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Adult Adhd And Celiac

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I've been gluten-free since the end of May, but I'm still really struggling with some of the neurological symptoms of Celiac Disease. Among others, concentration, focus, memory, and aphasia. My therapist ran through the DSM manual for ADHD and I meet all the criteria. Several family members have been dx'd as adults or children.

She brought up the possibility of medication; that maybe the meds for ADHD might help me with the brain fog and neuro symptoms until I heal more. Or maybe in general, because maybe this is separate from the celiac disease.

So... my question is - has anybody had an adult ADHD dx with Celiac? I found some literature on medline that suggested the gluten-free diet could help ADHD, but what about vice versa? Can adhd meds help Celiac?

I'm scared of more meds, but I'm also so tired of being confused and out-of-focus.

Thanks

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Grey, are you grain free & dairy free? soy free?

I have a cousin that was diagnosed ADHD as an adult & he started taking meds & he says he is like a new person. not sure what he takes.

I will say that he resembles me a lot so I know we must share some of the same genes, but he is not gluten-free. His wife has celiac & has had it for 30 odd years, so he mostly eats gluten-free at home... but his wife is the old style with compliance = she cheats & does not worry about cross contamination.

I tolerate some rice & corn (cornbread is a God send !!) but other than that I am grain free except for the occasional treat. It is my opinion that not only are grains bad for you but that they are all cross contaminated with wheat anyway... Dairy affects the brain a LOT, I would give that up first if you have not already...

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I would rule out other possible causes before trying meds for ADHD. Have a Dr. run a blood test for things B12 and other deficiencies, pernicious anemia, etc. There are some other issues related to Celiac that can cause ADHD like symptoms. I have a son who has ADHD(and not active Celiac) and when he was being tested two years ago, before I was gluten-free I thought "is this how he feels"? because I was having a very hard time with concentration and memory. I have felt like I'm getting a glimps into his world many times the past few years, even after gluten-free. Read the attatched thread and see if that decsribes you. I take a powdered multivitamin twice a day and notice a big difference if I am inconsistant or skip one of the doses in a day. I have just started taking a sublingual B12 supplement twice a day and it seems to help. I know I don't have ADHD because of my past history. If my son's is genetic then it is clear that he got it from Dad. Incidently, My son is not medicated because of a potential health risk for him personally. I've been starting to check into alternative measures such as supplements and am coming across alot of references to B and other vitamin and minerals. I'm not anti-meds, they help some but for others there are risks and I think other potential health issues should always be ruled out and treated.

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...mp;#entry331716

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Grey, it is good to meet you on this forum. I hope we can exchange experiences and learn from this, because it seems most doctors don't study ADHD or celiac much.

Bottom line, I'd tell you people with ADHD spend forever trying to find the right drug and then the right dose. They go through all kinds of side effects trying to decide if it's really better. As sick as you are, I wouldn't take that on and confuse the issue right now.

My story... long, sorry....A little over a year ago, I went to the doctor because I was tired of the ADD-type symptoms I felt like I always had (losing/forgetting things, exhausted trying to concentrate, forgetting names right after I meet people-- all the way back to when my parents got called in to talk to my Kindergarten teacher). I convinced my doc to send me to a psychiatrist, got diagnosed with inattentive ADD and started on Strattera. Strattera helped. It helped me be more on top of things, concentrate longer and get more done.

I still had other nagging issues though. Stomach problems come and go, I am skinny in strange ways (gaunt face, tiny arms, poor muscle tone even when working out), hypoglycemia, migraines, Raynaud's, muscle twitches. When I get weak or stressed, a whole pile of symptoms comes along, but the doctors always tell me it's stress or in my head.

Recently I was researching for a single thing that could explain all these strange symptoms, and learned about celiac. I tried a gluten-free diet just to see, and in three days I was feeling better than I ever remember feeling. Hypoglycemia, brain fog, gas, all gone. It's been over a month now. I started taking B-12 and B complex vitamins and that made me feel even another bunch better.

But now I'm in a pickle...I had to take the max dose of Strattera for it to work (now realize duh, bad intestines). That now makes me totally loopy. I've cut my dose almost in half and I'm not even sure I can handle that much. I don't even know if I need it at all... But I'm stuck between my primary care doc and psychiatrist who have no idea what I'm talking about with celiac at all.

Sorry, this was long. I can tell that you're sicker than I ever was--I never got admitted to the hospital! But my experience says you could have ADHD, or maybe you have been malnourished for a long time without knowing it. I don't know about you, but I'm sure I ate wheat at least couple of times a day for almost 30 years. I hope you can stabilize and get your nutrients in order before you have to make a decision about ADHD...please keep posting!

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I've been gluten-free since the end of May, but I'm still really struggling with some of the neurological symptoms of Celiac Disease. Among others, concentration, focus, memory, and aphasia. My therapist ran through the DSM manual for ADHD and I meet all the criteria. Several family members have been dx'd as adults or children.

She brought up the possibility of medication; that maybe the meds for ADHD might help me with the brain fog and neuro symptoms until I heal more. Or maybe in general, because maybe this is separate from the celiac disease.

So... my question is - has anybody had an adult ADHD dx with Celiac? I found some literature on medline that suggested the gluten-free diet could help ADHD, but what about vice versa? Can adhd meds help Celiac?

I don't know- but I have fibromyalgia/brain fog/maybe ADD and am now trying gluten free to see if anything changes. I take Addarall XR and find it helps with the brain fog and some of the pain and depression. (hard to not get depressed when life is disorganised and can't cope with the various messes around me!) It's great to not fall asleep in class- I got my BS in the 80's and struggled with falling asleep in class all the time, getting antsy while studying- yuck. hated it. I knew then that exercise would help (Nia is a Goddesssend to me now!) and I often sensed that eating would make me feel worse so I always got frustrated that I had to eat something. Now my biggest challenge wrt studying is the pain in my back from sitting- but that was in summer school when I had a mere 5 weeks to study anatomy and there weren't enough hours in the day!)

so far, gluten free hasn't changed a thing. I'm tired, my feet still burn when I get out of bed in the morning, my back hurts, knuckles are swollen, had a tiny bout of IBS (or stomach flu- dd had an upset stomach over the weekend).

the good thing about ADD/ADHD meds is that you know pretty fast if they work or don't work for you. with some meds you have to build up before you see clinical benefit- like SSRI's especially- but you could try something for ADD, a day or three later have a sense if it helps, try another if you need....

good luck. I don't believe all meds are evil and that taking them is horrible- but I do notice trying to stay at the absolute lowest dose of Addarall possible.

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I have the same issue with lack of concentration and forgetting things. I know it has to do with the celiacs because I've always been very focused at work and school. I've always been the walking dictionary in the office and now can't hardly remember to spell. It's extremely aggravating. I never had ADHD and nobody in my family was ADD. Now, I walk around feeling like I just had a six pack ( I wish ) and my eyes cross when I look at a computer screen.

I went off all wheat, barley and rye about four months ago and felt great for awhile. The brain fog lifted, I wasn't so exhausted and I didn't have stomach cramps and the rest of the fun stuff that goes along with celiacs. That lasted until a business trip in June. I tried to be very, very careful but I was sick as a dog when I came home. Ever since then I've been feeling terrible and the brain fog is back worse than ever. I figure after being off gluten for a few months the rebound when I inadvertently got dosed was the cause. I've been digging into anything that may contain gluten and throwing it away...I even found it in my hairspray, maximum hold Got 2 Be has wheat starch in it. I've quit chewing my nicotine gum since that has an ingredient that "may" contain gluten but I still feel pretty bad.

I'm even thinking of trying the Master Cleanse two week fast to see if I feel better so I can better isolate what is causing the problems when reintroduced. So many of the foods that state they're gluten free, or that they only contain milk or soy products are still cross contaminated.

My original doctor left the clinic so I'm heading in today to see if her replacement has a clue what to do with me to help me get back on track. If I can't start concentrating better and get over the exhaustion, it's going to start affecting my work and I can't have that.

If anyone has had similar experiences, please share them and let me know what the outcome was.

Grey, it is good to meet you on this forum. I hope we can exchange experiences and learn from this, because it seems most doctors don't study ADHD or celiac much.

Bottom line, I'd tell you people with ADHD spend forever trying to find the right drug and then the right dose. They go through all kinds of side effects trying to decide if it's really better. As sick as you are, I wouldn't take that on and confuse the issue right now.

My story... long, sorry....A little over a year ago, I went to the doctor because I was tired of the ADD-type symptoms I felt like I always had (losing/forgetting things, exhausted trying to concentrate, forgetting names right after I meet people-- all the way back to when my parents got called in to talk to my Kindergarten teacher). I convinced my doc to send me to a psychiatrist, got diagnosed with inattentive ADD and started on Strattera. Strattera helped. It helped me be more on top of things, concentrate longer and get more done.

I still had other nagging issues though. Stomach problems come and go, I am skinny in strange ways (gaunt face, tiny arms, poor muscle tone even when working out), hypoglycemia, migraines, Raynaud's, muscle twitches. When I get weak or stressed, a whole pile of symptoms comes along, but the doctors always tell me it's stress or in my head.

Recently I was researching for a single thing that could explain all these strange symptoms, and learned about celiac. I tried a gluten-free diet just to see, and in three days I was feeling better than I ever remember feeling. Hypoglycemia, brain fog, gas, all gone. It's been over a month now. I started taking B-12 and B complex vitamins and that made me feel even another bunch better.

But now I'm in a pickle...I had to take the max dose of Strattera for it to work (now realize duh, bad intestines). That now makes me totally loopy. I've cut my dose almost in half and I'm not even sure I can handle that much. I don't even know if I need it at all... But I'm stuck between my primary care doc and psychiatrist who have no idea what I'm talking about with celiac at all.

Sorry, this was long. I can tell that you're sicker than I ever was--I never got admitted to the hospital! But my experience says you could have ADHD, or maybe you have been malnourished for a long time without knowing it. I don't know about you, but I'm sure I ate wheat at least couple of times a day for almost 30 years. I hope you can stabilize and get your nutrients in order before you have to make a decision about ADHD...please keep posting!

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My experience and current understanding are that gluten sensitivity can cause some serious nutritional malabsorbtion issues over years. You can get tested for some of the common ones (B12, D, calcium) or you can just try supplementing and see if it helps. I know that B12 made an astounding difference in my brain fog and it only took about 20 minutes (the upside of being really, really B12 anemic is that you will know right away if you get the right stuff into your system!). I took a Methyl-B12 sublingual tablet of 1000 mcg. Now I take it daily and get B12 shots too (although I haven't noticed any additional benefit from the shots, my naturopath thinks they may enable my liver to save up stores of B12 like its supposed to). B12 not only healed my brain fog but also helped my insomnia a lot.

Gluten sensitivity also overwhelms your systems that process toxins (since your body is constantly processing the toxins related to your auto-immune response to the gluten??). I know that I have built up a lot of mercury and lead in my system over the past five years and I just can't seem to effectively chelate (even by IV). You may want to get tested for heavy metals just so you know what you are dealing with. Gluten sensitivity over years really throws the body out of whack and they say it can take years to get rebalanced.

Lastly, I just keep figuring out things that have gluten in them that I didn't know about--white vinegar, the alcohol in tinctures and vanilla, etc.; apparently any wine that is "oaked" (aged in oak barrels) is suspect because the oak barrels are often sealed with wheat paste.

Like others who have responded, I would also try to find out if you are sensitive to other common foods. You can get tested and/or experiment with cutting them out. I am still only about 6 months gluten free and still have to avoid dairy, corn, sugar and soy...but it seems that I can now eat eggs for the first time in years. Yay! When you eat foods that you are reactive to, it causes inflammation in your gut which allows microscopic particles of foods to pass through your intestinal walls into your bloodstream. When you get a break from all the foods you are reactive too and your gut is able to heal, you will probably be able to eat many of your reactive foods again. Or let's all hope so!

It just breaks my heart for all of us that we have to figure out so much of this on our own. Thank goodness for this forum.

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P.S. One other thing that really helps (and I don't know why) is apple cider vinegar. A tablespoon a couple times a day. You want the unfiltered unpasteurized kind. The best tasting one I've found is Bragg's. It makes a huge difference in my child's behavior (he has the gluten sensitivity gene too), which makes sense given how much better it makes me feel.

Wish you well!

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