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Fatigue, Neuropathy & A Reaction To Bread.

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Me: 20 years old, female. Low energy, constant fatigue, "brain fog", difficulties concentrating, anxiety & panic attacks, very irregular periods, numbness/tingling/muscle cramps in feet (numbness also applies to hands; tingling to legs), balance/coordination problems, cold hands and feet, generally disconnected from reality, and feeling down even when there's no real reason to. Somewhat of a tendency towards bloating/constipation, but no major bowel problems.

For some different reasons, I stopped eating bread a few months ago (3? 4? I'm not sure, it wasn't a very conscious decision).

When I ate it again (last week), my stomach wasn't happy. A lot of gas, and some pretty horrible abdominal pains.

Now, I'm not sure if that even makes sense. At all. During this breadless period, I still ate pasta almost every day, so it wasn't like I cut gluten out of my diet completely...

Still, that reaction made me think "...gluten intolerance?" because I'm, uh, a bit paranoid about allergies & the like (I have asthma + a pretty severe nut allergy). So I searched the internet a little bit. Read lists of symptoms, read lots of threads on this forum, and was like hey. Wait. What. That's me.

I'm very VERY tempted to try the gluten free diet. Reading this forum made me feel like maybe another me is possible. A me with energy and focus and so on. Who knows?

I'm currently living in a country (Japan) very far from home (Sweden) -- if I wasn't, I'd probably get scheduled for a blood test, but that feels kind of hard here. I don't know. I guess I just want people's opinion on this whole thing. Is celiac even a possibility for me, or am I just being paranoid again?

Thanks in advance <3

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Hi, and welcome to these boards.

Wow, it sounds like you are talking about me when I was your age! I had all the same problems.

I say trying the gluten-free diet is an excellent idea. And while you are at it, eliminate dairy and soy as well (they can stop you from healing if you have celiac disease).

I know that soy sauce is something hard to avoid in Japan. But most soy sauce has wheat as the first ingredient! You will need to be vigilant if you are going to do this and read ALL labels.

If you like pasta, it shouldn't be difficult to find rice pasta where you are.

I hope somebody will see this thread who has an idea about being gluten-free in Japan. You might want to start another thread with a title like 'Gluten free in Japan, help me figure this out' or something like that, to get the attention of people who either live in Japan or have been there.

Just one caution though: You might get withdrawal symptoms that can be pretty severe when going off gluten (and I say 'might', because not everybody gets them), that can last up to two weeks. So, don't give up too soon. In order to know if being gluten-free is helpful for you, you need to give it at least one month before giving up, six months would be even better.

Some people here took six months before seeing improvement. Others started improving by the next day after eliminating gluten. Everybody is different.

I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma


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Hiya. I am 50 and have suffered with the low energy, constant fatigue thing most of my life, and irregular periods, so I know exactly where you are coming from.

The cold and numb hands and tingly feet - funnily enough I got that just a week or so after starting the gluten-free diet, also couldn't get warm. I did a bit of research and wondered if it might be B12/Folate anemia, but the blood test for that has come back ok, so I did more research and found that also equates with hypothyroid problems. I started taking Kelp and within a couple of days it was a lot better.

Muscle cramps can often be due to magnesium deficiency and if magnesium is deficient then calcium probably is too, but your symptoms are redolent of thyroid deficiency. I would suggest you get that checked out as soon as possible. Taking kelp is fine if it is caught early enough but it depends on how deficient the body is. Maybe you could get on the gluten-free diet and take a good dosage of kelp (you're in the right place for that!) for 2 or 3 weeks and see if it makes any difference. Try doubling the dose suggested on the pot - you should be ok with that as it is only a food and eating nori and shirako etc., to boost the iodine and mineral levels will help too. But if you aren't starting to improve then see a doctor asap.

Gluten damages the gut which stops the body absorbing essential nutrients so it becomes deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. If the health service over there has a process for checking your nutrient levels that would be great and would enable you to tailor supplements to your needs. Because it can't absorb properly, we obviously need to support it as much as we can, but mind you don't overdose as there are a few nutrients that you can take too much of.

Although you cut out bread, the fact that you didn't really improve suggests that gluten is almost certainly your problem. The fact that you got gassy when you ate the bread may just indicate that you also are intolerant of yeast on top of the gluten. Many who are GI are also dairy intolerant and react also to other things like say, soya, corn, eggs or yeast. Rice is usually well tolerated (you are in a good place for that too!).

You are highly likely to find that although some symptoms may go quite quickly, others may take quite a bit longer, perhaps months or even a year or more depending on the length of time you have had them and the severity. You may also find that you experience varied withdrawal and detox symptoms - headaches, joint pains, tiredness, to name a few. Some do, some manage to avoid them.

I have been gluten-free for 2 weeks. The terrible stomach pain and incessant diarrhea stopped within a few hours. The bloating is vastly improved, and I definitely have more energy. I am getting some withdrawal/detox in the way of being very tired (although my sleep pattern is now changing to a healthier pattern which is good) and a constant background headache. I am still getting odd symptoms when I eat sometimes which suggests I am either getting hidden gluten, or, more likely I am intolerant of other things, perhaps soya and oats, but am monitoring that one.

You could be Celiac - you could just be extremely gluten intolerant - at the end of the day the outcome is the same and so is the solution! I hope this helps. All the best.

Ali - 50 - struggled with what I now know to be GI symptoms and poor carb digestion for at least 35 years! Diabetic type II (1997). Mother undx Celiac - lifelong diabetic Type 1 & anemic (plus 1 stillborn and 10 miscarriages after me). Father definitely very GI.

Stopped gluten & dairy, Jan 08, but still other issues so dropped most carbs and sugar and have been following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) since March 08. Recovery slow but steady and I can now eat a much broader range of foods especially raw which are good for my digestion and boost my energy level.

Not getting better? Try the SCD - it might just change your life.........

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