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About To Give Up On This Diet Because Now I Am Swollen Beyond Belief!

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First I have to say I admire all of you and your dedication to gluten free life. It was this forum that made me feel I could try to do this.

I am about ready to give up on this diet I am soooo frustrated. This morning I actually made a list of pros and cons. Of course the pros were much longer with 90% of my symptoms decreasing. But the problem is my belly is swollen to look like 3 months pregnant and no I am not pregnant. I have always been constipated life long but have never had a belly like this consistent for two weeks. I at first thought I was getting gluten but I have gone back to for sure safe foods that are gluten, dairy and soy free and still I am swollen. I am adding no new items. No chance of cross contamination. I even took correctol, had an allergic reaction (throat swelling) and still I am swollen. In addition I have beeen taking Miralax for 7 days and eating a ton of fruits, vegies, beans, water etc... My diet has never been healthier. It's funny that I have lived with IBS (constipated kind)for my whole life, figure out how to treat my constipation with bran, figure out the bran is causing new set problems ie joint and other problems, I yet again adjust my diet by going gluten free and now I am left extreemly uncomforatble with a swollen belly and pressure up to my ribs! Ok I am done venting, thank you for listening. Maybe just writing this is therapy! Any suggestions because I am beginnng to think I have traded my problems for another serious worse problem and my box of raison bran is calling my name!

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I feel exactly the same, and it also makes my emotions swing. I do not understand how I can gain 10lbs when not eating like I used to and feel worse..and this is a new lifestyle change....I feel your pain...hopefully we will learn how to deal with it together! Connie Pridgen, CNC

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Hi,

Starting the gluten-free diet can be a tough go at first. For some people it involves a complete change in their daily diet. Gluten is a fiber, so removing it means you are getting less fiber. You can add other kinds of fiber to your diet though. Psyillium husks and flax seed meal or both good fibers, and can be added to many foods. Just stir a teaspoon in your foods. Take plenty of water with them too.

Another thing that has helped me in the past with "backups" is sauerkraut. Eat a good size can of sauerkraut and it may help. I don't know if it is the saltiness or what but it does something. Some caffeine might help also.

One thing I think happens when going gluten-free is that your gut bacteria balance changes. And it can take a little while for a new balance to settle in. The pro-biotics may help but many of them have dairy so if you have dairy issues watch out for that.

The diet should get easier after a while. But everything takes time so be patient with your body and yourself. You will learn what works for your body as time goes on. And we are all a little different it seems in our reactions. You might want to try a search on "constipation" and see if there are any other ideas around too.

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I think sauerkraut is a probiotic as is yogurt (personally I dislike yogurt but love sauerkraut)

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First I have to say I admire all of you and your dedication to gluten free life. It was this forum that made me feel I could try to do this.

I am about ready to give up on this diet I am soooo frustrated. This morning I actually made a list of pros and cons. Of course the pros were much longer with 90% of my symptoms decreasing. But the problem is my belly is swollen to look like 3 months pregnant and no I am not pregnant. I have always been constipated life long but have never had a belly like this consistent for two weeks. I at first thought I was getting gluten but I have gone back to for sure safe foods that are gluten, dairy and soy free and still I am swollen. I am adding no new items. No chance of cross contamination. I even took correctol, had an allergic reaction (throat swelling) and still I am swollen. In addition I have beeen taking Miralax for 7 days and eating a ton of fruits, vegies, beans, water etc... My diet has never been healthier. It's funny that I have lived with IBS (constipated kind)for my whole life, figure out how to treat my constipation with bran, figure out the bran is causing new set problems ie joint and other problems, I yet again adjust my diet by going gluten free and now I am left extreemly uncomforatble with a swollen belly and pressure up to my ribs! Ok I am done venting, thank you for listening. Maybe just writing this is therapy! Any suggestions because I am beginnng to think I have traded my problems for another serious worse problem and my box of raison bran is calling my name!

Dont give up! I had the same thing happen. I looked like I was going to have a baby at any minute. Here's what I learned:

1. You haven't been digesting things normally for a very long time. Your body "forgets" how to do it right.

2. Now that you've taken the "poison" out of your system, your body can actually realize that things aren't working right and it goes nuts.

3. you may have other intolerances that have shown up only now, because your body has been fighting gluten, and that takes every bit of focus.

This is what I did to get better. Take it or leave it on the food advice, because that is different for everyone:

Take enzymes before and after every meal

Take probiotics every day

Get plenty of fiber from veg and fruit sources

Eliminate problem foods. Mine were: dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, rice, all grains really, broccoli, cauliflower, nightshades

Once I did that, the gas pains and being blown up like a balloon stopped.

Hang in there. PM me if I can help.

Janie

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I hate to break it to you, but while miralax says that it's gluten free, it still isn't safe for those allergic to wheat--therefore, you might still be doing damage to your system. (Sometimes, something has less than 20 parts per million, so the company can say it's gluten free, even if there's still gluten in it.)

And I want reiterate what others have said--I never swelled, but I did have exhaustion to a frightening degree once I committed to being gluten free. And it took awhile for me to feel good again; it's been months, and I'm still getting better slowly. Damage, unfortunately, sometimes has to be fixed the same way it was accrued: slowly.

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When you changed to a gluten-free diet did you greatly increase the amount of fruits and veggies and beans that you are eating? If they were increased suddenly your body may be having a hard time adjusting. Are you cooking your veggies and fruits? That may help to make them easier to digest. You could also be reacting to CC as once we get the big load of gluten out of our systems we often will react to tiny amounts. If you haven't eliminated gluten from your toiletries, craft supplies etc that could contribute to bloating also. Hang in there, with the improvement you have seen the diet is obviously helping so don't give up on it. Also you may find if you do try to give up on the diet your symptoms that have resolved will come back with a great intensity. It will get better in time.

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I hate to break it to you, but while miralax says that it's gluten free, it still isn't safe for those allergic to wheat--therefore, you might still be doing damage to your system. (Sometimes, something has less than 20 parts per million, so the company can say it's gluten free, even if there's still gluten in it.)

I was wondering about the safety of Miralax for us also. In addition do make sure that all meds, script and OTC are checked for gluten statis. There are no requirements that gluten be acknowledged in labels for drugs and supplements and in additon if a supplement contains wheat or barley grass they can call it gluten free but they really aren't.

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How can I say thank you from the bottom of my heart? Thank you so much. Just knowing that what I am going through has happened to others is huge for me. I have been so worried that I have made things worse but your comments make sense. But I am also worried... do I need a doctor to do this correct? For example I did not know that rice could be a problem.

Also If miralax is no good what about mineral oil? I have searched this site for ideas but have not come up with anything excepet for bulking up on veg, water, citracel, and etc...

FYI I am going out tomorrow to find a can of sauerkraut!

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first, make sure you drink LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER, eat flax meal, coconut oil, probiotics, and take a magnesium supplement.

All the extra fruit and veggies that you're eating could be irritating your IBS if you're eating mostly raw. Cook the veggies, and go light on the fruits for a while. Limit cruciferous veggies as well (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and the like) as they have a tendency to add to gas and bloating problems. And cook them well when you do have them.

Rice always added to my constipation. Refined white rice really isn't much fibre, it's all been washed off. Bananas can also add to constipation, as can Pepto-Bismol (and other bismuth stomach upset remedies).

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I wanted to chime in as another newbie, saying that I felt the same way. In fact, I also posted on here about not understanding feeling worse at first. I really do think there is much to the idea that your system is adjusting. I had terrible bloating and gas pains. They lasted for about the first 3 weeks. I'm happy to report that they have been gone for a few days now. In addition to the good advice given, I'd say time is so helpful, not overcommiting yourself to other things during this transition. Hope you feel better soon!

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first, make sure you drink LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER, eat flax meal, coconut oil, probiotics, and take a magnesium supplement.

All the extra fruit and veggies that you're eating could be irritating your IBS if you're eating mostly raw. Cook the veggies, and go light on the fruits for a while. Limit cruciferous veggies as well (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and the like) as they have a tendency to add to gas and bloating problems. And cook them well when you do have them.

Rice always added to my constipation. Refined white rice really isn't much fibre, it's all been washed off. Bananas can also add to constipation, as can Pepto-Bismol (and other bismuth stomach upset remedies).

Ok, I was told rice was good, I eat white or brown rice or rice noodles, rice crackers...and I have always eating salads and steamed vegetables for 20+ years without problem for example, last nights dinner did not affect me it was steamed zucchini, mushrooms, summer squash, chicken with coconut oil served over brown rice with a side salad with omega oil and apple cider vinegar and goat cheese..enzymes before and after and no problems....but I am eating bananas because they are portable to eat, as well as grapefruits..constipation is my problem and of course malabsorption when I thought I was doing soo well..this forum is helpful and educational..thank you...

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How can I say thank you from the bottom of my heart? Thank you so much. Just knowing that what I am going through has happened to others is huge for me. I have been so worried that I have made things worse but your comments make sense. But I am also worried... do I need a doctor to do this correct? For example I did not know that rice could be a problem.

Also If miralax is no good what about mineral oil? I have searched this site for ideas but have not come up with anything excepet for bulking up on veg, water, citracel, and etc...

FYI I am going out tomorrow to find a can of sauerkraut!

Rice isn't a problem for everyone--so you should experiment to see if that's one of your issues.

As for Miralax substitutes, one thread suggested benefiber. (I did a simple google search on miralax; it would probably be wise to do the same on benefiber. I'm too wiped today to do it for you.)

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I second the suggestion of magnesium supplementation. It's the same idea behind Milk of Magnesia. This vital mineral will relieve constipation, and it is quite safe. It also plays a vital role in many other bodily processes. Magnesium deficiency happens to be one of the most common amongst Celiac sufferers. Just start with a small dose, and work up over a period of several days, to find the right dose for you. There are several forms to choose from, with varying degrees of effectiveness at relieving constipation. Some experimentation will help you find one which works best for you.

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Thanks again everyone. I have taken many suggestions, cut out everything except for meat, vegies and fruit. Don't even miss my yummy food. The fruit I am eating is apples and pears baked in the oven. Vegies which include celery, carrots, peas, onions so far and I am cooking before I eat except for salad...that I am cutting up fine. I also am eating apple sauce with flax seed. This is a very boring diet but when you are so bloated it doesn't matter. I started some enzymes yesterday and just got a probiotic today. I am still bloated and have a lumpy belly today after eating but I see a nice improvement, actually this morning my belly was looking somewhat normal before I ate (go figure I should have eaten before seeing the doctor this morning!). I feel very hopeful even though I am still uncomfortable. Anyway, OB doctor wants me to do an ultrasound soon, see a GI and Rheumatologist. He suggested my problems could be celiac among other things and when I told him it was to late for me to get tested he said there are blood tests the GI can do that wont be affected by my giving up gluten. Is that correct? Because I am not about to put gluten back in my body and go through all of this again. I also fear the cost factor involved with all of this just to have everyone tell me nothing is wrong.

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Many people say that the blood test can show false negatives, but by not eating gluten you will increase the chances of a false negative. If you are feeling better just stick with it, unless you feel that you need an official diagnosis for other reasons. If you still seek to have official diagnosis I have read that many people are diagnosed simply by proving that the diet has improved their health, regardless of what the blood test or biopsy reports show. That maybe something you can discuss with your GI when you see them.

Good Luck!!

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Thanks again everyone. I have taken many suggestions, cut out everything except for meat, vegies and fruit. Don't even miss my yummy food. The fruit I am eating is apples and pears baked in the oven. Vegies which include celery, carrots, peas, onions so far and I am cooking before I eat except for salad...that I am cutting up fine. I also am eating apple sauce with flax seed. This is a very boring diet but when you are so bloated it doesn't matter. I started some enzymes yesterday and just got a probiotic today. I am still bloated and have a lumpy belly today after eating but I see a nice improvement, actually this morning my belly was looking somewhat normal before I ate (go figure I should have eaten before seeing the doctor this morning!). I feel very hopeful even though I am still uncomfortable. Anyway, OB doctor wants me to do an ultrasound soon, see a GI and Rheumatologist. He suggested my problems could be celiac among other things and when I told him it was to late for me to get tested he said there are blood tests the GI can do that wont be affected by my giving up gluten. Is that correct? Because I am not about to put gluten back in my body and go through all of this again. I also fear the cost factor involved with all of this just to have everyone tell me nothing is wrong.

Interesting, I was told once I went off of gluten you couldn't have a blood test. I have been gluten-free for 2 months now and feel great. I can tell when I have been glutened. Introducing broccoli back into my diet has given me gas but not bad. Diagnosed with IBS 10 yrs ago I am enjoying all the foods that I had cut out before. I have bloating every once in a while but I am also suffering from pain since surgery 3 months ago. My suggestion is to keep on with the diet and try different things. I have notice that what works for one doesn't always work for the other. Good luck on this journey..

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That is not correct. If you are gluten free, the tests will not be accurate. Even a few days off gluten can cause a negative result.

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Have you ever looked at this?

Fructose Malabsorption

It's a condition that can be caused by whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, etc... And it seems more likely to develop in people who have had previous gut issues. Both gut symptoms and mood symptoms can be present. And there are varying levels of it, so it can be mild or severe.

Diet correction is needed to correct this, as well....it's just eating certain veggies and fruits instead of ones that have a higher fructose load, eating more refined flours, etc... Oh, and typically, no yogurt or probiotics, as these actually make the condition worse, typically. (bacteria in the gut consume excess fructose and cause the problems, so more bacteria = worse reaction).

Don't know that this would be it, but I figure it probably couldn't hurt to check it out, eh?

First I have to say I admire all of you and your dedication to gluten free life. It was this forum that made me feel I could try to do this.

I am about ready to give up on this diet I am soooo frustrated. This morning I actually made a list of pros and cons. Of course the pros were much longer with 90% of my symptoms decreasing. But the problem is my belly is swollen to look like 3 months pregnant and no I am not pregnant. I have always been constipated life long but have never had a belly like this consistent for two weeks. I at first thought I was getting gluten but I have gone back to for sure safe foods that are gluten, dairy and soy free and still I am swollen. I am adding no new items. No chance of cross contamination. I even took correctol, had an allergic reaction (throat swelling) and still I am swollen. In addition I have beeen taking Miralax for 7 days and eating a ton of fruits, vegies, beans, water etc... My diet has never been healthier. It's funny that I have lived with IBS (constipated kind)for my whole life, figure out how to treat my constipation with bran, figure out the bran is causing new set problems ie joint and other problems, I yet again adjust my diet by going gluten free and now I am left extreemly uncomforatble with a swollen belly and pressure up to my ribs! Ok I am done venting, thank you for listening. Maybe just writing this is therapy! Any suggestions because I am beginnng to think I have traded my problems for another serious worse problem and my box of raison bran is calling my name!

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Thanks again everyone. I have taken many suggestions, cut out everything except for meat, vegies and fruit. Don't even miss my yummy food. The fruit I am eating is apples and pears baked in the oven. Vegies which include celery, carrots, peas, onions so far and I am cooking before I eat except for salad...that I am cutting up fine. I also am eating apple sauce with flax seed. This is a very boring diet but when you are so bloated it doesn't matter. I started some enzymes yesterday and just got a probiotic today. I am still bloated and have a lumpy belly today after eating but I see a nice improvement, actually this morning my belly was looking somewhat normal before I ate (go figure I should have eaten before seeing the doctor this morning!). I feel very hopeful even though I am still uncomfortable. Anyway, OB doctor wants me to do an ultrasound soon, see a GI and Rheumatologist. He suggested my problems could be celiac among other things and when I told him it was to late for me to get tested he said there are blood tests the GI can do that wont be affected by my giving up gluten. Is that correct? Because I am not about to put gluten back in my body and go through all of this again. I also fear the cost factor involved with all of this just to have everyone tell me nothing is wrong.

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Hi,have you ever heard of The Beverly Hills Diet, from the 1980s? The premise is that fruits will only digest with certain enzymes, veggies take different enzymes, and proteins take altogether different enzymes. Therefore, eating one fruit at a time, as much as you want, then waiting two hours to switch to another fruit or food, will speed up your digestion. Once you quit fruits, don't go back until the next day.

Low starch veggies will digest well with rice, beans, soy, etc. and with proteins, but the rice, beans & soy and high starch veggies take different enzymes than the protein, so mixing them will probably cause problems.

It is quite an easy combination to remember once you use this system awhile, and it means that your food digests easily and moves through your system more quickly. Weight loss, of course, could be a result, so if you're trying to GAIN weight, do just the opposite. Here is the concept:

1. Eat fruit first thing in the morning, and wait 2 hours before switching to another fruit. Pineapples, strawberries, papaya, mangoes, kiwi, etc. are great for digestion. You can eat fruit all day if you want.

2. Once you switch to veggies or other foods, don't go back to fruits. You can eat a variety of veggies together, but don't mix high starch veggies (corn, potatoes, rice, beans, lentils, etc.) with protein. Green salads & low starch veggies mix with protein and allow the foods to digest more quickly.

I now eat fruit until noon, then have a day of veggies (both low & high starch, along with beans, rice, lentils, etc.). Another day I will eat fruit, then have a day of low starch veggies with protein. Alternating gives me variety and it becomes easy to do, especially when the food digests and you feel better. Hope this helps. Welda

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I read somewhere that a nice warm epsom salt bath was rather effective at getting things... ahem... moving.

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Thanks again everyone. I have taken many suggestions, cut out everything except for meat, vegies and fruit. Don't even miss my yummy food. The fruit I am eating is apples and pears baked in the oven. Vegies which include celery, carrots, peas, onions so far and I am cooking before I eat except for salad...that I am cutting up fine. I also am eating apple sauce with flax seed. This is a very boring diet but when you are so bloated it doesn't matter. I started some enzymes yesterday and just got a probiotic today. I am still bloated and have a lumpy belly today after eating but I see a nice improvement, actually this morning my belly was looking somewhat normal before I ate (go figure I should have eaten before seeing the doctor this morning!). I feel very hopeful even though I am still uncomfortable. Anyway, OB doctor wants me to do an ultrasound soon, see a GI and Rheumatologist. He suggested my problems could be celiac among other things and when I told him it was to late for me to get tested he said there are blood tests the GI can do that wont be affected by my giving up gluten. Is that correct? Because I am not about to put gluten back in my body and go through all of this again. I also fear the cost factor involved with all of this just to have everyone tell me nothing is wrong.

the only test that isn't messed up by going gluten free is the genetic test- however 30% of people will test positive for this adn only 1-4% will actually have or develop celiac. Unfortunately the test captures even the people who are gluten sensitve (like people with lupus and MS). However, if it comes back negative, it is 99.9 % sure you won't have a gluten issue- so that is the good part. The other negative is that the test isnt always covered by insurance / or the lab that does it isn't- and it can be costly. I know just what you mean though- I'm 14 weeks into this and no change yet- celiac can mimic ms and lupus too-which they think I have but they had me do a gluten free trial to be sure and 14 weeks of no change! I had the constipation as well and bought a multiseed gluten free bread from a local bakery but got major gas.. magnesium and prune juice are good! Adn my doc told me the same thing- that all the starches are constipating!

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