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AndreaBT

Brand New To The Idea Of gluten-free For Myself

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Hi, my name is Andrea...and I'm not even quite sure I belong here yet :)

I've been dealing with depression, anxiety, and fatigue for years, recently mood swings have been a big issue. My mom is bipolar, so my doc, counselor, and I are currently exploring that possibility (in addition to my Zoloft, I'll be starting a mood stabilizer soon). I am hypothyroid, taking Synthroid, which seems to control the issue as far as my lab results go, but depression and other mental health issues remain.

I recently heard someone say when they controlled their gluten intake, their moods shifted radically for the better, and when they consumed gluten, their moods were worse. This started my quest into the topic!

I JUST had a follow-up with my doc a few days ago, and made the mood/gluten-free connection afterward. I won't have another follow-up for another month, but I've decided to go gluten-free, to the best of my ability, in the meantime.

I'm trying a quick and dirty method, based on the little research I've done so far. My plan is Rice Chex with milk in the morning (how careful do I need to be about milk? I've read varying opinions); baked potato with gluten-free approved toppings for lunch; and Amy's gluten-free frozen meals for dinner, while my family eats regular food I prepare. A friend who suggested this said a couple of weeks might be all it takes to know if there is a difference.

I feel positive about TRYING this. I think I can do this for 2-4 weeks. Long term? I'm terrified. I'm not even sure what my plan should be if, after a few weeks, I do respond positively to gluten-free.

Should I try to add in a few things at that point, to see where my threshold is? There are a few foods on the "forbidden" lists that will be very, very difficult. It's hard to imagine a life without any wheat flour at all, though I'm sure the rest of you have been there. It's harder yet to imagine a life without all the processed foods I'm used to eating. It's not that I eat SOOO much processed food, it's more like sauces and condiments (a stir fry sauce that I love, soy sauces in restaurants that can't confirm being gluten-free, etc.). I do not really consider myself a "from scratch" cook. But my moods have gotten to the point that my entire family is suffering, and I need to try this.

Also, I haven't seen this on any list, whether allowed or forbidden...where does coffee rank? :)

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Welcome to the group, however long you stay :)

I went on a gluten-free diet after I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism. For me, the diet (along with some supplements like vitamin D) have made a HUGE difference. Two years ago I went through a severe depression and had to take a medical leave from my job for three months... these days I don't feel even remotely depressed. I don't have abdominal pain, I don't have PMS, I'm not anxious and irritable... I never would have believed how good I could feel! It is hard giving up certain foods. I used to love eating in restaurants and now I have to avoid them... but it's totally, 100% worth it. There's no way I would go back.

I think your approach is a good one. Try the gluten-free diet for two weeks and see how you feel. I started noticing a change within 48 hours. However, for best results I think you should also give up dairy and try to eat as much fresh food (fruit, vegetables, meat) as possible. If there are any fruits or vegetables you really like, but don't buy very often... give yourself a treat. Even though frozen foods are convenient, a lot of people with gluten intolerance find they just can't tolerate dairy or large amounts of carbs (at least for the first few months).

Rice Chex are OK in the morning. Have you ever tried almond milk? :P

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Welcome to the group, however long you stay :)

I went on a gluten-free diet after I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism. For me, the diet (along with some supplements like vitamin D) have made a HUGE difference. Two years ago I went through a severe depression and had to take a medical leave from my job for three months... these days I don't feel even remotely depressed. I don't have abdominal pain, I don't have PMS, I'm not anxious and irritable... I never would have believed how good I could feel! It is hard giving up certain foods. I used to love eating in restaurants and now I have to avoid them... but it's totally, 100% worth it. There's no way I would go back.

I think your approach is a good one. Try the gluten-free diet for two weeks and see how you feel. I started noticing a change within 48 hours. However, for best results I think you should also give up dairy and try to eat as much fresh food (fruit, vegetables, meat) as possible. If there are any fruits or vegetables you really like, but don't buy very often... give yourself a treat. Even though frozen foods are convenient, a lot of people with gluten intolerance find they just can't tolerate dairy or large amounts of carbs (at least for the first few months).

Rice Chex are OK in the morning. Have you ever tried almond milk? :P

Sigh...I've never tried almond milk, but maybe I'll have to :) We already have lactose-free and organic in the fridge, why not another "crunchy" kind of milk ;)

Thanks for responding...I still want to know about coffee, though!!

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I decided to stop drinking coffee because it upsets my stomach and makes me feel anxious... but that's just me. You don't have to give up everything you love :) It's much better to be strict about gluten and dairy.

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Welcome, Andrea

Most foods are naturally gluten free, including coffee. :D HOWEVER, stay away from the flavored ones because many of them have gluten in the flavorings. And NEVER buy coffee beans from the bulk bins or grind coffee in the store. Many members have learned the hard way that's not a good idea. But plain old coffee you brew at home is just fine.

Learn to read labels. Look mostly for wheat because it must by law be declared. Rye and barley also contain gluten and are sometimes hidden in the dreaded "natural flavors." Oats are often contaminated with gluten somewhere in the growing or transportation or storage or processing because all that happens too close to wheat.

Preparing separate meals for you and your family is w-a-y too much work as far as I am concerned. :rolleyes::P Start with plain meats such as WalMart chicken breasts or the rotisserie chicken at some but not all Costco stores, pork chops, beef any way you want it along as it isn't breaded, etc. Add a frozen veggie and some Minute Rice or nuked potatoes and you have a simple gluten free meal the whole family can eat. There are gluten free pastas such as Tinkyada or Ancient Harvest that taste just fine.

There is no need to be terrified of going gluten free for life although it isn't uncommon to feel that way. At home you quickly learn to adjust (mistakes will be made but that's how you learn! ;) ) and before you know it it just becomes natural.

Eating elsewhere is and may always be a challenge but just look at the number of forum members there are and realize there are many eating this way who find ways to make the lifestyle work for them.

If indeed gluten is causing your symptoms you will never want to go back to eating it again.

Feel free to come here for help and support any time! :)

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Thanks Sandi, for replying! I'm mainly only talking about different meals the first few weeks, especially since the meals I'd be making for myself would be pretty simple. I won't eat Amy's frozen dinners forever, way too expensive! And baked potatoes for lunch every day would get boring :) I actually like cooking, so it's not a big deal to go ahead and make my family's normal meals (which are not particularly complicated or time-consuming either). I also hope that, if I do go the full gluten-free route, I can alter many of my current recipes to work for me.

I have great appreciation for the large number of people on this forum alone who have chosen to go gluten-free. It helps me know it's possible!

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Hi I am new to this to, but I went gluten free due to 4 months of terrible upset stomachs but I am diagnosed with ME and Fibro and suffer anxiety and I am amazed to report after just 9 weeks that all my symptoms are massively improved and now I question if it was all the wheat all along?

It is well worth trying but you need to be careful, each time I make a mistake now I suffer dreadfully as a result.

Best of luck with it it is worth the try. :D

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