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Arasmas

Symptoms when Stressed?

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I was hoping that someone who's been dealing with celiac disease for longer than I have could weigh in on this.

I was diagnosed about 6 months ago (early Feb.) and have been on the gluten-free diet ever since, though I know I made a lot of mistakes in the first few months.  In the end of May and through most of June I was starting to feel like I was finally getting better.  I was still having symptoms but they seemed to be subsiding and I was getting so hopeful.

The last few weeks have been very stressful.  While I'm fairy certain I haven't ingested any gluten, all of my symptoms seem to be back with a vengeance.  Digestive problems regardless of what I'm eating (diarrhea, passing mucus, cramps, feeling like there are small creatures running around inside of my stomach all day long), anxiety, depression, aches and joint pain, fatigue, sinus problems... I feel like I did back in February.  I should note that I dealt with anxiety for years before celiac disease, but after Celiac kicked into overdrive last year, my anxiety went from a minor but manageable nuisance to a panic-stricken, worrying stress ball from hell.  I know anxiety can mess with my stomach but this is way over the top.  I feel awful.  Worse, after feeling like I was starting to make progress and heal, I'm now feeling really frustrated, discouraged and depressed.  Today was my first day of student teaching (just observing right now, so it wasn't like I was front and center) and I just barely made it through today without breaking down in tears.

Has anyone else experienced this?  When life gets rough and stress levels go up, has anyone experienced a resurgence of their symptoms.  I know that the damage from celiac disease can take years to heal and I've been okay dealing with symptoms up until now.  But, for the last week or two, I feel like I'm back where I started and my hope is dwindling rapidly.

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3 minutes ago, Arasmas said:

I was hoping that someone who's been dealing with celiac disease for longer than I have could weigh in on this.

I was diagnosed about 6 months ago (early Feb.) and have been on the gluten-free diet ever since, though I know I made a lot of mistakes in the first few months.  In the end of May and through most of June I was starting to feel like I was finally getting better.  I was still having symptoms but they seemed to be subsiding and I was getting so hopeful.

The last few weeks have been very stressful.  While I'm fairy certain I haven't ingested any gluten, all of my symptoms seem to be back with a vengeance.  Digestive problems regardless of what I'm eating (diarrhea, passing mucus, cramps, feeling like there are small creatures running around inside of my stomach all day long), anxiety, depression, aches and joint pain, fatigue, sinus problems... I feel like I did back in February.  I should note that I dealt with anxiety for years before celiac disease, but after Celiac kicked into overdrive last year, my anxiety went from a minor but manageable nuisance to a panic-stricken, worrying stress ball from hell.  I know anxiety can mess with my stomach but this is way over the top.  I feel awful.  Worse, after feeling like I was starting to make progress and heal, I'm now feeling really frustrated, discouraged and depressed.  Today was my first day of student teaching (just observing right now, so it wasn't like I was front and center) and I just barely made it through today without breaking down in tears.

Has anyone else experienced this?  When life gets rough and stress levels go up, has anyone experienced a resurgence of their symptoms.  I know that the damage from celiac disease can take years to heal and I've been okay dealing with symptoms up until now.  But, for the last week or two, I feel like I'm back where I started and my hope is dwindling rapidly.

Arasmas......the first thing you have to do is make 100% sure that gluten is not sneaking into your diet.  I apologize if that statement seems dumb but with new Celiac's, its the first thing you have to mention.  Make sure whatever comes into contact with your mouth, like lipsticks if you are female, or hand cream that you may use that could end up in your mouth.  These things matter.

To answer your question whether stress and anxiety could create a return of symptoms.....ABSOLUTELY!  I am actually going through this right now.  I have been gluten-free for 11 years so know that I am healed and know that I understand the diet inside and out. My brother passed away a year ago tomorrow and it was a terrible shock. The stress has snowballed into family members who are acting out, which is common after a death in the family. No one wants to deal with all the problems except me.  At some point, really soon, it will all come to a head and I will make my stand. Not that I am enjoying this but you have to deal with life's problems.  You know what all this is doing?  It is exacerbating my symptoms for Sjogren's Syndrome, which I have on top of Celiac.  It has affected my thyroid, of which I have Hashi's thyroid disease.  I had to up my dose of thyroid hormone, after cutting it back due to a healing gut. I feel your pain because this has been a set back for me. I am having a recurrence and worsening of symptoms for the past year, since it all happened. Not my Celiac symptoms but the symptoms that go along with all the other AI problems I have. If you go to a doctor, they will tell you that and make stupid comments about not letting stress get to you.  Really?  I never thought of that, doc!  :angry:

Stress is the worst thing for people with autoimmune disease. Read the link below.  This substance is something my doctor told me about because in this crazy world we live in, who the hell isn't stressed today?  I was tested with a complete nutrition panel because my doctor nagged me into it.  I never had one done during recovery but thought, after 10 years gluten-free, it might be a good thing to do.  I only came back with 2 substances I was still low on and this was one of them.  It combats anxiety.  I take a good supplement for it, in powder form that I mix into water but you might want to load up on foods that contain it.  It might help get you back on a more even keel. My doc uses this for treatment in people who do not want anti-depressants/anxiety meds. If you are interested in the supplement, I can give you that info. I use top quality supplements that are safe to take.

https://www.verywell.com/inositol-what-should-i-know-about-it-89466 

Hang in there even though it can be difficult.  Check everything again and then do things that could mitigate all the stress.  I exercise faithfully in the gym, watch my diet carefully and try, not always with great success, to get more sleep. That one is hard!  When you feel really stressed, go for a walk. It helps!

 

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Gemini, Thank you for replying.  First, I'm sorry about your brother and everything you're going through.  Coping with death is hard enough when you're feeling healthy.  I wish I felt as strong as you sound.

This doesn't sound dumb.  It's something I only really became aware of in the last few months.  I changed out all of my shampoos, lotions and stuff, at least the ones that had something wheat-like in the ingredients.  I recently found a list with about a hundred more "chemically" names for gluten-containing products in cosmetics.  I'm slowly making my way through the rest of my products and makeup, starting with the lipstick.  You're probably right about this one.  Honestly, I have a makeup hoard in my bathroom, and this process has been more painful than giving up pizza and beer.   

Really, your response makes me feel more at ease.  All of the symptoms just seemed to come back full force after a couple of really stressful weeks and I was starting to worry.  I really didn't want to go to the doctor (and really can't afford it) because I know she's just going to push the anti-depressants or anxiety meds again.  I don't want to go that route.  I will definitely check out the Inositol.  I've tried upping my magnesium as I read it was supposed to help with serotonin production in the stomach, but that was met with... less than solid results.  My stress-management was never great to begin with but much less so in the last year and a half.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Arasmas said:

Gemini, Thank you for replying.  First, I'm sorry about your brother and everything you're going through.  Coping with death is hard enough when you're feeling healthy.  I wish I felt as strong as you sound.

Thank you for your kind words.  Yes, this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with and it definitely affects your health in many ways.  Even those perceived to be strong have their difficulties and bad days too.  I am not one to push problems under the rug and ignore them so I guess you have to get through everything as best you can.  Stress is always going to be there, to some degree, but finding the right solutions isn't always easy.  No matter what you go through, there is another side that's better and you just have to accept you will get there in due time.  So, don't panic over this setback.  You will feel better and this will just be another hurdle you got stuck in front of.....for a short period of time.

This doesn't sound dumb.  It's something I only really became aware of in the last few months.  I changed out all of my shampoos, lotions and stuff, at least the ones that had something wheat-like in the ingredients.  I recently found a list with about a hundred more "chemically" names for gluten-containing products in cosmetics.  I'm slowly making my way through the rest of my products and makeup, starting with the lipstick.  You're probably right about this one.  Honestly, I have a makeup hoard in my bathroom, and this process has been more painful than giving up pizza and beer.   

Well..that's it!  That last sentence bonded us together!  Ha, Ha!  ;)  I don't have a ton of products but my favorite store is Sephora.  You know, I have to say that I do not screen all of my products.  Just the ones I use on my hands and lips.  Those are the biggest danger area's for the potential to ingest stuff.  However, with anything else that goes on my face, I make sure to apply away from my lips and wash my hands well after applying.  I have been gluten-free for 11 years and never once have I been glutened by my make-up. I am one of those skinny Celiac's who was dangerously thin at diagnosis and I am sensitive to small amounts.  Never had a problem with make-up. Sometimes people worry about things that they need not worry about.

Can you provide a link to the list you said you found of chemically sounding names for gluten in make-up? Sometimes those lists are misleading or inaccurate.  I would like to take a look at it just to see if its correct. Take a look at this article.....this is another Celiac myth about Vitamin E sources that people think they will be sick from.

http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/vitamin-e-from-wheat-germ-oil/

Really, your response makes me feel more at ease.  All of the symptoms just seemed to come back full force after a couple of really stressful weeks and I was starting to worry.  I really didn't want to go to the doctor (and really can't afford it) because I know she's just going to push the anti-depressants or anxiety meds again.  I don't want to go that route.  I will definitely check out the Inositol.  I've tried upping my magnesium as I read it was supposed to help with serotonin production in the stomach, but that was met with... less than solid results.  My stress-management was never great to begin with but much less so in the last year and a half.

I don't rely on doctors much either.  They do like to push pills when all you need is healing and maybe some supplements.  Anxiety is so huge with Celiac.  It is one of my biggest symptoms now if I do take a gluten hit.  I have not been glutened for 2 years and I go very long periods now without being bagged.  It gets easier the longer you do it.  Just be very patient with it all because it won't happen overnight. Try to use sublingual or liquid forms of supplements, if you can, for enhanced absorption. As for stress management, I totally understand.  I am not the best at it either because I am a Type A personality. Go, Go, Go!!!!!!!  Gotta chill out from time to time, don't we?  :)

 

 

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Oh the makeup... My stepsister worked at Sephora for a long time, and I serious abused her 20% discount.  I hadn't planned to worry much about eye products or face products, with the exception of maybe loose powders.  Unfortunately, the Fresh Sugar lip balms had to go and that one hurt.  I know in a rational place that the products aren't worth risking my health, but when I'm standing in my bathroom looking at all of my beautiful, sparkly, freakin expensive lipsticks, I just don't want to let go.  What brands of lip product do you use?

Here's the list I found.  http://www.glutenfreemakeupgal.com/gluten-info/not-safe/possibly-gluten-filled-ingredients

I had read somewhere about the Vitamin E thing.  I have a body butter that I love that has Vitamin E (wheat germ oil) listed in the ingredients, I've still been using it, but washing my hands like a surgeon after.  At least I can stop worrying about that one.  The list above lists Vitamin E as a maybe. 

Really, I think the anxiety was getting to me yesterday more than anything.  When I start feeling crappy it really takes over.  I've been feeling better today.  Still crampy and tired, but better.  At least I'm hungry, I always figure that's a good sign.  Patience has never been one of my virtues.  Early on, right after I was diagnosed, I remember reading stuff from people who were on deaths door-step, went gluten free, and felt magically cured 2 weeks later.  I was so sure that would be me.  Then I read 6 months, so when I hit the 6 month mark... the impatience has been setting in. 

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Oh, my........you get a 20% discount if you work at Sephora??????  :blink:  I may need a career change.....  :lol:

I completely sympathize with not letting go of favorite products!  I use MAC lipsticks because that was what I used before and some of their line is gluten free.  They are pretty open about it also. However, I need to look into other options because I have Sjogren's Syndrome to boot and my lips are drier than most peoples because of it. Using a matte lipstick is somewhat drying so I need to find some of those moister, glossier ones to use.  More hydrating while being gluten free....is that too much to freakin' ask?  Ha, Ha!  Maybe I'll post a new topic on the best hydrating lipsticks that are gluten free.  I need some more options. You know, just when I really needed to start wearing reading glasses for small print, I was diagnosed with Celiac.  Those small ingredients lists on make-up are far worse than the labeling on food. That is when I get frustrated and stand in the store and want to yell, "IS THIS GLUTEN FREE? CAN ANYONE READ THIS?"  :angry:  I will not give up my Lancome serum, either, whether it's gluten free or not.  Just keep it out of the mouth, if need be!  I have managed this for over 11 years so it is not impossible.

Thank you for that link.  I will take a look at it and comment soon.

You know Arasmas...there is a funny sense of humor in there that you have!  That is essential to living gluten free. That stuff about people being on death's door and recovering within 2 weeks......not so much.  I was one of those death's door people and, although my gut improved really fast, all the hundreds of other symptoms I had took about 3 years to completely disappear.  I was 46 when diagnosed. It took a long time for me to be able to digest fats normally. But you should feel better overall as each 6 months or so passes. Healing naturally takes time and you did not get sick from Celiac overnight. There will be setbacks and usually stress is the culprit. It does a number on  us.  The anxiety will get much better, I promise.  That is a symptom many of us have had or do have.  Taking pills is not the answer, either, but you already know that.

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I DID get a 20% discount at Sephora.  My step-sister had a baby about 9 months ago and left her job to stay home.  I keep selfishly trying to convince her that she needs to return to work.  I really miss that discount.  I know I got an adorable little niece out of it, but I miss rationalizing $50 shadow palettes I do not need. 

I didn't know MAC was gluten free!  I've honestly never tried any MAC cosmetics, I just assumed they were too expensive but I was poking around on the website and they aren't too bad.  I live in the middle of nowhere, I'm not sure if there's a MAC counter around here, the nearest Sephora is almost an hour away.  But the $6 eye shadow pans online are looking really tempting.  Here I am trying to clear out my bathroom... yea, needing gluten-free makeup is probably just going to turn into a shopping excuse.

I was going through ingredients and googling brands last night and discovered both Bite beauty lipsticks and Nars lipsticks are gluten free.  I love the Bite lipsticks and their matte crème lip sticks are actually pretty moisturizing (for a matte lipstick).  My lips are always terribly dry.  In the mornings I've been coating them in Rosebud salve and letting it sink in before putting on lipstick.  All of the Smith's Rosebud products are gluten free, and pretty cheap for a Sephora product ($6-7 each).  They're really great for dry knuckles and elbows in the winter too. 

I feel like the worst of my symptoms live in my gut, so it makes sense that would take the longest to heal.  Looking back now, I realize these 2-week cure people were the fad-diet quacks whose blogs I now roll my eyes at.  I try to have a sense of humor about all of this but sometimes it all just doesn't feel very funny.  And I can usually find everything funny in some weird, warped way.  Since diagnosis, the amount of research I have done into the human digestive system is insane.  I know more about the pancreas, intestines and poop than I ever wanted to.  I've never had much trust or faith in doctors and the last 6 months have only solidified that for me.  But, I don't know anyone with this disease and live in a rural area and relying on the internet for information can be just as terrifying as it is helpful sometimes.    

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You know Arasmas...the more you post the more I think I have found a twin out there!  Ha, Ha!  I am a sucker for color palettes with eye shadow.  The colors are gorgeous and it is important to use good quality make-up. That goes without saying.  But at least you know and fully admit you are rationalizing your behavior.  There are many things people do not need but it makes them feel better and they enjoy doing so.  As long as people don't blow their budget, nothing wrong with that!  For me, as I would imagine for you also, you want to look your best and a little make-up will get you there.  You do have an excellent sense of humor about it all!  That will carry you far with this disease.

Thank you for suggesting other lipstick brands.  I will look into the Bite and NARS brands. I have used some NARS stuff before but have not tried their lipstick. I would caution you to inquire at MAC about which lipsticks are gluten free...not sure all of them are.   I have just stuck with their regular lipstick line and what I use is gluten free.  I use some of their eye shadow but do not screen that.  Never been a problem.

I did the same thing you have done when diagnosed.  I read about how the GI system actually works so I could be as informed as possible.  How could you not with this disease?  Besides, you also correct in that doctors, especially GI docs, seem rather clueless, at times.  I do not trust them so you have to be an educated consumer with medical people these days.  But you are learning well because you have already figured out that many bloggers are nuts and give bad info.  I think many do not actually have full blown Celiac because you definitely don't heal in 2 weeks. You feel good enough that you have gone from death's door to bearable.  Your gut isn't screaming and you can now hold down some food.  That isn't healed.  <_<

Thank you......I have new products to check out!  :D  We are here, whenever you feel like talking to those who understand what you are going through. Do you have any Celiac support groups in your area?  That may be a way to finding other people who share our world.

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I agree, it's nice to talk to someone who actually gets it.  I tried starting this make-up conversations and asking people questions on another forum somewhere a month or two ago and it didn't go well.  I was (passive-aggressively) accused of being vain and materialistic.  Maybe it is a little, but, especially in the last year, I feel like I can fake it better with a face full of makeup.  When I feel like death it's amazing what concealer and lipstick can do for my mood.  It's never been something I felt like I HAD to do.  I like my face-art project in the morning.

I've gotten the feeling from the few doctors I've seen that once it's clear it's Celiac and they can't treat it/cure it/throw a pill at it, they are no longer interested.  I basically got a shoulder shrug and was told to "google it."  Thanks doc. 

I have yet to find any support groups or even other people with celiac disease here.  There are no gluten-free restaurants either.  I found one bakery downtown that has gluten free cupcakes and breads, but they the gluten-free baked goods in the same case as the regular stuff, so I have little faith in their avoiding cross contamination in the kitchen.  For the last 6 months I've felt like I'm living on my own crazy little island.  It took a while but at least I've got my family to a place where they seem to finally be getting it.

Thanks for all of your help.  I've never really done the internet socializing or forums thing, but anymore, this seems to be the only place where I don't feel like a paranoid crazy person.

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I have noticed in the past couple of years there seems to be a trend, and that is the nice way of putting it, of the make-up averse or....yes....haters.  Social media has done nothing but empower those types to be obnoxious because it is so anonymous and they feel they can say anything. The stuff they wouldn't dare say in real public places to real people because they live in that imaginary world of cyber space. There is nothing vain or materialistic about wearing make-up. If some women choose not to wear any, that's just fine with me and I don't go around telling them they are letting themselves go because they aren't.  It's a personal choice and people should feel free to do whatever they want.  I, like yourself, like to put my best face forward when I leave the house to go to work and the hell with anyone who takes issue with that.  So there!  ^_^  I am also older (57) and trust me......aging is not for the faint of heart and make-up comes in very handy when you actually have things to conceal.  ;)

It is probably a lot more challenging to live in a rural area with limited gluten-free options.  Here is a website that may help you discover more options:  http://www.findmeglutenfree.com/

Just punch in a zip code or city and it will come back with options...it's a great website.  I hope that helps you find places to eat out occasionally.  I don't eat out that much at all BUT once in awhile, it's nice to go out to eat and not obsess whether they will make you sick.  I am glad you feel more at home here and please stay on because this is the best website for gluten-free info and the people on here are very knowledgeable.  You are not crazy or paranoid...just a Celiac learning the ropes.

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When I feel like death it's amazing what concealer and lipstick can do for my mood.

This is so, so true!  When you look better, you feel better about yourself. I get that and agree completely!   :D

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