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celiac and anxiety?

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I've kind of always been somewhat anxious, though mostly social anxiety. Since going gluten free (also, I'm gluten intolerant. I haven't been tested for celiac yet because I went gluten free first..) I've noticed that my social anxiety has gotten better. But, I've sort of developed a general anxiety now. Not that I've never had this type of anxiety before, it just wasn't very bad. But since going gluten free it's so much worse. I'm constantly worried that I'm going to get sick.. I share a kitchen with people who eat gluten and have had a lot of problems and have gotten sick several times because of CC.. The other thing is that when I do ingest gluten, my anxiety gets 10x worse. Usually it's not THAT bad, but I got glutened pretty badly on Thursday (usually it's just from CC but this was way more than that) and have been so incredibly anxious. On Saturday I was eating dinner (feeling much better after thursday) and felt the slightest bit bloated afterwards.. Just enough that I started freaking out that I was sick again and ended up making myself feel sick because I was so anxious and then I felt more anxious because I felt sick and then more sick because I was more anxious.. and the cycle continues. Now I've barely eaten for two days and I'm just exhausted from constantly worrying. I know that this is the worst of it and it will be over in a few days, but I don't think my anxiety has ever been this bad in my life. It's awful.. How can I cope with this..? I feel so helpless because I desperately want to NOT feel like this but I just keep feeling awful. Help :(

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I can relate. I've had quite a bit of anxiety the last years. Since going gluten free it got a lot better in some ways. I did, and still do sometimes have quite a bit anxiety when it comes to food. Every time I ate something and felt a little off, I right away assumed it was gluten and felt even worse because of the anxiety. Plus my anxiety about eating out is pretty bad- YET, slowly it's getting better. I think it's normal to go through an adjustment time with worsened anxiety. 

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Gluten and anxiety seem to go hand in hand for me.  I was recently diagnosed with Celiac and my anxiety was absolutely OUT OF CONTROL right before I went off gluten... I literally could not relax my body or mind.  Now that I am off gluten though, the physical anxiety has almost completely gone, but the anxious habits I developed still linger.   I did go through a period when the anxiety got worse though, almost like my body was completely freaking out without gluten.  How long have you been gluten free?  It may take awhile before it really gets out of your system.   

I am in a similar roommate/shared kitchen situation and I understand how frustrating it is.  Since there is no room for me to get my own set of cooking items, I have to improvise.  Avoid using shared wood utensils at all costs.  Wipe out all clean pots and pans before you use them.  Lay down paper towels on the shared cutting board before you use it.  Spend a few bucks and get your own strainer - even if you have to hide it in your bedroom so your roommates don't use it.  It's kind of silly but I really do have to hide my tupperware items and such from roommates, not because they want me to get sick but just because they "don't get it" about how sneaky and transmittable gluten can be.

I have a few exercises that helped when the anxiety was overwhelming.  First, deep breathing.  Lay in bed and take some deep breaths.  Then, start counting seconds as you breathe.  Breathe in for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds.  On the next breath, in for 5, our for 5.  Keep increasing the seconds as much as you can.  I like to do this one before going to sleep.   Also, just taking a deep breath and letting it out with a huge AHHHH works.    You can try magnesium oil to help relax you if you feel the physical muscle tension from anxiety also.  Visualization exercises also help:   When the anxiety was the worst, I would lay in bed and imagine that all the anxiety and tension was temporarily separate from myself, floating above me in a bubble.  It helped me separate my real self away from the anxiety and gave me some clarity, even though it was temporary.    I hope these things can help you gain the upper hand with your anxiety, and don't forget to be patient with your body as it tries to heal from gluten exposure.  Keep us posted on how things are going for you.

 

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Worrying can cause an upset stomach too. 

Have you spoken with your doctor about possible celiac disease testing?  I ask because if you are celiac, eating in a home where cross contamination in the norm is dangerous to your health. 

If you have a gluten sensitivity and not celiac, or a wheat only sensitivity, you might feel bad after cross contamination, but your intestines won't be harmed. 

Either way, it seems to me you testing might be a reasonable course, even though you would have to eat gluten for the testing to be accurate. At least, that is the course I have taken because I'd rather know than not.

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Anxiety can go hand in hand with celiac.  Celiac disease damages your intestine.  A damaged intestine may have problems absorbing key nutrients like Folate and B12.  This was the case for me.  My doctor placed me on a very high dose of folic acid and b12 because I was severely deficient.    Both of these are required to properly manage dopamine and serotonin.    Once my nutrient levels came up through supplements and intestinal healing my anxiety became much better. On the rare times I do get gluten in my system the anxiety comes back.

There are different types of anxiety too.  The nervousness of eating out will always be there.  Not having a dedicated gluten free house can also cause stress.  Those  are different types of anxiety than you get from malabsorption issues.  When you were talking about social anxiety that was my big red flag.  The lower my levels dropped the more like a hermit I became.  Not even stuff related to celiac, things like calling people on the phone stressed me out. 

 

Good luck, I hope you can find the help you need.   It may be stressful, but it is totally worth getting help for this.

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