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JennyRob

insomnia after going gluten free

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I've tried going gluten-free several times over the last 10 years, and every time I get just a few days into it, I can't sleep for love or money.  After a few days I'm so zonked that I eat some toast, and sleep deeply and lusciously. 

I've had sleep issues in the past, so I know all the sleep hygiene rules, have a closet full of sleep aids, can track my sleep with a first-generation Zeo, tried sleep restriction, and am hyper-sensitive to caffeine, so I avoid it (in all forms) like the plague. My sleep is very, very sensitive to chemicals; a whiff of MSG keeps me awake, face creams that "rejuvenate" cells keep me awake (even when used in tiny amounts in the morning), etc. It's crazy. But, I manage with melatonin and tryptophan (better than 5-HTP for me), and Zolpidem when I travel.

I had blood tests done, and am very reactive to gliadin (and eggs, cow milk, peanuts, almonds, among other things).  I've also got a "leaky gut" that needs to heal, so I want to get serious about eating gluten-free.  But, I'm really worried about the no sleep thing. Has anybody had any positive experiences with overcoming this gluten-free insomnia?  I suspect that there is an amino acid or some other tiny trace compound in gluten-containing products that enables sleep for me.  

Thanks,

Jenny

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Have you been tested for Celiac?  Best to do that before going gluten free.  If you don't have Celiac and you aren't allergic to gluten, then there is probably no need to mess up your life by going gluten free.  

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I am moderately reactive to gluten, but fairly reactive to gliadin. Apparently gliadin is a component of gluten, so that's why I'm looking at going gluten-free again.

I don't find being gluten-free that restrictive at home, especially if I don't worry about contamination or very small amounts.  

Years ago I had a weird delayed facial rash reaction to any seeds or nuts with a husk or shell. That meant no whole grain, no oils except olive or coconut or palm, no fruits with seeds (even berries, except raspberries), no tomatoes, no zucchini or eggplant with visible seeds, and so on. And even teensy amounts would set it off, so I did have to worry about trace and mislabeling (most olive oil is not just olive oil). I would get big strawberries and peel them!  Now *that* way of eating was difficult. It took me 6 years to narrow down what was going on.  Gluten-free is easy compared to that. 

Jenny

PS- Any tips for getting teens to eat vegetables are welcome!

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25 minutes ago, JennyRob said:

I am moderately reactive to gluten, but fairly reactive to gliadin. Apparently gliadin is a component of gluten, so that's why I'm looking at going gluten-free again.

I don't find being gluten-free that restrictive at home, especially if I don't worry about contamination or very small amounts.  

Years ago I had a weird delayed facial rash reaction to any seeds or nuts with a husk or shell. That meant no whole grain, no oils except olive or coconut or palm, no fruits with seeds (even berries, except raspberries), no tomatoes, no zucchini or eggplant with visible seeds, and so on. And even teensy amounts would set it off, so I did have to worry about trace and mislabeling (most olive oil is not just olive oil). I would get big strawberries and peel them!  Now *that* way of eating was difficult. It took me 6 years to narrow down what was going on.  Gluten-free is easy compared to that. 

Jenny

PS- Any tips for getting teens to eat vegetables are welcome!

I guess I don't understand.  You either have Celiac or you don't.  You either have an actual allergy - you would definitely have reactions and maybe an Epi pen- or you don't.  

Food sensitivity testing isn't very accurate.  So, if gluten isn't really bothering you....and you have issues when gluten-free, then don't need be gluten free..

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Welcome Jenny!  

KarenG is a long-time member.  She has seen it all and has attended several celiac conferences, so she knows her stuff.  What we know is that based on celiac researchers and clinicians recommendations, testing for celiac disease first before trying the gluten free diet is best.  The celiac tests do require a person to be on a gluten diet.  Why is testing important?  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease like lupus, Crohn's,  or MS, except the known trigger for a flare-up is gluten.  Who knows want sets off a flare-up for those other 100 autoimmune diseases?  Lots of theories, but no proof.  Celiac disease is systemic that can affect joints, your brain....everything.  It is also FOR SURE a genetic disease.  So, once once person in your family is diagnosed, all first-degree relatives should be tested.  

Not everyone has access to good medical care.  Identifying some food intolerances might be helpful but not finding the root cause of those intolerances can prevent healing.  

I have several food intolerances, allergies and celiac disease.  Not to mention diabetes (type 2).  The hardest to maintain is a gluten free diet.  One tiny exposure can set off a flare-up that last for months.  Long after gluten has been exited my body. 

Read more at a reputable site:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/

Edited by cyclinglady
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I do suggest the testing, also but on the lines of natural sleep aids have your tried taking a few tsp of pumpkin seed protein before bed?

"Pumpkin seeds and the powder from pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make the feel-good and relaxation neurotransmitter serotonin.  Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which can help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin levels are typically low in people who cannot stay asleep and wake throughout the night.
It is best to the powder with applesauce or another healthy carbohydrate; the carbohydrate allows the tryptophan to get into the brain in higher amounts.
By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc and Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc Directors of Inner Source Health"

I find it helps me sleep quite deeply and I wake up feeling more rested, it also helps me with building muscles and recovery. Note I also take 2 scoops of vegan protein powder but that is due to me trying to build up weight.

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4 hours ago, Ennis_TX said:

I do suggest the testing, also but on the lines of natural sleep aids have your tried taking a few tsp of pumpkin seed protein before bed?

"Pumpkin seeds and the powder from pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make the feel-good and relaxation neurotransmitter serotonin.  Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which can help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin levels are typically low in people who cannot stay asleep and wake throughout the night.
It is best to the powder with applesauce or another healthy carbohydrate; the carbohydrate allows the tryptophan to get into the brain in higher amounts.
By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc and Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc Directors of Inner Source Health"

I find it helps me sleep quite deeply and I wake up feeling more rested, it also helps me with building muscles and recovery. Note I also take 2 scoops of vegan protein powder but that is due to me trying to build up weight.

Building off of what Ennis_TX mentioned about serotonin, you can try a good multi strain probiotic. There are some strains noted for the ability to produce serotonin and dopamine. I use the Garden of Life brand for my son. My son experienced insomnia from eating gluten so it was quite the opposite situation that you deal with. B vitamins have helped him tremendously with his neuro symptoms. I'm not sure to what effect if any it has had on his sleep pattern.  

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Several people here have suggested to increase tryptophan and serotonin to beat insomnia. Even "experts" were quoted:
 
"Pumpkin seeds and the powder from pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make the feel-good and relaxation neurotransmitter serotonin.  Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which can help the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin levels are typically low in people who cannot stay asleep and wake throughout the night. It is best to the powder with applesauce or another healthy carbohydrate; the carbohydrate allows the tryptophan to get into the brain in higher amounts.
By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc and Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc Directors of Inner Source Health"
 
All of it is either misleading or false.
 
The scientific evidence shows that almost no tryptophan from food is converted into serotonin or melatonin and that even taking tryptophan as a supplement, getting much higher doses than from foods, doesn't really work consistently well for insomnia or sleep problems; combined with the fact that a sizable volume of sound research studies demonstrated that increasing serotonin and tryptophan either with drugs or supplements is linked to brain dysfunction, stress hormone release, cognitive deficits, inflammation, impaired blood circulation in the brain, and other adverse effects (see Tryptophan Side Effects & The "Happiness Hormone" Serotonin), it seems rather questionable whether this amino acid is the real predominant reason for having a huge positive impact on sleep induction or quality.
 
 
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses!  I learned quite a bit.

1) Even though my IgG/IgA study indicates that I am moderately reactive to gliaden, I may not have to eat gluten-free to heal my gut. That is a big relief, because my sleep disturbance when gluten-free is quite dramatic.  I will do blood and still testing again later in the year to see if avoiding milk, eggs, peanuts, and almonds has been helpful; it's too costly to do frequently.

2) I will rethink my L-trypophan supplement. (I didn't make it all the way through the article; it was quite long and went into a discussion of SSRI-pushing by big pharma.  I have been made suicidal from a high SSRI dose, so I know it's dangerous, but I would also be dead without it. So, while I don't deny that big pharma DOES push SSRI medication, I am someone who has been helped immensely by it. The authors didn't allow for the fact that people are helped, which made me question the rest of the article. But, I agree that I should be more careful. So, thank you.)

What a knowledgable community you are!

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JennyRob said:

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses!  I learned quite a bit.

1) Even though my IgG/IgA study indicates that I am moderately reactive to gliaden, I may not have to eat gluten-free to heal my gut. That is a big relief, because my sleep disturbance when gluten-free is quite dramatic.  I will do blood and still testing again later in the year to see if avoiding milk, eggs, peanuts, and almonds has been helpful; it's too costly to do frequently.

2) I will rethink my L-trypophan supplement. (I didn't make it all the way through the article; it was quite long and went into a discussion of SSRI-pushing by big pharma.  I have been made suicidal from a high SSRI dose, so I know it's dangerous, but I would also be dead without it. So, while I don't deny that big pharma DOES push SSRI medication, I am someone who has been helped immensely by it. The authors didn't allow for the fact that people are helped, which made me question the rest of the article. But, I agree that I should be more careful. So, thank you.)

What a knowledgable community you are!

 

 

 

I still am confused about your blood tests?  I thought you had those dubious food intolerance tests?  That was what I was responding to.  Obviously, I would not tell someone who actually had positive Celiac blood work that they don't have to be gluten-free.

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JennyRob,

Sleep problems are cured or greatly alleviated with Magnesium.

here is the national institute of health page about the benefits of Magnesium.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

but if you really want to learn something about magnesium check out george ebbys research on Magnesium. Or dr. carolyn deans book "the magnesium miracle" but taking Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate will be all you will need to to do to prove it works.

Any kind of sleep problems (or has been my experience) will be helped by taking 200mg with each meal and 200mg at bedtime.

Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate works best.

I had chronic fatigue and quickly went from sleeping 10 or 12 hours a day to only needing 6 hours of rest to function normally.

If you begin dreaming after taking the Magnesium it is working. And your charlie horses' (if you have them go away).

you will find your energy levels will greatly improves after starting Magnesium Citrate of Magnesium Glycinate.

***** this is not medical advice only my personal experience with Magnesium and much research on the topic.

Mostly from George Ebby and he knows more about Magnesium than any body I've read on the topic.

I hope this is helpful.

posterboy by the grace of God,

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Funny I always considered B-Vitamins a energy thing, but I know they also help with relaxing. I did find a supplement from the company I buy my B vitamin mixes from for sleep, Unsure if it would help or not but might worth looking into the way the product is designed to work for at least informative purposes. http://www.liquidhealthinc.com/sleep-well-supplement

 

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Those are excellent articles!  Thank you!  That's just the sort of information I had been looking for and was unable to find.

I've noticed the same thing with B-vitamins; they are quite energizing and (of course) make it hard to sleep, so I've been very wary of them.  

I'm also wary of magnesium! When I was giving birth I was put on large doses of magnesium (via an IV) for pre-eclampsia.  After my son was born, they kept me on the labor & delivery "bed" (it's a table made to look like a bed) afterwards for a horrible, horrible 30 hours because (apparently) my body doesn't process magnesium well and my blood work was crazy.  And I felt like s$#&.  Then it took 7 days for my milk to come in. The magnesium in high doses was a bad thing. But, I don't know about regular doses...

Jenny

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So glad the articles were helpful!  

You may have been given magnesium sulfate in your IV after delivery.  Many Celiacs develop sulfite/sulfate sensitivity.  I am highly allergic to sulfites/sulfates.  I must be extra careful with supplements because the label may say "magnesium" or "manganese", but they are chemically bound to sulfur molecules, and cause an awful reaction.  

Ennis and Poster boy are correct to advise taking magnesium citrate.  

Here's an article about magnesium types.  

https://drnibber.com/understanding-different-types-of-magnesium/

Here's an article about sulfite sensitivity.  The connected articles about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome may be helpful to you, too. 

http://www.thepatientceliac.com/2013/02/21/happy-sulfite-intolerance/

Hope this helps!

 

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JennyRob,

I believe Knitty Kitty is right about the form used for pregnant ladies is the Sulfate form.

Knitty Kitty is a good researcher she has provided you some good links.

here is the webmd article on the Magnesium sulfate form used in IVs.

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-149570/magnesium-sulfate-intravenous/details/list-conditions

Notice the higher dose amounts used.  Most medical uses of Magnesium is 10x to 20x higher than you might take in divided doses as supplement for energy and fatigue especially if you are using it to cause flushing of the bowels.

see also this thread that I just commented on about how best to take magnesium citrate for best results without the negative effects you see when used in IVs at higher doses.

You have the right idea.  In smaller regular doses (ie. with each meal) Magnesium as Citrate or Glycinate works wonders on sleep problems.

this thread about Magnesium Citrate that will provide more detailed information.  And why magnesium is often used to accomplish bowel flushing in/at higher (medical) doses/levels especially when used in an IV that eliminates the reduced amount available by digestion. 

Most citrates are in the 30% range bioaviable I believe and 100% is available by IV and probably most responsible for your poor experience with Magnesium unless as knitty kitty noted you have sulfite allergy that made the use of the Magnesium sulfate from effects on the body a horrible experience all the way round.

even when I am buying Magnesium I find it fascinating there are so many forms to buy.

knitty kitty thanks for the link.  I will be studying up on the many form(s) for my own information.

I hope this is helpful.

But I think if you divide your Magnesium Citrate doses in too 2 to 3/daily that is 50% of the problem.

Never take it all at once but in divided doses and your experience should be good all the way around.

note how much better victoria1234 felt with even a small dose of Magnesium as a Citrate.

I hope your experience is similar.

posterboy,

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