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Erin Arsenault

How Long Does It Take To Feel Better?

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I've been feeling lousy for about 2.5 years (since I got pregnant). I thought it was just pregnancy symptoms but then they didn't go away after I had the baby. Nausea, diarrhea (1-10 per day), gas, cramping, skin rashes (eczema on hands, large pimple-like things on small of my back). I've tracked my diet for a while but there was no consistent things that irritated me. I took dairy out for about 2 months but it didn't work. All blood work came back within normal ranges. Negative celiac blood test. A friend told me about a lab that test the stool so I sent a sample. It said that I had an "active gluten sensitivity", an autoimmune reaction to an enzyme secondary to gluten sensitivity, fat is well digested, no cow's milk allergy, and I have one of the main genes that predisposes me to gluten sensitivity. Meanwhile i saw a GI doctor who sent me for a colonoscopy and gastroscopy and small intestine biopsy. I didn't get the results back yet but I started the gluten-free diet. I've been on it for about 2 weeks now with fluctuating results. 2 good days and then a bad day. How long does it take?? I am off work now and it's driving me crazy. My family doctor told me about a guy who felt better within 2 days. Could there be something else? I am staying away from dairy for now too (someone told me that as my bowel heals that i should stay way from lactose). How long should I wait with this diet before I throw in the towel?

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BE patient. It's different with everyone, but almost everyone has ups and downs. I would recommend some sort of elimination diet, avoiding the major allergens: corn, soy, dairy, nuts, eggs. keep a food diary to keep track of reactions. Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but SO worth it.

Take a good probiotic daily and enzymes with every meal. Check your meds, cosmetics, vitamins, etc. for gluten.

It does get better, it just takes times. Some fight with the elimination diet- I REALLY did not want to give up anything else. The list of secondary intolerances I experienced was huge: diary, nuts, all grains, corn, soy, broccoli, cauliflower, legumes, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. The good news is that 5 months later, I can have grains, diary, nuts with no issues. So, it's not forever. Hang in there!

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Be patient, you will get results! For me, it took 6-8 weeks to really start feeling better. I thought it would never happen, but eventually, I started getting normal bm's, more energy, the nausea subsided, stomach cramps went away, and I just started feeling better overall. I think the reason I kept feeling sick for so long after going gluten free was because I was still healing, which doesn't happen overnight, and because was still inadvertently glutening myself because I was using nonstick pans. It took me at least 8 weeks just to figure out that there were still foods I was eating that possibly had gluten traces, like lays chips, which are made on the same lines as gluten containing chips. I eat Lays Stax now, since they're made separately.

My point is, there is a steep learning curve to this gluten free thing, and it takes awhile to figure out what's still making you sick, and if those things are removed, you may still be sick for awhile just because you're healing. Give it some time, you will feel better! Let us know how it goes!

Janie

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