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Llkj

Is 4 days in too late to temporarily go off gluten-free diet without exacerbated symptoms?

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So I went completely off gluten (and dairy) 4 days ago, partly because of this sort of extreme cloudiness and lethargy that I would get after eating big glutinous meals. Unfortunately, I didn't really do my research before starting (it was basically on a whim although symptoms of gluten sensitivity seemed pretty apparent), and I had no idea there was going to be this ridiculous fatigue phase in the early withdrawal period, or that re-exposure to gluten after being off it could cause even worse rebounding symptoms. I feel like an idiot for it now, but it just didn't seem like something that would cause problems at the time. The last couple days, I've felt mentally clearer after meals, but pretty terrible and fatigued overall - can't focus academically most of the day, extreme sensitivity to the cold, heightened anxiety, etc. Normally, a couple weeks of that would of course be completely worthwhile to ultimately feel better.

Here's the kicker, though: the next 1-2 months include literally some of the most important deadlines of my life (like, very possibly future-determining deadlines that I should be spending every waking moment on), and I simply can't afford to go curl up for even one more day. I feel like I'm spending every moment either trying desperately to be comfortable or scouring for food no matter how hard I try to focus, and then I go to sleep and feel like I get no rest. Not to mention that if I keep going and then in 3 weeks accidentally get gluten, I'm led to believe that could potentially put me out of commission for days, which I truly can't afford right now. Also, I live in the northeast and have battled seasonal affective disorder for several years, and this is around the time of year that I need to be particularly careful not to slip, so what's happening now is seriously concerning me.

If I stopped the diet right now and started it again in early February (at which point I have 4 months with nothing crucial to do), would it cause a rebound effect now that would make me feel worse than I already do, or would it probably not cause problems beyond where things stood before I started? 

 

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Hi Llkj, 

You don't mention anything about seeing a Dr or getting tested for Celiac Disease. Going gluten-free is not a diet. For those with celiac disease it is a means of survival. Without a proper diagnosis you will need to start eating gluten again before you can be tested to get accurate results.  For some eating 3-4 small meals throughout the day is much easier to digest. Possibly try almond or soy milk or as it could be you are lactose intolerant. 

Best of luck and welcome to the forum. 

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Hi Llkj,

If you want to know for sure of you have celiac disease, you'll need to go back on gluten for the testing.  It is better to do that now than later IMHO,  Hopefully your symptoms won't be so debilitating that you can't perform your tasks.  As Zodi said, removing dairy from your diet may help your symptoms.  Also, you don't need to eat a lot of gluten to keep the antibodies active.  A half slice of bread each day is enough.  Some people find it better to eat the gluten in the morning and get the immediate symptoms over with before bed time.  Others like to eat it at night and try to sleep through their initial reactions.  I don't know which will work better for you.

The testing consists of a blood sample for antibody tests.  If the antibodies are positive then they schedule an endoscopy for biopsy samples of the small intestine.

If you have celiac disease it means a lifetime of eating gluten-free, and also the possibility of passing the genes on to your offspring.

You can try Pepto Bismol for gut pain, and peppermint tea for bloating.  Plain aspirin can help with pain also.  I can't say for sure what your symptoms will be, but I do believe they will be lesser if you resume gluten now than if you wait a few months and resume gluten.

Welcome to the forum Llkj! :)

Edited by GFinDC

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You have only been gluten free for 4 days so is there any way you can call your GP and pick up a lab slip or have them call the lab for a full celiac panel immediately? If you have been seeing your doctor for your problems that may be possible. Ask to speak to a nurse when you call but be aware that one may need to call you back after speaking with the doctor.  It might be helpful if they would also do testing for anemia, both iron adn B12.  If those tests are positive you and the doctor can decide from there what is going to be best for you to do.

You do need to go back on gluten ASAP. It doesn't have to be alot but it may be easier on your symptoms rather than waiting a few months. Many do find that their reactions are more severe after a short time gluten free. 

I also use liquid Pepto Bismal for stomach pain, asprin or Aleve for the inflammation and take Immodium if I need to leave the house and have had D.  You might also find that a sub-lingual B12 helps with some of the brain fog and fatique.

 

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