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AaronYoq

Brain Fog

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Here's a quick overview of my story, if you'd humor me by reading it I will be appreciative. About a year and a half ago I began having symptoms of celiac disease. I have read that a stressful or major event can trigger the disease. Well, for about 6 months before I had the disease I had a strange heart problem. My heart skipped a lot of beats. The doctor put me on Beta Blockers, and this was very very stressful, as I am only 22 and hated the thought of taking major heart medicine for the rest of my life. After about 2 months of being on heart medicine I stopped taking it and my heart beat irregularity went away.Then the celiac symptoms started but they were very mild at first. Slowly but surely my symptoms of celiac got worse. I went to my doctor after I started having strange nerve problems that made me twitch and my joints ache very badly. He was not helpful. I read on the internet and diagnosed myself and started eating gluten free and within two weeks almost all of my symptoms went away, including constipation, joint pain, sporadic arm and leg movements, tingling, etc. However, I would call my gluten free eating as convenient gluten free eating. I eat out quite a bit and I just order things that wouldn't normally have gluten, and when I do prepare meals I make sure they don't have gluten.

However, I still have this brain fog that comes and goes, presumably after I've been unknowingly glutened. This fog is life-altering. I used to be a really smart guy. I graduated valedictorian and my undergraduate GPA my first two years was right at 3.7. The last two years since I believe I've had noticeable symptoms of celiac, I make B's and C's. This was especially bad the last two semesters before I went gluten free. I would sit in class and not be able to concentrate on word the professor says. When I'm at home, do you know what I feel like doing now? Watching tv. Watching a movie. Whatever requires the least amount of thinking. When I have a problem to work on I can only work on it 10 or 15 minutes until my head starts to "go numb" and I have an almost uncontrollable desire to do something else.

Part of the reason for my not going perfectly gluten free is that it's expensive. I'm a poor college student, and food at Whole Foods or decent gluten free food is 3 to 4 times more costly than regular food. I used to eat at Taco Bell twice a day sometimes and spend 4 dollars total. Well, I've taken out $2000 extra on student loans this semester because I'm going to go fully gluten free and prepare all of my meals. My question is this: Do you think this brain fog will go away after I switch? or at least get >50% better? I hope so because it's really making things hard right now.

Thanks everybody,

Aaron

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Rice, beans, meat, potatoes, fruits and veggies are inexpensive. Not convenient, but inexpensive.

I still am foggy after 3 months of strict gluten-free so I can't answer the fog question.

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Sounds like you've been gluten-lite rather than gluten free and that may be the problem.

Be sure you check all your personal care products for gluten, it is commonly present and not always listed clearly (you may have to call the company but you can ask here and someone may know.)

If you are cooking for yourself do you share a kitchen with others who are not gluten-free? That is another problem.

I think you can actually save money by cooking for yourself but there is a learning curve with it. Yes some special gluten-free foods are expensive but you can really cut down on that and still have plenty to eat. Crock pot could be your best friend.

Keep reading this forum. There are other students here who have learned to manage this. Hopefully you will too.

Kudos for your self diagnosis!!!!! I am sorry about the drop in your grades and since I get brain fog too I know how bad that can be.

Others here suggest that celiac causes malabsorption so there can be deficiencies of many different things which can cause the fog.


4/2007 Positive IGA, TTG Enterolab results, with severe malabsorption: Two DQ2 celiac genes--highest possible risk.

gluten-free since 4/22/07; SF since 7/07; 3/08 & 7/08 high sugar levels in stool (i.e. cannot break down carbs) digestive enzymes for carbs didn't help; 7/18/08 started SCD as prescribed by my physician (MD).

10/2000 dx LYME disease; 2008 clinical dx CELIAC; Other: hypothyroid, allergies, dupuytrens, high mercury levels

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Guest j_mommy

I used to get teh "fog". Now that I have went gluten-free, it's gone. THat is one of the ways I can tell if I get CC'd is teh "fog".

gluten-free doesn't have to be more expensive. I'm a single mom and on a tight budget. I don't spend any more money than I used to. I do all my own baking and cook alot of naturally gluten-free foods. I couldn't cook at all before! :D Now I do!!! Fi you replace everything you had the had gluten with the premade gluten-free version it is going to be expensive!

Fruits,veggies, meat....for the college life: Cheetos, trix cereal(read label..ingredients change). There are alot of great simple recipes on this site...under the recipe section.

Good luck and I hope your "fog" gets better.

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HI! I'm new here. my event took me to the edge! I have a lawn service, which all happend last year.It started out like panic attacks which I never had before. and got worse, Threw the fall it got even worse, I lost my inner blance,and got ringging in my ears. my hands would shake.then the brain fog came,which is a scary thing! after 15 doctors The Lord aswered my prays, DR. furgeson.they DX me with Gluten ataxia,I have been gluten free and dairy free for 4 months it was very hard at first, learning which foods to eat! but it beat's having the Brain fog! I eat a lot of rice thia food,veggies,corn prouducts,fruits so on! I have lost over 54# in the last 4 months. take care of what eat when going out!!! GOD BLESS!!!

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Brain fog SUCKS! I'm having a major bout of it right now!!! I'm on a very tight budget as well. I'm trying not to buy as much the processed food. I try to cook enough for two or three days at a time but I still buy some of the processed stuff. I'm right there with you I'm still trying to figure it out. My advice to you is to go COMPLETELY gluten-free. I'm still in the process of replacing some of the things that need to be replaced but I know until I do that CC is more likely so I'm trying to do it as quick as possible.

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I found my brain fog goes along with a general feeling of fatigue and seems to be related to being dehydrated or short on some vitamin or mineral. If I'm feeling dry mouth and throat along with the brain fog O start drinking a lot of Gatorade or water with a thermo tab and that seems to help. If I'm not feeling dehydrated then I've had good success with taking a multivitamin with minerals, just watch it and don't get glutend by the vitamin.

Since I was newly diagnosed and just started on the diet I figure this has a lot to do with malabsorption of things due to the damage in my intestines.

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I fully understand your situation because I am in the exact same boat. The same symptoms, similar grades, same brain fog, same tight budget/high student loans. Right now I am cooking for myself for $30 a week, and I am eating well and I feel much better and my concentration improved ten fold. I went off gluten about 2 weeks before finals and all my symptoms got much better within 2 weeks and are fully gone 3 months later.

Here is my shopping list:

bananas (potassium deficiency is common with celiacs)

lettuce

tomatoes

notta pasta (cheap rice pasta that tastes as good as any pasta I have ever had)

brown rice

pinto beans (fry them up with salsa to make a bean dip for nachos-- great lunch)

corn tortilla chips

salsa

string cheese

cheddar cheese

baby carrots

peanut butter

london broil (cheap cut of beef)

chicken

potatoes

ice cream

coffee

milk

My secret is to not by the gluten-free specialty food-- they are expensive! Instead, I go with what is naturally gluten-free and feel so much better!


Symptoms on and off my whole life

Major symptoms starting 2005

Zero blood antibodies

Gluten free with positive dietary response since April 2007

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Oh my GOODNESS!

Did you doctor check your thyroid!?!??!

Please tell me he did, so we can rule that out.

*heart palpitations are a symtoms of HYPERthyroidism.

*brain fog (and also depression and some other things you can look up) is a symptom of HYPOthyroidism.

Celiac disease is linked to autoimmune thyroid disease. (I am not sure the exact rate, but it's notable and there is a link)- if you look in these forums, many people have both!

I HAVE autoimmune thyroid disease. It is called Hashimoto's and it is where your body attacks the thyroid gland, causing it not to work properly. With Hashimoto's, you can go through periods where you are hyperthyroid AND hypothyroid. Mine eventually seemed to settle into Hypo. I self-diagnosed last October and went to my oncologist (I had cancer before too- lymphoma).. and made him test me. That's how I found out I was right.

I started thyroid meds and the brain fog went away sometimes but I was still fatigued and having it other times.

Then, I found the connection between auto-immune disease and celiac and so around 5/13, I decided to go gluten-free. I have made some mistakes BUT MY BRAIN FOG is now gone as a result of what I suppose to be gluten-free and taking thyroid meds.

If you know you do not have thyroid probs, then you just need to be better about eating gluten-free.

Eating gluten-free is not that much more expensive and you do not need to be taking out extra student loans to buy food. You simply need to be more disciplined in your eating habits. (I say this in the nicest way since I fight with myself every day to try to keep my food costs down and not be lazy and go get easy to eat/make gluten-free specialty foods) There are plenty of cheap foods you can buy at your local wal-mart that are gluten-free (many band names have lists of foods that are gluten-free and they are cheap! Kraft, etc).

The cheapest diet you can go on is Brown RICE AND BEANS (for your carbs- you want cheap? make them from scratch and make big batches. beans and rice come for $1.50 a bag)

Fruit and Veggies. You can get the veggies frozen so they don't spoil. Buy fruit a little at a time to ensure you eat it.

If you eat dairy, yogurt and cheese can be bought fairly cheaply if you buy it on sale and get blocks instead of shredded cheese.

As for meat, that gets to be the most expensive part. Either buy it when it is on sale and freeze it, or buy frozen singles of meat (I get chicken breast raw or fully cooked and microwave it- it ends up costing me a dollar a piece usually but its worth it to me- you can of course get burgers or steak or fish fillets- frozen fish can be super cheap!) Canned tuna is a good thing to eat. I eat it with lemon juice, olive oil, a lil mustard and spinach as a salad. it's great. Spinach is $2.00 for a big bag. Olive oil is expensive but I only use less than a tablespoon for a salad! That salad is one of the healthiest things you could eat (of course there are questions about mercury in tuna.. so use chopped chicken or steak instead!)

I often eat chicken or beef with classico mushroom spaghetti sauce. I put kraft parmesan cheese (the kind in green bottle) and eat that when I'm hungry.. They do sell rice pasta that isnt too too pricey....

I actually cook spaghetti squash and eat that in place of my pasta. IT IS SO GOOD!! seriously. I love it. One spaghetti squash is two or three meals of "spaghetti".

potatoes are cheap, too, and can be used in alot of ways.

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"The last two years since I believe I've had noticeable symptoms of celiac, I make B's and C's. This was especially bad the last two semesters before I went gluten free. I would sit in class and not be able to concentrate on word the professor says. When I'm at home, do you know what I feel like doing now? Watching tv. Watching a movie. Whatever requires the least amount of thinking. When I have a problem to work on I can only work on it 10 or 15 minutes until my head starts to "go numb" and I have an almost uncontrollable desire to do something else."

Oh yes, that's been me for the past 5 years. My thryoid got REAL bad when I was in L.A. last year. I was in a girl group singing and under a lot of pressure and stress because of it. I used to be extremely smart in school, too, but everything slowly started to slide.. (I actually had a mildly low thyroid for a few years before it got bad,, but no doctor told me that, they just called it "fine")

Anyway, it got worse and I would have to try to concentrate SO hard just to understand anything. Also, I was very apathetic about everything. I noticed when I've eaten gluten recently that that "apathetic" attitude comes right back and I'm taking naps and avoiding my responsibilities!

Even before I started gluten-free, the thyroid meds helped me to focus better and actually have some ambition/drive to get my stuff done. The only difference gluten-free is that I am learning everything a lot quicker than I did last quarter!

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I would like to thank everybody for their reponses. I've switched to a completely gluten free diet, and I'm not going to go out to eat any. I found out one dish I was eating regularly was prepared with soy sauce and that another dish had gluten containing worchester sauce. Too risky. I thank the person who mentioned the possibility of a thyroid connection. I also share your "responsibility avoidance napping". It's not good as I'm president of two organizations, one of which normally requires at least 20 hours a week of work. I did go in about two years ago and get a full load of bloodwork done to see if anything was up, and everything came back okay, but I'm going to go in a few weeks to have blood tests and also a regular allergy to test to see if there's anything else that could contribute to my feeling bad. Even if everything comes up fine again, that'll at least be nice to know. After hearing your food suggestions I reduced my student loan request. I also start a new vitamin regimen today.

Thanks again,

Aaron

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