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CGally81

"extreme" Hunger Ups And Downs?!

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I went gluten-free in the beginning of August. Within a few days, the insense hunger started, and I was eating MASSIVE meals or groups of snacks every hour or hour and a half, and always waking up hungry. Within a week that had gone down somewhat, but was still pretty intense.

Anyway, it had gradually been getting better, but this past week has been strange.

My hunger had been getting better last week, then on Saturday, it was like I had a major breakthrough. I ate four large meals on Saturday - at noon, 2pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm, and that was it. I felt satisfied. If this is related, I also had used the bathroom for 2 very large BMs.

Then on Sunday, I was hungrier had to eat 5 large meals, and even had to eat a lot at 2am to be able to go to sleep again.

Well, it's the week, and my hunger levels, if anything, are worse than they were last week. Not better. Today I had breakfast, one banana as a morning snack at 11am, lunch at 12:30pm, two afternoon snacks (3pm and 4pm), dinner, then had to eat a lot again only an hour and a half after dinner. I'm starting to get hungry (it's 9:43pm) now, and I'm pretty sure I'll be really hungry come bedtime, and unable to sleep unless I do something about it. This is a far cry from how I felt on the weekend, and it's worse than it was last week!

And my diet is still limited to natural foods such as bananas, tunafish, chicken, gluten-free turkey lunchmeat (D&W, and I've never had problems with them), milk (no reaction to it), peanut butter, brown rice, popcorn, and such. The only non-natural foods I have are gluten-free Chex (as an afternoon snack) and Fudgsicles (as an evening snack).

What is going on? Why did I get better, then suddenly worse? Has this happened to many of you? Are there ups, then sudden downs, before there's another up?

My other gluten withdrawal symptoms, such as the "pins and needles" tingling, itchiness, heartburn, etc. went through ups and downs as well. They came with a vengeance, started to go away, came back harder, went away more, then returned pretty big, then went seemingly totally away, only to return slightly. Is it the same for hunger as well?

I'm getting upset by this, as I actually am gaining weight from this eating (I know that there are other people who don't gain weight for a while). I gained primarily muscle (I'm really surprised, but I can easily feel and see my muscles), but my gut sticks out a bit, and my waist, while still a size 30, is a bit bigger than before (it fits, but not as well). I'm not happy with the idea that I might gain fat while this constant hunger is going. But I have to eat, or else I get lethargic and, at times, shaky.

It's better than it was, say, a month ago, and definitely when it first started, but it just seems like I took 2 steps forward, and 3 steps back. Has anyone else gone through this? Is this the normal pattern for hunger - "it gets better, than worse, then even better, then worse"? Let me know your experiences, whether you're still in the hunger phase, or have passed it.

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Wow - that's some hunger!

I had quite a different pattern, in that even after going gluten free I had a lot of trouble with my stomach not emptying so I was almost never hungry, and not eating enough. I have recently been seeing a dietician, and after cutting out soy I have had a couple of days where I am getting ravenously hungry, and it's really surprised me. I'm actually quite happy about it, as I take it as a sign of my system healing and working properly again.

From your post it looks like you have been gluten-free about 2 1/2 months. It may be that your system has started to heal and that you have started absorbing nutrients properly and your body is crying out for more. My general impression is that is pretty common to have ups and downs after going gluten-free, it may just be how your body is dealing with it. It is also possible that you are still being exposed to minor amounts of gluten that could upset you. If you are unsure there is heaps of information on the site about hidden gluten.

If you continue to have trouble managing your hunger, do you have access to a good dietician? It may be that you are lacking protein, or maybe your blood sugar is unbalanced - a lot of processed gluten free foods can be very high GI.

If you are able to post a typical days food then I'm sure the extremely knowledgable people here may be able to give you some pointers.

I hope your ravenous hunger starts to subside!

Sophie

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I went gluten-free in the beginning of August. Within a few days, the insense hunger started, and I was eating MASSIVE meals or groups of snacks every hour or hour and a half, and always waking up hungry. Within a week that had gone down somewhat, but was still pretty intense.

Anyway, it had gradually been getting better, but this past week has been strange.

My hunger had been getting better last week, then on Saturday, it was like I had a major breakthrough. I ate four large meals on Saturday - at noon, 2pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm, and that was it. I felt satisfied. If this is related, I also had used the bathroom for 2 very large BMs.

Then on Sunday, I was hungrier had to eat 5 large meals, and even had to eat a lot at 2am to be able to go to sleep again.

Well, it's the week, and my hunger levels, if anything, are worse than they were last week. Not better. Today I had breakfast, one banana as a morning snack at 11am, lunch at 12:30pm, two afternoon snacks (3pm and 4pm), dinner, then had to eat a lot again only an hour and a half after dinner. I'm starting to get hungry (it's 9:43pm) now, and I'm pretty sure I'll be really hungry come bedtime, and unable to sleep unless I do something about it. This is a far cry from how I felt on the weekend, and it's worse than it was last week!

And my diet is still limited to natural foods such as bananas, tunafish, chicken, gluten-free turkey lunchmeat (D&W, and I've never had problems with them), milk (no reaction to it), peanut butter, brown rice, popcorn, and such. The only non-natural foods I have are gluten-free Chex (as an afternoon snack) and Fudgsicles (as an evening snack).

What is going on? Why did I get better, then suddenly worse? Has this happened to many of you? Are there ups, then sudden downs, before there's another up?

My other gluten withdrawal symptoms, such as the "pins and needles" tingling, itchiness, heartburn, etc. went through ups and downs as well. They came with a vengeance, started to go away, came back harder, went away more, then returned pretty big, then went seemingly totally away, only to return slightly. Is it the same for hunger as well?

I'm getting upset by this, as I actually am gaining weight from this eating (I know that there are other people who don't gain weight for a while). I gained primarily muscle (I'm really surprised, but I can easily feel and see my muscles), but my gut sticks out a bit, and my waist, while still a size 30, is a bit bigger than before (it fits, but not as well). I'm not happy with the idea that I might gain fat while this constant hunger is going. But I have to eat, or else I get lethargic and, at times, shaky.

It's better than it was, say, a month ago, and definitely when it first started, but it just seems like I took 2 steps forward, and 3 steps back. Has anyone else gone through this? Is this the normal pattern for hunger - "it gets better, than worse, then even better, then worse"? Let me know your experiences, whether you're still in the hunger phase, or have passed it.

Although it is very frustrating, it's all very normal in recovery. Almost everyone goes through t his. It's because you are healing and your body needs the nourishment. When it goes away is different for everyone, but it will subside. Hang in there!

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I have had much the same experience over the last nine months. I thought all had settled down to where it was at least manageable until the last ten days when I couldn't eat enough to make myself not be hungry after eating platefuls of food. Even with all the eating I lost five pounds I thought I had managed to recapture from the forty I initially lost. Body composition has altered radically as I have little body fat now and lean muscle has greatly increased and I now tolerate heavy workouts.... here's the thing. I was supplementing with a Vitamin D, Calcium magnesium supplement because of concerns about my osteopenia. I had cut back to two thirds the daily recommended dosage a while back and that's when the appetite seemed to settle down a bit. I figured I had been so hungry because, for the first time in years, my body was finally able to absorb nutrients and was in a real hurry to heal my gut. Well, ten days ago, for some reason, I went back to the full dose of my supplement and that's when the appetite took off through the roof. Couldn't keep enough food in the house. I went cold turkey off the supplement 3 days ago and the appetite settled down considerably and I actually felt a much better response to my workouts. Just saying... FWIW.

CS

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If you continue to have trouble managing your hunger, do you have access to a good dietician? It may be that you are lacking protein, or maybe your blood sugar is unbalanced - a lot of processed gluten free foods can be very high GI.

If you are able to post a typical days food then I'm sure the extremely knowledgable people here may be able to give you some pointers.

I hope your ravenous hunger starts to subside!

Sophie

I eat lots of protein. In fact, I'll list all the foods - the ONLY foods - I eat.

I don't eat out at restaurants either. Stopped doing that a few years ago for diet reasons, as I wanted to get healthy.

Okay, here's the list of foods I eat:

D&W roasted turkey breast slices (they're gluten-free)

Chicken

Bananas

Popcorn

Gluten-free Chex

Peanut butter (Skippy brand only, as I had bad experiences with Peter Pan glutening me somehow)

Yogurt

Scrambled eggs (on rare occasion)

Milk

Flounder (not cooked in anything except butter)

Tunafish

Brown rice

Fudgsicles

Cheeseburger (ground beef and American cheese, no bun. I never liked buns to be honest!)

Apple sauce

Ice cream (chocolate and vanilla with sprinkles, and only if the ice cream truck stops by work)

Milk used to give me a headache, but no longer does. Fructose used to cause problems, but I tried an apple and had no problems, so I may have recovered from that also. I still don't plan to totally reintroduce apples until maybe half a year from now, since they don't contain many calories and don't help my hunger at the moment.

That's my list of foods. As you can see, it's very strict, and mostly naturally. Many of my carbs are low GI, as I'd been trying to eat low GI for over a year for diet reasons.

My blood test results showed no signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes. My fasting blood sugar was slightly above the normal range, but I imagine that's just because I was hungry so much. (And it actually is better now than it was at that time, even if it's worse than it was, say, last week)

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I have had much the same experience over the last nine months. I thought all had settled down to where it was at least manageable until the last ten days when I couldn't eat enough to make myself not be hungry after eating platefuls of food. Even with all the eating I lost five pounds I thought I had managed to recapture from the forty I initially lost. Body composition has altered radically as I have little body fat now and lean muscle has greatly increased and I now tolerate heavy workouts.... here's the thing. I was supplementing with a Vitamin D, Calcium magnesium supplement because of concerns about my osteopenia. I had cut back to two thirds the daily recommended dosage a while back and that's when the appetite seemed to settle down a bit. I figured I had been so hungry because, for the first time in years, my body was finally able to absorb nutrients and was in a real hurry to heal my gut. Well, ten days ago, for some reason, I went back to the full dose of my supplement and that's when the appetite took off through the roof. Couldn't keep enough food in the house. I went cold turkey off the supplement 3 days ago and the appetite settled down considerably and I actually felt a much better response to my workouts. Just saying... FWIW.

CS

Do workouts seem to reduce, or simply increase, hunger? On one weekend where I was really hungry like every hour, I went for two 70-minute bike rides. I loved the bike rides, but I didn't love the hunger. I stopped working out because I figured I was only making things worse. Plus, I'm magically sprouting muscle somehow anyway.

I stopped taking Calcium/Magnesium/Vit D supplements because my blood test results showed everything in the normal range. (Vitamins weren't tested, as my doctor said he only believed in testing for vitamins if he saw signs of deficiency. I take a multivitamin every day, and always have)

How long have you had Celiac symptoms before you went gluten-free? Since you've been this way for the past 9 months, I'd like to know if there's a relationship between how long you had symptoms, and how long it takes to recover. That would help ease my mind if there's a link between the two. (I had obvious symptoms for around 5 months, but may have had more subtle symptoms for years before that. I remember how donuts would make me sleepy and harder to concentrate when I had them during grand jury duty, as part of their refreshments, but they didn't affect me like gluten would nearly 2 years later!)

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I have been able to ride my bike as well as the heavy workouts with weight equipment. I spent years developing various prototypes but had all but given up using them the last fifteen years because I would take forever to recover from a single workout. Now, as long as I get enough protein, I can tolerate much work. I make it a habit to "feed" my workouts. Had I done that back in my gluten eating days a high intensity whole body routine would have made me throw up. Now, I can work harder than ever before all the while munching on apples or oranges during the actual workout. The first several months into recovery I could work out a little but it was impossible to push towards any real intensity. It was as if my body would set the limit as to how much I was allowed to do. Then, one day, that threshold seemed to disappear and, again, as long as I ate enough calories and enough high quality protein I do well. I eat a lot of fruit and veggies (no legumes, though) in addition to many eggs as well as beef and fish. I tried to eat chicken but only found I could tolerate dark meat. Even that eventually became very unsavory to me and, whereas I used to love chicken, I find it very hard to eat anymore. Protein seems to moderate the hunger to a degree although when I was taking my supplement as mentioned before it didn't matter what or how much of what I ate, I was just plain old starved beyond reasonable amounts and would eat all day long. My students would laugh as I was eating during lessons. I don't know if this answers your questions as I seem to be prone to rambling on and on today. Must be the cherries (frozen) I got as a treat today.

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I think having a "healthy appetite" is okay. If you're worried about gaining weight, let me share with you the diet I live on. What makes it different is that you eat one enzyme-producing fruit every two hours or so during the morning (pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, persimmons, etc.). You can eat them all day if you want, as much as you want, one at a time, waiting 2 hours between DIFFERENT fruits, but eating continuously if its the same fruit.

When you switch to starches or proteins you don't eat any more fruits until the next morning. Low-starch vegetables (lettuce, asparagus, etc.) digest well with protein. Once you start the protein, don't mix it with high starch vegetables (potatoes, corn, popcorn, etc.) because then your food fails to digest. If you find a list of low-starch vegetables as opposed to high-starch, that will help.

I eat lots of pineapple each morning and sometimes sweeten it with Stevia. I sometimes then switch to asparagus and chicken, broccoli and fish, and other vegetable/protein combinations. The key is to wait 2 hours between different fruits, and 3 hours before starting foods other than fruits. Once I start the vegetables and protein, I usually just eat until I'm full, all afternoon. It is great to be able to eat all you want, all day long, and maintain a normal weight. I hope this helps. Welda

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I think having a "healthy appetite" is okay. If you're worried about gaining weight, let me share with you the diet I live on. What makes it different is that you eat one enzyme-producing fruit every two hours or so during the morning (pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, persimmons, etc.). You can eat them all day if you want, as much as you want, one at a time, waiting 2 hours between DIFFERENT fruits, but eating continuously if its the same fruit.

When you switch to starches or proteins you don't eat any more fruits until the next morning. Low-starch vegetables (lettuce, asparagus, etc.) digest well with protein. Once you start the protein, don't mix it with high starch vegetables (potatoes, corn, popcorn, etc.) because then your food fails to digest. If you find a list of low-starch vegetables as opposed to high-starch, that will help.

I eat lots of pineapple each morning and sometimes sweeten it with Stevia. I sometimes then switch to asparagus and chicken, broccoli and fish, and other vegetable/protein combinations. The key is to wait 2 hours between different fruits, and 3 hours before starting foods other than fruits. Once I start the vegetables and protein, I usually just eat until I'm full, all afternoon. It is great to be able to eat all you want, all day long, and maintain a normal weight. I hope this helps. Welda

This is very similar to what I do, but in reverse. I need to have my proteins and veggies in the morning, otherwise I get that roller-coaster ride with the blood sugar rush after the fast overnight.

I'm really aware of probiotics because of some meds, but that enzymatic awareness is appreciated.

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I think having a "healthy appetite" is okay. If you're worried about gaining weight, let me share with you the diet I live on. What makes it different is that you eat one enzyme-producing fruit every two hours or so during the morning (pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, persimmons, etc.). You can eat them all day if you want, as much as you want, one at a time, waiting 2 hours between DIFFERENT fruits, but eating continuously if its the same fruit.

When you switch to starches or proteins you don't eat any more fruits until the next morning. Low-starch vegetables (lettuce, asparagus, etc.) digest well with protein. Once you start the protein, don't mix it with high starch vegetables (potatoes, corn, popcorn, etc.) because then your food fails to digest. If you find a list of low-starch vegetables as opposed to high-starch, that will help.

I eat lots of pineapple each morning and sometimes sweeten it with Stevia. I sometimes then switch to asparagus and chicken, broccoli and fish, and other vegetable/protein combinations. The key is to wait 2 hours between different fruits, and 3 hours before starting foods other than fruits. Once I start the vegetables and protein, I usually just eat until I'm full, all afternoon. It is great to be able to eat all you want, all day long, and maintain a normal weight. I hope this helps. Welda

Do bananas count? Enzyme producing? Is that to help with digestion?

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Hi,

I don't eat bananas because I have a really hard time digesting them. The diet is adapted from an old-time book called, The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel. It was a hit in 1981. Macmillan is the publisher. You might want to see if you can find the book (I always see it in thrift stores and at library sales since it is so old). She does list bananas with kiwis, persimmons and the other enzymatic fruits, but cautions that they should be very ripe, soft and speckled with brown.

I am under five feet tall and was able to lose about 20 pounds once I started digesting my food properly. It really makes a big difference! The best part is being able to eat all you want, and to always feel full. If you have any further questions, I'd be more than happy to see if I can answer them. Welda

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