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flowerbox12

Could gluten be my problem or are there others?

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Hello, I am trying to get good information on gluten sensitivity and I thought those who go through it would be the best source. I am 42 years old. As a kid I had some anxiety issues but managed. Once I had my first baby at age 17 I started having abdominal bloating and pain...all the time. I had frequent cramping and diarrhea. I went to the ER so many times with pain and was told I had IBS. I was never gluten tested. Also at this time I started having severe mood swings, usually brought on by something stupid...like a messy house. I took it out my daughter as she got to be about 2 or 3. I hated myself every day for my lack of self control. Around age 21 my family doc started me on Celexa.  I went through most of the SSRIs over the past 20 years. Last year I found out I have a genetic defect (short alleles) that makes me unable to use seratonin. I have tried some antipsychotics, many antidepressants (including those that don't act on seratonin), mood stabilizers, etc. I have tried over 20 medications over 20 years with little to no help. This year I decided to stop the meds and try to find out what's wrong with me. Eight years ago I had my last baby, I have 6. I had my tubes tied and a c-section with the last baby. I have been worse ever since. I have unrealistic PMS. I get severe anger issues more than I ever did. Instead of diarrhea I am chronically constipated. I had the clips removed from my tubes and that made my periods normal and took a lot of the pain away but it didn't help the PMS. My husband has been repeatedly unfaithful over our 20 year marriage up until the past 3 1/2 years when he got saved. This is the reason I always assumed I was depressed and anxious. I get physical anxiety like pounding heart, shaking, shortness of breath, etc. I started taking ionic magnesium, B complex, Vitamin C,  and probiotics this year. 

About 5 weeks ago someone at a health food store suggested I have thyroid testing done and stop eating gluten to see if it helped. My tests show low-normal thyroid levels and the presence of thyroglobulin antibodies. I am having a nuclear iodine test tomorrow to check for cancer and thyroid function. I stopped most, not all, gluten for 1 1/2 weeks. I felt better and less angry. Then I ate a bunch of it and got sick that night but didn't notice any worsening anger. I stopped gluten again, this time completely for about 2 1/2 weeks. I felt less anxious but it wasn't gone. I was less angry and irritable. I still had a lot of nausea at night. but read that I have to eat gluten to get tested for celiac disease. I started eating gluten last Friday. Saturday was the WORST day I have had in months. I had rage...all day...uncontrollable as usual but SO unwarranted. I almost left my husband. I psychically abused myself. I HATE this version of me. I am not physically abusive to anyone else. I am running out of time and options. Not eating gluten helped but it isn't all of it. I would appreciate any suggestions. I also need to know what I can do RIGHT NOW to help with the symptoms. I am absolutely desperate. How long do I have to eat gluten for it to show up in a blood test? If I don't have cancer I guess I have Hashimoto's but I need to know what's causing it so I can feel better. I thought maybe corn sensitivity but I ate popcorn and nachos last night with only nausea and no anger issues. Thanks for reading my mile-long post. I appreciate any help anyone can offer. 

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1 hour ago, flowerbox12 said:

s. Not eating gluten helped but it isn't all of it.

Hi and welcome Flowerbox :)

You have found a good site. 

1 hour ago, flowerbox12 said:

I am trying to get good information on gluten sensitivity

There are some resources in the stickied thread below. Try to stick to the university sites, they tend to be more factual. :)  I'm no doctor but your symptoms, physical and mental sound like they could be caused by celiac or gluten sensitivity and coupled with your reaction to trialling the diet it's at least possible you may have found the cause. 

 

1 hour ago, flowerbox12 said:

How long do I have to eat gluten for it to show up in a blood test?

8-12 weeks is often cited for blood test. 2 weeks for the biopsy via endoscopy. The blood tests look for antibody levels and these vary from person to person. With you only having been off a short time they may still be detectable, or if you test now you may be risking a false negative. Discuss this with a doctor, better yet get a referral to a specialist gastroenterologist who understands celiac. The key point is to stay on gluten from now until testing is complete. I know this is unpleasant and probably the last thing you want to hear, but if you want a definitive answer and a diagnosis that could benefit you and your kids, then that's what you'd have to do. 

There is a forum faq stickied and this thread hopefully has some helpful info and links on both what symptoms gluten can cause and what the testing consists of:

Alternatively you can forgo testing and just go gluten free. If you do this however it may be more difficult to get a test result should you later look for a diagnosis. 

1 hour ago, flowerbox12 said:

Not eating gluten helped but it isn't all of it.

Maybe, maybe not. It can cause a whole heap of things, see the linked thread. At the same time, many who have one auto immune condition also have others. I'd say until you identify gluten and remove it from the equation it may be difficult to know what exactly it's causing and if anything else is to blame. Likewise in identifying other food sensitivities, they may be there, but it may be too early to pinpoint them, best to stick to working out if gluten is a problem first. 

 

1 hour ago, flowerbox12 said:

 I HATE this version of me.

I know. I think of myself on gluten as a different person. But try to be compassionate to yourself. You are stressed, you are worried and you may well have been suffering from something which messes with almost every aspect of your physical and mental being for many years. Be positive, you may be on the verge of an answer and a chance to heal. Just hang in there, get yourself a good doctor to work through this with you and make good use of this board and the support and info you can find here. 

Best of luck :)

 

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WELL you do not have to eat a lot of gluten for the testing, just a wheat cracker or half a slice of bread a day. I might suggest taking it at night before bed and sleeping off the worst of the hyde syndrome it triggers (What I call the gluten mood swings).  I will admit I have had a whole hell of a lot of mental trauma and family issues with gluten. And it has really 180ed since. I am so happy go lucky now even bad things I tend to laugh off with random sarcasm. I just do not care about things that happening knowing I can work them out some how, and no longer explode at people or start breaking stuff like I used to.  3 years of being gluten-free most of my intestines have healed, and the neurological damage is slowly healing.

Once you get the testing done and change over on the diet it gets much better and easier after a few months being completely gluten-free.

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Thank you for your responses! I am having an endoscopy done on the 28th so it will have been 13 days that I'm back on the gluten. I'm going to ask them to biopsy the small intestine while they are in there. The doctor says it doesn't matter how much gluten I eat I should have the same response, but that doesn't seem to be true. When I stop eating gluten and start again I have the biggest response. Then it's almost like I adjust a little and the negative symptoms come and go randomly. I ate bread last night for dinner and I feel good so far today. It seems too that sometimes eating a lot of it is worse for me? I've been keeping a diary so I'm trying to track it. Thanks so much for your help! God bless!

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Good move keeping a food journal. That can prove very useful. 

The doctor is referring to the auto immune response, the production of antibodies, which can take place with only a small amount of gluten. You however may notice a difference in symptoms depending on the quantity eaten and a lot of bread is difficult for anyone to digest in any case!

 It's also normal to react more strongly to gluten if reintroducing it after a period of absence. That's one reason to stay on it till testing is complete (blood and endoscopy) because having to reintroduce it in a 'challenge' can be unpleasant.

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