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Full body sensations, anxiety and fluttering heart.

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I have not been diagnosed as of now but am requesting to be tested soon. 

With that, I’ve had a long 2 years of trying to understand what seems like a very abrupt and harsh change within my body. 

I’m 29, I never had anxiety, all my life - one day - out of no where I had a full blown “anxiety attack” (this is what my doctor called it) that lasted for 6 hours.. heart palpitating, numb fingers, light headed, overall my whole body felt a wave of warmth and cold over and over... the sensations were something I’ve never felt before. This issue continued on and off - from moderate “attacks” to smaller more frequent ones.

After a year of being told I just have an anxiety problem I started to realize these attacks happened worse and more frequently after I had a big meal or ate odd foods. In due time I was able to determine it may be gluten and dairy causing some kind of terrible reaction in my body that very much mimicked an anxiety attack (in turn causing actual anxiety).

First I ask - does this seem normal? I have since cut out gluten and dairy as completely as I am aware and I must say this issue has almost completely diminished. So it seems to be the culprit. When I do accidentally eat gluten, I can tell almost immediately, I feel an anxious twitch, my heart starts to race.... it’s terrible. 

The odd thing though, I still have these.... weird sensations all over my body, almost like.. my nervous system has been effected by this issue. Shooting pains, weird tingles in my hands and feet, odd numbness, warm sensations and cold ones - that seemingly come from no where.... 

This is, needless to say, nerve wrecking. I feel my doctor may further attribute this to anxiety - I am nervous there is something seriously wrong with me or maybe this is some kind of natural reaction to gluten that people have when they are sensitive to it. Could this simply be residual from gluten that may still be in my system? Is this even remotely normal? 


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I think you need to seriously do some research about celiac disease.  First, it is an autoimmune disorder, like Lupus, except the trigger is known — gluten.  When a celiac ingests gluten it triggers an autoimmune reaction that can last for days, weeks or months.  The reaction damages the small intestine.  Some people have comparable symptoms, but do not have intestinal damage.  This is call Non-celiac Disease Gluten Sensitivity.  

You can rule out (or in) celiac disease by getting the antibodies tests.  The problem is you would need to be on a full gluten diet (8 to 12 weeks daily) before getting the test.  I am not sure how long you have been gluten free.  

Anxiety is common with celiac disease and many other conditions.  It is up to you how much you need a diagnosis or you can continue with your gluten free diet.  


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Hi Lacylou,

If you haven't been gluten-free for very long, you should get the blood tests done ASAP.  The antibodies in the bloodstream decline when we go gluten-free and the tests become inaccurate or even useless eventually.

Anxiety is symptom some people get from celiac damage.  It may be related to deficiencies in vitamins or even gluten ataxia symptoms.  Some of  the B vitamins are used by nerve cells and they can't function at their best when the vitamin isn't available.  Celiac disease can cause poor absorption of vitamins and minerals due to gut damage.

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