyroid (TSH - within normal limits), inflammatory markers (all within normal limits).  

 

My doc has recommended going back to Zoloft, but I hesitate.  I am DESPERATE to feel better, but I don't want to mask the problem - I want to find out WHY this is happening!

 

I sincerely thank you for reading my long-winded post, and will be grateful for ANY ideas/suggestions anyone might have.  

 

Thanks!!!!!!

 

Moni 

 

 

 

 

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Are you certain that the medications and supplements were gluten free? Have you contacted the manufacturers? I am no doctor, but 7,000 UI seems awfully high to be taken daily. You might research to find out how long it takes for Vitamin D levels to drop. I know that it took a couple of months for my b-12 levels to drop (they are still outrageously high) and I just stopped drinking fortified soymilk. I was not taking any vitamins containing b-12 at all. Just sourcing my vitamins through food.


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Yes, very confident that all supplements were gluten free.  My vitamin D levels were low, and when I saw a chiropractor for my back issue, I saw that he sold supplements.  He is the one who suggested the high dose - looking back, I wish I would have investigated that further before jumping on board.  

 

I am hopeful that the overload of Vitamin D is the answer - it's fat soluble, so I'm thinking it will take a few weeks.

 

Ugh - just so desperate to get back to "me".

 

Thanks for your help!!

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Thank you for the reply about the Thyroid stuff too.  My gut tells me that could really be related, especially with the hair loss too.  I'm also generally very cold when others aren't.  I just don't get how I felt so good for so long, and now it feels like someone "flipped a switch" and I'm back to where I was.  I need to figure out how to "flip it" back!!!

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I have the same problem with brain fog on and off (I am in my late 60's) and I had to have my blood tested for 'all levels' to try and find out the cause. Dr. said it was my usual anxiety. Dr. finally tested for iron levels and turns out I was iron deficient for a couple of years on and off (if I eat beef, liver, tons of vegetables I don't get the brain fog) and b/c my dr. didn't test for it I didn't know what it was.

 

So, anxiety attacks feel like dizziness and often room spinning.

Iron deficiency feels like light headedness and slight dizziness 'at times'. I bought a bottle of Floravit from Choices Stores and take that every other day for an iron supplement.

I also eliminated all soy of any kind from my diet (no candy or chocolate except Camino Bittersweet chocolate chips from Choices). Soy is also in every kind of rice cake EXCEPT Lundberg gluten-free brand.

 

Now, my thyroid is going up and down (it does after 50 yrs old) and the ends of my eyebrows are gone and my hair is falling out slightly. I have been to the dr. to test but they only run an average test that doesn't always show accurate results. (Drs. have been told not to 'try' the medical system with tons of tests to diagnose). This is also making me slightly dizzy. Since one shouldn't fool with the thyroid, and I know it is only going up and down 'slightly', I'll just try and eat the proper foods, tons of vegetables, and monitor myself. Sigh....it is a pain to be Celiac....

 

 

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Have your doctor do tests for ferritin and serum copper to see if you are deficient in either of these trace minerals.  Deficiency of the former can result in hair loss and deficiency of the latter can result in worsened glucose tolerance.  When high fiber, gluten-free diets are very high in phytates, they can interfere with absorption of iron, copper, and other trace minerals.

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