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johnm

Celiac Leading To Social Anxiety?

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So for years I was an undiagnosed celiac, essentially I'd have unpredictable diarrhea and eventually it got to the point where I'd have it very shortly after a meal. Needless to say this made me hesitant to go out much and fairly antisocial. I've been mostly gluten free for over a year now and aside from a few accidental glutenings I've done pretty good, but I notice I still sometimes get that sick feeling in certain social situations.

When I was a kid I used to get nervous and get diarrhea when I had to go get my shots for school. I notice now that if a friend comes to visit me from out of town I'll get nervous and maybe some diarrhea again. If I go out with friends and we go out to eat I'll get even more nervous, presumably out of old habit, and then eventually be looking for the nearest bathroom an hour later. I really don't think the reason for that is physical but is more of an anxiety issue.

At this point I'm not sure if this is something I should work on myself or just throw in the towel and go talk to a psychiatrist. I'm curious if any of you have experienced something like this and how you dealt with it.

Thanks!

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John, don't throw in the towel yet. I understand what you are going through, I live it too, not to the degree you are, but I do live it. I never get true diarrhea anymore unless glutened or another intolerance, but I do have the nervousness and probably always will. After first going gluten free I did great--it was a few years later when my other intolerance's started kicking in and I became nervous again. I know for the rest of my life, anything that upsets me will effect my tummy. I was having a lot of problems with my tummy in November and had to postpone my vacation to see family for a time in December until I got my tummy under control again. My doctor put me on Celexa for anxiety and it does help. I haven't had the severe stomach pains.

Any time I am in a situation where I feel out of control, then my tummy acts up. Going out in public can make you feel out of control. My sweetie thinks I should talk to phychiatrist about this control issue. He feels it's something I am blocking out of my life. Just the other day it hit me, my control issues are caused by my celiac disease. I was so sick for years and celiac disease had control of me, I no longer was in control. Now every little problem makes me feel out of control again and I freak. I have claustrophobia, which doesn't help. When the claustrophobia kicks in and I again feel out of control, all hell breaks loose within me. There is certain criteria that must be in place for me to enjoy some things. I must always know where the bathroom is--anywhere I go, I must know I can leave when I want (no airplanes for me), I can't be stuck in a crowd, I avoid heavy traffic areas--the list goes on and on.

So, just realize you aren't crazy, many of us are in your shoes. Maybe an anxiety med would help you too.


Deb

Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

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This is a very interesting topic to me. My son is 6 and was diagnosed 2 years ago with Celiac and now possibly with dairy intolerance. Prior to the Celiac diagnosis, we could not go anywhere without his stomach starting up. His issues were constipation but I can pretty much say he has sat on a toilet in every store or restaraunt in NJ. Since being gluten-free, we have begun to see some very serious signs of anxiety. Now remember he is 6 so the behavior would be different than adults (I would hope so anyway :P ). If we walk into a store he always starts behaving very oddly. He falls on the floor, yells out strange things, or becomes very fidgety. It is a nervous behavior. He always has to know where the bathrooms are. Also, when ever he is in a "scary" situation he has to suddenly poop. He is afraid of anyone in a mask or a costume. We went to Chuckie Cheese (a kids pizza place, of course I brought his own pizza) and they have a mouse mascot. So as soon as he saw this mouse he jumped up that he had to poop. Same thing when I took him to see A Christmas Carol. When one of the ghosts came out he yelled out "I have to poop!". And he really does, it isn't just the urge. The doctor also said he has IBS. I don't know. I had him see a therapist for a while and she agreed it is anxiety.

Nicole

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I must know I can leave when I want (no airplanes for me)

Hey thats also my public transit and driving in gridlock rule :lol:

The odd thing is there are some routines I'm comfortable with, like my long commute to work. Other times I make myself sick with worry waiting for a haircut.

I'm pretty calm about the whole thing, its just midly frustrating, and I think its holding back my career and social life. I'm undecided right now if this is something I should look for psychiatrist for or if I can handle it on my own just as well.

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I also get social anxiety when I'm glutened. I've seen a big improvement using St. John's Wort (make sure you verify that what you're using is gluten-free). I use this brand http://www.hbcprotocols.com/products-HV280.html . It's research grade so you get a consistent product.

I used to use this every day for depression/anxiety/etc. Now I use it just during very stressful times of year.

Also, are you absolutely sure you're 100% gluten-free? You mentioned going to restaurants, which may be a problem unless you know how to order properly. People with mood symptoms tend to be more hypersensitive to gluten from what I've seen here. I know for me, even if I don't get GI symptoms, sometimes I'll get mood symptoms from the smallest amount of cross contamination. You might want to try being extremely strict for a period of time to see if it helps.

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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Any time I am in a situation where I feel out of control, then my tummy acts up. Going out in public can make you feel out of control........... Just the other day it hit me, my control issues are caused by my celiac disease. I was so sick for years and celiac disease had control of me, I no longer was in control. Now every little problem makes me feel out of control again and I freak. I have claustrophobia, which doesn't help. When the claustrophobia kicks in and I again feel out of control, all hell breaks loose within me. There is certain criteria that must be in place for me to enjoy some things. I must always know where the bathroom is--anywhere I go, I must know I can leave when I want (no airplanes for me), I can't be stuck in a crowd, I avoid heavy traffic areas--the list goes on and on.

So, just realize you aren't crazy, many of us are in your shoes. Maybe an anxiety med would help you too.

Wow--Deb, I could have written this about myself! I'm the same way about places that I can't leave on my own. If I can't go in my own car, I don't go. I also always locate the bathroom--first thing--where ever I am.

Since I quit my job 2 years ago when I was at my sickest, I'm really content to stay at home and only venture out to familiar places.

I agree that it is a fear of being out of control. I even feel it welling up sometimes in a common place I go to all the time--say the supermarket. I can usually talk myself down, though, in situations like that.

johnm--I've also made myslf sick waiting to have my hair done--of all things! I keep "emergency Immodium" in my wallet at all times for such an occasion! ;) It's saved my life several times--even if for just the security factor.

I did try an antidepressant, but had to stop due to the side effects. I've resisted trying an alternative, thinking I can work through this. I'm coming along--I'm not against antidepressants, though. If they help, it's a good thing. :)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Oh, I can soooo relate to all of this. I got major diarrhea once at a special dinner from my husband's work, plus once I didn't make it to a bathroom after eating out for our anniversary and ever since then, I get this anxious feeling about eating in restaurants. Now that I am gluten/casein free, we never eat in restaurants. If anything, we'll pick up some "safe" food and eat it at home.

I still get pretty anxious and panicky about certain situations. I often have to talk my way through the grocery store because I had a bad experience there once too. And, yup, I get anxious about getting a haircut.

Part of my problem is because even though I have improved a lot on the diet, I still get flare ups with diarrhea. I think I have Crohn's or something like it.

Just typing about all this gives me that "oh no!" feeling. Our brains and our guts are definitely connected!

Hope you can overcome this problem, John. Just realizing there are more of us who go through this might give you some reassurance. It is a good idea to have some immodium with you. Sometimes just having it in your pocket takes away the "what if..." anxiety.

Take care,

Marlene

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If you've had a panic attack you know how debilitating they can be. For years I've had them and hardly get them anymore since I've been gluten free. I still have strong memories though of where I would get them and the memory itself will trigger one on. I used to have layered hair cuts with highlights which took so long in a salon chair that I decided it wasn't worth the anxiety it took to keep myself calmed down. I have chemical sensitivities so I think just smelling all the chemicals and hearing the sounds of hair blowers over loud people just got to me. I now color my own hair and just get trims since its just one length.

Also about 5 min. into the grocery store I have to go the the bathroom. Not all the time but when its a big store and I have a list with over 20 things on it. It just kicks in the peristalsis movements. I'm anxious in a store but I know I can leave anytime so I don't get to bad.

Alot of this has to do because I didn't understand hypoglycemia. If I'm going into a stressful situation I'll make sure I eat more protein and keep carbs to complex so that my blood sugars stay stable. The worse thing to do would be to have a sugary thing or caffeine. Nuts are good to have handy to munch on.

In a restaurant I'll ask to be seated in a booth along the wall or by a door many times. Maybe looking out the window. Its just makes the experience more enjoyable. Also I've found other foods besides gluten that make me anxious. One of them is potatoes. I'll even have anxious dreams if I have them for supper. I don't know why just an intolerance. Carrots and sweet potatoes also. Maybe you can be aware of what your eating or have a food diary and see if you can make connections.

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Hmmm...Very interesting thread...

I don't have celiac disease (hubby & son have it) but I was dx with IBS (yes!!the catch all phrase) as a small child as my parents literally couldn't take me anywhere without me either throwing up or getting urgent diarrhoea.

My Mum called me 'the toilet inspector' lol! as I also had to know where every toilet was! :lol:

I think I'd call it 'nervous stomach' :unsure:

Shopping trips or travelling was a nightmare!!..and the fact that I was so afraid of it happening made it even worse!! :(

It's got better into adulthood, but I NEVER eat at a party (for fear of the griping pains/cold sweats) and if we eat out (which isn't often! :rolleyes: ) It's alway's something very bland.

Incidentally I am now gluten-free and dairy free but it still happens sometimes (but not as often) :( and I can only think that stress brings it on for me...maybe.... :blink:

Anyhoo...my sympathies...'cos it AIN'T FUN <_<


It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required - Sir Winston Churchill

Nikki

Son diagnosed with Coeliac Disease Oct 2006 by biopsy (at age 13yrs)

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