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Fey

Brain Fog Worse Since Going Gluten-Free?

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Has anyone else had problems with brain fog getting worse after going Gluten Free?

I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since 2004. I'm not new to brain fog, but that and most of my fibro symptoms hadn't been this bad in a very long time. Fatigue during the day accompanied by racing mind/insomnia at bedtime.

I'm pretty new to the whole thing. This is my 13th day gluten-free, and the symptoms got much better at first, and then I think I got glutened last Wednesday and things have gotten progressively worse since. My migraine (main cause that led me to Celiac) is gone, only leaving behind the occasional headache (usually after I eat).

I bought some Sublingual Vit B last week, along with a good multi vitamin. Eliminated as much dairy as possible from my diet, and watching for soy as well though still having some of that. No make up, no CC from my SO, switched toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner to gluten-free.

Possible culprit could also be Xanax withdrawal since my current brand is not gluten-free and I've only taken 1/4 of my usual dose a day since starting the diet. It's "as-needed" prescription and my anxiety has improved greatly to the point where I almost don't need any at all, and I should be getting a gluten-free brand in 2 days.

I know the answer is probably "it'll take time to heal" but if anyone has any pointers or any experience they'd like to share (i.e. how long your symptoms lasted), please do!

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Hi there, welcome to the forum.

I have fibro too. First, you need to toss the Xanax. That is definely glutening you. Replace it with something else pronto. Do you drink a lot of diet drinks? Aspertame is not good for fibro sufferers. Also, are you still using your old pots, pans, and toaster? Might ought to replace those. It was only after I totally eliminated those and the gluten, dairy, soy and aspertame that my brain fog started diminishing. Plus you could be going through withdrawal, which will make you feel worse before you get better. It took almost 6 months before I started seeing results. Hang in there and try to be patient.

Vicky

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If the sublingual vitamin B is a liquid, I'd highly recommend switching to a tablet or lozenge type. Make certain it is methylcobalamin too. Source Naturals makes a 1mg and 5mg. Get the 5mg, and take it about an hour before bedtime. Doing this corrected my sleep cycles. Also, get yourself a separate co-enzyme B-complex. Country Life makes one which looks pretty good.

Another thing which helped me a great deal is magnesium. There are numerous reasons why it can help. Start with about 200mg per day, and increase by 200mg every week until headaches or other pains subside. If you take more than your body needs, you will notice a stool softening effect. Other minerals can also play important roles, so you may find a multivitamin/mineral formula helpful too.

Other things to try include flax seed oil (omega-3s) and vitamin D3.

Yes, the meds are likely impeding your recovery. The ironic thing is if you get a gluten-free version, you may not even need it at all. Once you are 100% gluten-free for a while, you may find all the anxiety has gone forever. Many have found this to be true.

Lastly, do eliminate all dairy. You may not know if it is a culprit until it's completely out of your system for awhile. There are always alternatives to dairy products, and if you need suggestions, many members of this board will be able to help.

It sounds to me that you're going to be feeling much better in a relatively short period of time!

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Hi there, welcome to the forum.

I have fibro too. Do you drink a lot of diet drinks? Aspertame is not good for fibro sufferers. Also, are you still using your old pots, pans, and toaster? Might ought to replace those. It was only after I totally eliminated those and the gluten, dairy, soy and aspertame that my brain fog started diminishing. Plus you could be going through withdrawal, which will make you feel worse before you get better. It took almost 6 months before I started seeing results. Hang in there and try to be patient.

Vicky

Thank you so much!

I don't drink anything diet, and I've cut my regular sugar/sodium intake by a lot but that's still pretty high. With the fatigue, it's hard not to drink some high-caffeine, high-sugar drinks ;)

Not using toaster (nothing to toast. not a huge fan of bread, so until I feel a real craving, not worrying about buying specialty bread or making my own). Pans and pots are getting good scrubs with gluten-free detergent in between uses and my gluten-eating SO doesn't cook very often, though I'm definitely considering a new set. Using mostly new tupperware, though my SO hasn't caught on to the threat of CC yet - he understands my restrictions, but doesn't understand that cooking my steak directly on the grill next to his (that's dripping with glutened sauce) is not a good idea.

I have noticed a lot of changes, and things that slightly affected me before are really doing me in now, like sugar highs and allergies (itchy kind, not GI) after meals. I guess that's a positive for the diagnosis, but still makes me go :\

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If the sublingual vitamin B is a liquid, I'd highly recommend switching to a tablet or lozenge type. Make certain it is methylcobalamin too. Source Naturals makes a 1mg and 5mg. Get the 5mg, and take it about an hour before bedtime. Doing this corrected my sleep cycles. Also, get yourself a separate co-enzyme B-complex. Country Life makes one which looks pretty good.

Another thing which helped me a great deal is magnesium. There are numerous reasons why it can help. Start with about 200mg per day, and increase by 200mg every week until headaches or other pains subside. If you take more than your body needs, you will notice a stool softening effect. Other minerals can also play important roles, so you may find a multivitamin/mineral formula helpful too.

Other things to try include flax seed oil (omega-3s) and vitamin D3.

Yes, the meds are likely impeding your recovery. The ironic thing is if you get a gluten-free version, you may not even need it at all. Once you are 100% gluten-free for a while, you may find all the anxiety has gone forever. Many have found this to be true.

Lastly, do eliminate all dairy. You may not know if it is a culprit until it's completely out of your system for awhile. There are always alternatives to dairy products, and if you need suggestions, many members of this board will be able to help.

It sounds to me that you're going to be feeling much better in a relatively short period of time!

Thanks so much!

I'll look into those vitamins ASAP. Magnesium and flax seed didn't do anything for me in the past, but I don't know if it was related to absorption issues or not.

I'll need to get a new pillcase as well - I have a 7-day that I use for everything, one medicine in each daily compartment, so all of my meds are very likely CCed if one is. I checked the other pills and have been leaving my refills in their proper bottles, so once I get my Xanax on the 25th, I'll buy a new case too :)

I've already started using almond and coconut milk for drinking and cooking. Only things still getting through are snacks that may contain milk products, as well as supplements. I'll look into getting supplements that are casein-free.

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My guess is that you are having a pretty good case of withdrawls...or big CC problems. I would try to really eliminate all traces of gluten, especially CC. I think it is great that your SO is on board with your diet change, and I am sure with a little learning together it will be just fine. Just remember that you only have to deal with 1 day at a time, so breathe deeply and deal with things as they come.

It is a very difficult transition, a very worthwhile transition, but a difficult one none the less.

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Hi Fey,

I did not have 'brain fog' prior to going gluten free. About two weeks after going gluten free it hit me. Typing, spelling, memory, forgetting words and losing my train of thought in the middle of sentences. It really freaked me out and it kept getting worse. It gradually started getting better, and most of the time now (it's been over a year) I'm fairly normal. There is such a thing a gluten withdrawal due to the opioid effect gluten has on the brain. The book 'Dangerous Grains' by Ron Hoggan goes into it in some detail. .... I love google. I was able to find the exact paragraph I was looking for. :)

The addictive nature of gluten is often overlooked. For some, the first days and weeks of following a gluten-free diet are characterized by food cravings, disorientation, irritability, sleepiness, depression, mental fogginess, fatigue, and/or shortness of breath. If you are a member of this group, the very fact that you are experiencing many of these symptoms should reinforce the need to exclude gluten from your diet. These are common symptoms of withdrawl of detoxification from gluten-derived opiods and brain neurochemical imbalances. The evidence suggests that about 70 percent of celiac patients will experience these symptoms when beginning a strict gluten-free diet.

As far as the cookware, if it is non-stick you need to get a second set for gluten free cooking, or replace with stainless steel. Also shared cutting boards are a no-no, and if there is any gluten containing flour used in the kitchen is HAS to go. It is virtually impossible, no matter how careful, to keep a mixed gluten kitchen if gluten bearing flours are in use.

And as several people have said, you can't take the Xanax. Gluten-free is all or nothing. If you are taking 1/4 dose every few days, than you are continually glutening yourself.

Studies show that 50% of people diagnosed with Celiac Disease are also intolerant (i.e. produce anti-bodies for) Casein (the protein in dairy). Many people can experience some healing which may allow them to return small amounts of dairy to their life, but there are no statistics or studies, only personal or anecdotal stories. I would strongly recommend cutting out all dairy. Some things like Galaxy Rice Cheese, and some CoffeeMate creamers say 'non-dairy' but have casein re-introduced during the manufacturing process.

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Thanks for all your answers, guys!

I "decontaminated" my kitchen two weeks ago and separated everything in the pantry (left side is gluten or unknown, right side if gluten-free, all of my stuff is clipped or sealed. There's one bag of regular flour in the kitchen and it's closed and in a completely separate cabinet from my gluten-free flours and other ingredients. We don't really bake, so that full bag has been sitting around for over a year. Not throwing it out due to... relationship compromise. As long as it's closed and sealed, it can stay, if it has to be used, I better not be around, and it better get put in a sealed cookie jar.

Cutting board is being the hardest thing to manage, so I'm not using it directly, just putting things on top of it. I've spent over $400 above normal in groceries/meds/doctors/books over past 2 weeks, so having to put off some of the other things I need (i.e. new pots and pans, new cutting board, new utensils).

And I confess I'm still suffering from a bit of information-overdose, especially with the brain fog. Just today I realized I was using a steak knife to cut through an adhesive :\

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Just wanted to add to this discussion that you might be suffering from Hashimoto's or low thyroid hormones. Brain fog is one of the main symptoms. If you haven't been tested for it, you might consider having it done. Low thyroid can also cause joint and tendon pain--might have something to do with your fibromyalgia. JMOHO.

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Just wanted to add to this discussion that you might be suffering from Hashimoto's or low thyroid hormones. Brain fog is one of the main symptoms. If you haven't been tested for it, you might consider having it done. Low thyroid can also cause joint and tendon pain--might have something to do with your fibromyalgia. JMOHO.

Thank you!

I've had my thyroid checked many times and they never found a problem. Next time I get bloodwork from rheumatologist though, I'll ask for a fresh panel.

Also, I do have Lupus as well, so I can explain away all the symptoms just not why they're here *sigh* Stress from going gluten-free, body healing, weather changes, work stress... or gluten/CC. So many options, will have to work harder on preventing CC and hope it clears up before my next doc appt.

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the suggestions. Got new cutting board, utensils (bright red & in separate drawer so my SO won't use them by mistake), set of pots and pans.

Working craaaazy hours, but it seems the fatigue is finally on its way out. I had bad C last week, and took a cocktail of lax, acidophilus bifidus, magnesium and fruit... after a painful 12 hours, I felt like new. The brain fog has cleared, the fibro flare has subsided, and I'm taking 1000mg of magnesium before bed.

Went grocery shopping yesterday and after crying at the fact that Larabars were not on sale, everything went pretty well :D Boss is ordering pizza for everyone today, but I'll be gladly eating my packed lunch (bean and potato soup, salad with gluten-free dressing, mortadella slices rolled up, and diced mangoes and kiwis).

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I went through terrible withdrawals and my brain fog got BAD for a few weeks. It came and went for a couple of months. Now I haven't had it for a very long time. Can't remember the last time I had it honestly.

If you do a search for withdrawals here in the forums you can get long discussions about it. I had them for a few months. It took me about 4 1/2 months to start feeling good and then in month 6 I started feeling really good. I'm in month 7 now and I feel pretty great. Not 100% but pretty awesome most days. I'm working out everyday, have plenty of energy and feel "normal."

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Has anyone else had problems with brain fog getting worse after going Gluten Free?

I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since 2004. I'm not new to brain fog, but that and most of my fibro symptoms hadn't been this bad in a very long time. Fatigue during the day accompanied by racing mind/insomnia at bedtime.

I'm pretty new to the whole thing. This is my 13th day gluten-free, and the symptoms got much better at first, and then I think I got glutened last Wednesday and things have gotten progressively worse since. My migraine (main cause that led me to Celiac) is gone, only leaving behind the occasional headache (usually after I eat).

I bought some Sublingual Vit B last week, along with a good multi vitamin. Eliminated as much dairy as possible from my diet, and watching for soy as well though still having some of that. No make up, no CC from my SO, switched toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner to gluten-free.

Possible culprit could also be Xanax withdrawal since my current brand is not gluten-free and I've only taken 1/4 of my usual dose a day since starting the diet. It's "as-needed" prescription and my anxiety has improved greatly to the point where I almost don't need any at all, and I should be getting a gluten-free brand in 2 days.

I know the answer is probably "it'll take time to heal" but if anyone has any pointers or any experience they'd like to share (i.e. how long your symptoms lasted), please do!

My brain fog was really bad the first 2 years after going gluten-free. Be patient with yourself!!! :) Excercize helps.

be well! :)xoxo

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