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Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?
JamieSims, November 19, 2009 in Gluten Sensitivity and Behavior
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First of all
Don't have much time to deal with this today but yes a resounding yes!! One of the first places I noticed my "allergies" affecting me was my brain. Its also one of the first to go if I am at all off diet. EAting a basic whole foods diet without gluten or sugar seems essential for me. A paleo diet was very helpful with the addition of home made 24 hour yogurt using greek yogurt as a base. Can finally tolerate whole brown rice, but not tons of it due to candida overgrowth possibilties. Find olive leaf extract by the way a godsend--for getting rid of fibromyalgia/arthritic like symptoms especially with dandelion root. No alcohol extracts however. Boiling them up myself is best. I started a thread that might be useful to you called "Back to Basics". Most find eating more vegetables really helps, including the brain, emotions and the joints...
I was on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds for years and years. My celiac disease affected my brain more than any other part of my body. I had severe migraines (hospitalized because of them), constant brain fog, and of course the depression and anxiety I was being treated for. Let me just say this, after 13 months of a gluten free diet I am no longer on my meds, have no headaches whatsoever, and no brain fog. By the way, I am 50 years young. Make sure your meds are gluten free. Have your pharmacist contact the manufacturers. Don't forget to check your toothpaste, shampoo, anything that can touch your lips. Best of luck to you, but please please please be careful about stopping your meds. This can wreak havoc on your brain. Take care of yourself.
I just want to preface that this is my personal story and BY NO MEANS recommendation for others:
I was diagnosed with ADD at 8 years old. I was put on Concerta and took it religiously until the day I turned 18. I knew I did not have ADD, something else was wrong.
I was diagnosed bipolar just over two years ago. I was going through horrible things in my personal life that I will not go into on such a public forum. So August 2007, I lost about 20 pounds, fast. And I did not have much weight to lose. I dropped down to about 104 lbs (I am 5'6). I began "acting out" (doing things that I would not normally do, ie, heavy drinking, piercings, tattoos....). My mom and then-boyfriend (now fiance) made me see a doctor. I was an out patient and a mental facility for about two weeks, and was diagnosed bipolar. I was put on a slew of medications: lithium, depakote, xanax, seroquel, flexeril, etc. This made things WAY worse. I ballooned, weight wise. I think I gained 50 pounds. And it seemed like it was overnight. People at work would ask if I was pregnant, and in my fragile state, this made things worse. I was getting deeper and deeper into boughts of depression and anxiety.
May 2008 I decided to stop taking all of my medications, cold turkey. I stopped going to therapy. This was about two weeks before my 21st birthday. By June 2008, I felt two hundred times better (because I was no longer under a stupor from medication). The medicine made things drastically worse, but I was still getting the mild panic attacks and mild depression, similar to what I had before I was heavily medicated. I am not bipolar. I never was. I went to an AMAZING doctor, who was recommended by my mom, and she diagnosed me with celiac disease. I went gluten free November 2008, and now, the only times I get anxious/depressed is when I get glutened. I feel SO much better. One of the most detrimental effects of glutenings, to me, is extreme frustration/anxiety. I will be in a public place and, all of a sudden, feel a wave of panic (only after being glutened).
That being said, I am grateful for the therapist I saw throughout all of this. She helped me so much sort out the catalysts in my personal life.
Unfortunately, I too quickly got to the point that I would no longer listen to doctors. Medication was just pushed on me. And yes, I did need something to deal with the problems, at the time. But in retrospect, my problems had more to do with my diet than with my mental state.
That is just my two cents, though. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not pull stupid crap like I did: talk to your doctor before doing anything radical.
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