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velouria

Is This All In My Head?

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A year ago I ate gluten regularly without incident. I had some anger rages on occasion, but no other "symptoms". No stomach pain, no pain at all - and I was a carb-a-holic.

Last year we became a gluten-free/CF household for my son because of his autism (and he's thriving on that diet) - after adopting the diet myself to support him, I noticed I felt better - calmer, not more out-of-nowhere anger bursts. Then I noticed that when I did have gluten out of the house I felt awful. Not so much stomach sick, but so, so very achey - hit by a truck achey. Some intestinal discomfort - crampy mostly, but mostly it's just an all-over body ache that makes me pretty much useless.

Here's the thing... why would I have been able to eat gluten all that time without problems and suddenly now have this reaction? My husband thinks it's in my head - he believes that the pain is real, but kind of like a placebo effect. That kind of makes sense, except the pain is So.Very.Real. And it seems that the longer I go without gluten, the worse I feel when I do have it... wouldn't my symptoms be more static if they were "real"? Is this even what a gluten sensitivity or celiac would look like? Am I just crazy? lol

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A year ago I ate gluten regularly without incident. I had some anger rages on occasion, but no other "symptoms". No stomach pain, no pain at all - and I was a carb-a-holic.

Last year we became a gluten-free/CF household for my son because of his autism (and he's thriving on that diet) - after adopting the diet myself to support him, I noticed I felt better - calmer, not more out-of-nowhere anger bursts. Then I noticed that when I did have gluten out of the house I felt awful. Not so much stomach sick, but so, so very achey - hit by a truck achey. Some intestinal discomfort - crampy mostly, but mostly it's just an all-over body ache that makes me pretty much useless.

Here's the thing... why would I have been able to eat gluten all that time without problems and suddenly now have this reaction? My husband thinks it's in my head - he believes that the pain is real, but kind of like a placebo effect. That kind of makes sense, except the pain is So.Very.Real. And it seems that the longer I go without gluten, the worse I feel when I do have it... wouldn't my symptoms be more static if they were "real"? Is this even what a gluten sensitivity or celiac would look like? Am I just crazy? lol

Hi, and welcome to the board.

My best answer to your question goes like this:

Preamble: Many of us have had vague (or slightly more than vague :P ) symptoms for 10, 20, 30 years or more. Have reported these to doctors and been told variously that: A/ it was all in our heads, B/ we had IBS, C/ that we had fibromyalgia, or go through the rest of the alphabet and fill in the blanks. Most of us continued functioning in our everyday lives although we were definitely below par. Some of us were unable to function. Others kind of breezed through without giving things a second thought., blissfully unaware of any problems whatsoever.

For various reasons, we all ended up not eating gluten: some diagnosed incidental to some other problem, some (finally) diagnosed by their doctors, others self-diagnosed, some as in your case going gluten free because of family members' needs.

Almost without exception, we all find that having given up gluten our reactions are much more severe than they were previously. It is as though the body is so relieved to be free of the gluten load and having to deal with it, that when it is once more confronted with this toxic (to it) substance, it responds much more violently as if to give you the message, GET RID OF THIS STUFF!! already :unsure:

You have mentioned two cues in your post, the "rage from nowhere" and being a "carboholic". These are familiar gluten intolerance symptoms. We tend to crave the things which we should not have (think cigs., heroin, alcohol, whatever). My husband is one who reacts with anger. He gave up gluten when I had to for my rheumatoid arthritis and immediately there was a change in his out-of-control tempers. When he decided to cheat because "he was only doing it for me, not for him" he developed dermatitis herpetiformis, the skin form of celiac, which he had never had before during all the years of eating gluten. Needless to say, no more cheating.

So yes, it is very possible, and not all in your head, that you are reacting exactly as you describe. There are many so-called "silent celiacs" who were unaware f any gluten symptoms prior to diagnosis. Some cannot even think of any after diagnosis and do not know whether or not they have ingested gluten by accident. Some like yourself develop the classic celiac-type GI and aching symptoms. Whatever the case, if you now react to gluten it is obvious that it is a harmful substance for you and you should not consume it.

I hope this has helped a bit :)

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