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MrMark

Celiacs By Elimination

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I have eliminated wheat from my diet and have very amazing results! This is a long winded chronology, but I feel I have to get this out. Maybe there is some stuff here to learn.

About 4 months ago I started to get this real strong pinching feeling under my left ribs, inside of my abdomen. I ignored it. This pain continued to worsen until immediately after Thanksgiving, then all heck broke out. My pain was severe and I was getting no sleep. To be woken in the middle of the night with stabbing gut pain is the worst - hard to just go back to sleep. For reference, I fractured my pelvis when I was a teenager and that was every bit as equal to my current pain. I knew this wasn't the flu, as the painful symptoms were there for months as mentioned above. I was lost for answers. I never went to the Dr about it, but am seriously contemplating it still. Anyhow, my sister (both grandmothers, too) has Celiacs and Chrones. I told my sister (who still suffers even after having her large intestine completely removed) and she told me the statistic of siblings and Celiacs. I never listened to her, but I finally thought about it.

About a week ago I stopped eating gluten (as best I could anyway). A day later I couldn't believe what happened. I lost my mental fog, I gained tons of energy, the stabbing stomach pain became a dull ache and my legs stopped hurting. I also used to get a burning feeling under my skin very similar to a huge overdose of niacin if you know what I mean. That burn was everywhere under my skin, but worst on my face and it was gone after day one. I am an engineer and the mental fog was about to destroy my career

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The general situation is that being off gluten makes you more sensitive to it when you have it.

Exactly why I haven't seen a great explanation for. My theory is that the human body tries to adjust to anything you give it. For example in the movie "Supersize Me", the guy's last set of medical tests actually showed slight improvement. His body was trying to find a way to survive on the diet available. When you were eating gluten, your body was working to cope with it as best it could. If you go off gluten, those coping skills/assets are redirected and your body isn't prepared for the next batch of gluten.

Like I say, most of that is just opinion. I'm sure you'll get others.

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You do know that gluten lurks in more than wheat, right? Celiac.com has good lists of safe and unsafe ingredients, and those than need to be investigated further. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to tell if something is gluten-free just by reading the label.

Be sure to check the gluten status of any medication or supplements you take. Again, you can't tell from the label (unless they say gluten-free).

Have you read up about avoiding cross-contamination yet? As your system gets more sensitive to gluten (yes, it seems to happen -- don't know that anyone knows for sure why), not using wooden or scratched items that have come in contact with gluten, not sharing a toaster with gluten, keeping gluten crumbs out of your PB, etc. seems to become more important. You will also find out on this list the reputation of different manufacturers in terms of possible CC.

Also check your personal care items. I found I was getting intermittent, low level glutening from my hair gel. I know it can seem unlikely but it happens to people. You can find gluten-free alternatives, so why not go with the safest thing.

Use the search function on your computer. You can often find out if things have gluten or folks have reacted to them before you find out the hard way. Learn from my mistake. I was having two teas with "natural flavors." Come to find out both have gluten.

You may find it useful to keep a diet/symptom journal. You may find that you are sensitive to other things, such as lactose and/or casein, soy ...

All the symptoms you mention going away can be caused by gluten.

I don't know anything for sure about the stomach growling. Mine has also been extra talkative, both with and without gluten. Perhaps you are now better absorbing nutrients from your food, food isn't hurting you, etc. and your brain is signaling that it needs nourishment, now that you are feeding it what it needs. I've certainly read of a number of people who get quite a bit hungrier in the beginning of going gluten-free.

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@Alaskaguy With regard to the timing, I think that everyone is a bit different! I used to have a shorter time to onset when I was first diagnosed (within 24h). As time has gone on, and I've glutened myself less and less, I have noticed that the time gets a bit longer.  Recent history seems to matter a bit too - if I've been glutened recently and then get glutened again, the rash will show up faster on the second round. For example, in the last 3 weeks I got slightly glutened by inadvertent
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