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CGally81

Hunger Ups And Downs?

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I first went gluten-free near the beginning of August. Since then, only two accidental glutenings - one a week after I started going gluten-free (it was in frosting on what were otherwise gluten-free cupcakes), and one 2 weeks after (fish cooked in crackers. Oops).

Anyway, a few days after I went gluten-free, I became super hungry. I'm talking, I'd eat a massive breakfast (tons of rice), then only an hour later, start to feel hungry again and fatigued, and less than an hour after that, I'd NEED TO EAT SOMETHING (A LOT OF SOMETHING). That continued for over a week. Good thing I was on vacation at the time.

Once at home, and at work, I discovered I'd have to bring massive lunches and snacks, or else I'd be going to the vending machine and asking my boss for extra food (she was understanding).

A week after that, it was getting better, though I'd become really hungry while lying in bed, trying to go to sleep at 11 PM or midnight, and have to rush downstairs and eat something (again, a fairly big something).

THAT is thankfully gone.

In fact, writing this, and looking back, it's obvious that I'm improving overall.

But the last week, I've been hungrier than I have been, say, the week before. Maybe it's because I started going for walks again (i.e. exercise), and the occasional hour-long (or more!) bike ride (I pedal as fast as I can and I avoid drafting, too, to get the maximum exercise), and as such I'd been increasing my calorie needs and not totally compensating, thus as I exercise, my overall hunger increases. In fact, the reason I started exercising again to begin with is precisely BECAUSE my hunger was going down and I was able to "afford" to do it. Maybe I can't after all, just yet.

Anyway, my question at the end of all this is, for those of you who've been through the "hungry all the time" phase after you went gluten-free, what was it like for you? Was each week or 2-week set better than the previous? Were there ups and downs, where your hunger was getting better, only to suddenly increase quite a bit for the next week or so? Was it always a gradual slope to the point where the super hunger was gone, or did it rear up again from time to time? And if so, were there identifiable causes (i.e. starting an exercise program, etc.)?

And therefore, what could I possibly expect from my own future with the hunger problem?

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Hi,

I eat every couple of hours too. Sometimes it was because I was hungry and other times its because I need more energy. Most of the time its because i feel myself getting weak and fogish. I dont have any answeres to your questions I'm just letting you know "me too" =) and to see what others have posted about your questions.

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What are you eating? You mention eating 'tons of rice' for breakfast, was that all? You may find you get less hungrey if you combine that rice with a good protein source. Try to balance all your meals with more protein than carbs. Nut butters, meats, eggs, beans, cheeses if you are not avoiding dairy etc. combined with fresh veggies or fruits and a small amount of carbs may make you satisfied for longer. Your body is craving nutrients and just rice or stuff out of a vending machine isn't going to satisfy that need.

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I defnitly have hunger ups and downs. However for me it's when I get glutened that I have a ravanous appetite. It seems most Celiacs have these waves of hunger, though it is a little different for everyone. Some people find they are less hungry when going gluten-free others find they are more hungry.. but it all comes down to one thing... our bodies are depleted of nutrients!!! The way our bodies go about dealing with the nutrient shortage is a little different for everyone, hence the differences in hunger levels from celiac to celiac.

I agree, try to balance out your meals and also try to make them more palatable.. bland rice isn't giving your tastebuds what they crave either! Try adding some honey (or cinamon if you don't want the sugar from honey), nuts and berries to your rice for breakfast. It will be tastier and will keep you full longer with the fat and protein from the nuts :). What keeps me most full in the mornings is gluten-free bread with beanut butter and a banana :) I'm good for hours after that!

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I defnitly have hunger ups and downs. However for me it's when I get glutened that I have a ravanous appetite. It seems most Celiacs have these waves of hunger, though it is a little different for everyone. Some people find they are less hungry when going gluten-free others find they are more hungry.. but it all comes down to one thing... our bodies are depleted of nutrients!!! The way our bodies go about dealing with the nutrient shortage is a little different for everyone, hence the differences in hunger levels from celiac to celiac.

I agree, try to balance out your meals and also try to make them more palatable.. bland rice isn't giving your tastebuds what they crave either! Try adding some honey (or cinamon if you don't want the sugar from honey), nuts and berries to your rice for breakfast. It will be tastier and will keep you full longer with the fat and protein from the nuts :). What keeps me most full in the mornings is gluten-free bread with beanut butter and a banana :) I'm good for hours after that!

I gave the bland rice as an example of what I was eating at the time. Nowadays, I do get a lot of protein. Turkey lunch meat (gluten-free) for a big chunk of breakfast, and peanut butter, and sometimes tuna fish or bananas along with it. That's a lot of protein. For breakfast.

And yet I'm hungry before 10 AM. I often have two bananas by then.

Lunch is usually chicken (pre-cooked) and yogurt or bananas. Snacks can be things like popcorn (natural, not modified, so there's no trans fat and little sat fat, and tons of fiber) or gluten-free Chex (which has tons of vitamins and nutrients, according to the large list in the box's nutrition facts). And dinner? Always nutritious. Always. Chicken or fish or lean steak and rice or potatoes and applesauce, sometimes cheeseburger (lean, or somewhat lean). Almost all my food is natural, not processed. And I have plenty of protein sources to grab from, and frequently do.

Anyway, like I said, the hunger problem is better than it was a few weeks ago, when I wouldn't be able to go to sleep because of it, and would rush down to snack on lots of peanut butter at midnight just to make the problem go away! Even my sleeping problems (I'd woken up at 5:30, not hungry, but just waking up then, one day about a week ago!) are gradually becoming reduced.

Have any of you gone past the hump? Some people here report that the hunger thing lasted months, but once it was over, it was over unless they were glutened. Since I refuse to touch processed foods (except gluten-free Chex at the moment), and had been phasing them out of my diet even before I had Celiac (I was trying to change my diet for years in an attempt to avoid becoming like my diabetic dad, who eats lots of processed foods and is overweight), being accidentally glutened is unlikely to be a big problem for me in the future. I also refuse to eat out for any reason.

Thanks for the information. Any other ideas? If I remain totally gluten-free, will the hunger thing totally go away?

PS - I noticed that for about the past 2 weeks, I've had a lot of -ahem- "number 2" movements in the bathroom. As in, 3 a day in many days. Is that my body also getting rid of toxins? I took it as a good sign.

PPS - The other problems of gluten withdrawal that I'd been having, such as tingling/pins and needles, itchiness, muscle twitches, odd chills in my legs, and serious inability to sleep, are noticably getting MUCH better. The inability to sleep longer than 6 hours is not totally dealt with, but the other problems are like 80-90% gone. Do you think the hunger is part of the withdrawal?

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I make my own gluten free trail mix and eat a handful between my meals sometimes that satisfies me so much that I skip lunch or "can" miss lunch if I have to. Dairy in cheese form doesn't bother me like pure milk does so I also use a small serving of colby/jack cheese or mozzarella with a slice or two of gluten-free Great Value lunch meat. All these things along with finger fresh veggies and fruits get me through the "hunger" times of my days.

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I make my own gluten free trail mix and eat a handful between my meals sometimes that satisfies me so much that I skip lunch or "can" miss lunch if I have to. Dairy in cheese form doesn't bother me like pure milk does so I also use a small serving of colby/jack cheese or mozzarella with a slice or two of gluten-free Great Value lunch meat. All these things along with finger fresh veggies and fruits get me through the "hunger" times of my days.

Are you still in the high hunger phase? I see that you've been gluten-free since April, whereas I'd been since early August (well, plus two accidental glutenings in that same month), but this was after having had very noticable side effects for 5 months before. How long did you have gluten-related side effects (i.e. brain fog, weakness, stomach rumblings all the time, etc.) before going gluten-free? Is your hunger gradually going down?

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I'm still eating every couple of hours. My blood sugar will dive if I don't. And I have to have a lot of protein also to support the blood sugar. I feel if I can keep that leveled out, I would have less a chance of developing diabetes down the road. I always have meat with a meal and for snacks I mostly have cheese with grapes, nuts and chocolate or fruit.

I don't try to second guess why I'm hungry, I just try to supply my body with safe food as much as it's asking for. I spent so many years misunderstanding my body's cues that I don't ever want to do that again. Plus it satisfies the inner dieter in me to be able to say to myself, " Well, I can eat whatever I want!"

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I'm still eating every couple of hours. My blood sugar will dive if I don't. And I have to have a lot of protein also to support the blood sugar. I feel if I can keep that leveled out, I would have less a chance of developing diabetes down the road. I always have meat with a meal and for snacks I mostly have cheese with grapes, nuts and chocolate or fruit.

I don't try to second guess why I'm hungry, I just try to supply my body with safe food as much as it's asking for. I spent so many years misunderstanding my body's cues that I don't ever want to do that again. Plus it satisfies the inner dieter in me to be able to say to myself, " Well, I can eat whatever I want!"

Now, you say you're "still" eating every couple of hours, so I have a few questions to ask you. How long did you have gluten intolerance symptoms before you went gluten-free? And how long have you been gluten-free?

The reason I ask is because people have said that they've had the hunger problem for months or in some cases years before they went down to normal hunger levels, and were feeling satisfied longer. If you'd been going gluten-free for, say, a year, after having had terrible symptoms for years (as opposed to less than half a year in my case), then maybe you're still in the hunger phase and in a year from now, you won't be having the blood sugar drops. But I'm going by what I've seen some other people say.

So, what's your unique experience with the gluten problem?

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