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fattycat

Immune System Seems To Have Gone Down Now That I'm Gluten Free!

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I've been gluten free for about 3 months now. Feeling better in general. I do have heart burn quite often and I've also gained some weight (I was overweight before so this isnt a good thing). But now I'm finding that I seem to be getting more viral infections than I ever did. About a month ago I got Pityriasis rosea and now I've had a nasty lung infection for over a week that just wont go away. I thought that my immune system would go up not down! What the heck is going on?

Only medication I'm on right now is B vitamines and Tums for the heart burn

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Are the Tums you are taking gluten free? Not all versions are. Pepto Bismal name brand liquid is safe. Are you being careful about cross contamination and going with mostly whole foods? If not you should be. It is a good idea to avoid dairy for a bit while healing and some of us are sensitive to soy. Soy gives me incredible stomach pain which pepto helps in one dose. It may not be the issue for you but it is worth dropping just to see.

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Are the Tums you are taking gluten free? Not all versions are. Pepto Bismal name brand liquid is safe. Are you being careful about cross contamination and going with mostly whole foods? If not you should be. It is a good idea to avoid dairy for a bit while healing and some of us are sensitive to soy. Soy gives me incredible stomach pain which pepto helps in one dose. It may not be the issue for you but it is worth dropping just to see.

Yes, the Tums are gluten free. Checked that one :) I am having dairy but only yogurt and occasionally some cheese and we have soy about once a week. It doesn't seem to cause any problems that I've noticed. Actually, the yogurt seems to help with the reflux. We do eat mostly whole foods. Luckily I am married to a chef who is very supportive :D We make most of our food from scratch and usually eat at home these days. I think the acid reflux is due to healing and eating too late. My husband and I've recently made a promise to stop that together...I'm starting to suspect that maybe my vitamin D levels are low?

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I was having such bad heartburn/reflux that I was ready to go to my doc and ask her for Nexium! I realized the condition was my fault and lost 20 lbs and quit eating supper so late. NO MORE HEARTBURN OR REFLUX!!!

I've been gluten-free for almost 10 years and I've really noticed in the last few years that I never get sick! The last time was when my sister-in-law shared her flu w/ me at my daughter's wedding... fever, chills, the whole shebang. That was nearly 2 years ago.

I work w/ kids often and don't even pick up so much as a cold! I am careful about handwashing and getting the kids to use a squirt of hand sanitizer.

I think it'll get better for you the longer you're gluten free!

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I was having such bad heartburn/reflux that I was ready to go to my doc and ask her for Nexium! I realized the condition was my fault and lost 20 lbs and quit eating supper so late. NO MORE HEARTBURN OR REFLUX!!!

I've been gluten-free for almost 10 years and I've really noticed in the last few years that I never get sick! The last time was when my sister-in-law shared her flu w/ me at my daughter's wedding... fever, chills, the whole shebang. That was nearly 2 years ago.

I work w/ kids often and don't even pick up so much as a cold! I am careful about handwashing and getting the kids to use a squirt of hand sanitizer.

I think it'll get better for you the longer you're gluten free!

Hopefully! I've had a chest infection now for almost 10 days. Before going gluten free I actually didn't get sick (gluten related sick yes) too often but in the last 2 months I've had two major viral infections. Could it possibly be like a detox sort of thing? You know like when your body gets rid of a poison like drugs, your immune system goes down as it fights to get it out of your system?

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I've had a chest infection now for almost 10 days. Before going gluten free I actually didn't get sick (gluten related sick yes) too often but in the last 2 months I've had two major viral infections.

My guess - and it's just utter guessing...

- Did the doctor say whether you had a lot of intestinal damage? If so, it might be your body is a bit overwhelmed because most of its resources are being used to heal your body and gut. I had a period of exhaustion after going gluten that seems to have been due to that. Although just normal healing might be enough for it.

- Are you eating less? Might be affecting your vitamin levels, like you suspect. Before I went gluten free, I actually had good vitamin levels, mostly. However, I did it by overeating and getting just enough vitamins from my food that way. When I started eating less, I got fewer vitamins (especially as I was still healing and not absorbing well), and so my nutrient level went down.

- And...might be low level gluten cc. I know you make your food at home, from scratch, but you can still be zapped, unfortunately. Do you use any grains? A recent study found that a number of 'naturally' gluten free grains were contaminated above 20 ppm, I believe one was something like 300ppm of gluten or more (they didn't name brand names, though, more's the pity). Nuts, dried fruits, and beans are also a cc hazard due to processing - you may already know this, but the 'also processed in a facility that processes wheat' is a voluntary label, so many products without this label would have it, if labeling were required.

- Also, do you know if you are one of the 10-15% of Celiacs who react to gluten-free oats? This small group react to ALL oats, not just gluten contaminated ones, just as though they were wheat. If this is an issue, if you eat gluten-free oats that could be causing a problem. Also, if this is an issue, many gluten-free dedicated facilities for things like grains or flours could be a problem - many don't view gluten-free oats as gluten, so the gluten-free flours can be gluten-free oat contaminated. :( If they are certified by CSA, however, then there will be no oats of any kind in the facility.

The reason I bring this up is because when I am getting continual small levels of gluten, even if I don't seem to be reacting noticeably, my immune system tanks. When I got totally gluten free, I didn't get sick at all. Then went on a trip, got minute cc during the trip, and caught the flu within days, and it's taken forever to kick it. Honestly, if you're immune system feels like it's not doing well, I'd think it's vitamins or mild gluten cc as the most likely culprit.

- Also, I'm assuming you've checked all your makeup and such - has your hubby? Does he use chapstick or a different toothpaste that might not be gluten-free? Or a shampoo that isn't gluten-free? If you rinse it off and it runs down your face and ever gets into your mouth, could be an issue.

good luck and hope you get better soon!

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From my experience it might be that your body is going thru the big post-gluten free diet change. The weight change may be only one thing that is changing. Going gluten free has required me to live very healthy - eat at "healthy" times, balanced appropriate meals, full compliment of vitamins, get enough exercise and sleep...it's kind of nice but a huge change in lifestyle. It's been important because my body responds differently to stressors -- an easy example is that over eating now makes me gain weight (talk about a lifestyle adjustment). Also since I now respond differently to caffeine I can't just stay up late and expect coffee to help. There are others around how I manage stress - no sugary snacks because that makes my health worse, no chocolate unless I actually want to eat it -- you get the idea.

So cut back on eating late but also maybe look and see if there are other habits that need changing.

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Urg, this is so frustrating. I didn't think of this before but in October 2009 I got really sick. I couldn't breath. I thought it was the N1H1 virus (11 of my students had it at that time) and the mold problem we had in our appartment. Though the doctor didn't test me he said that I was wrong because I didn't have a fever and that I had asthma. He put me on a bunch of meds that made me sick. I went off of them and he put me on Symbicort and I didn't have any more breathing problems (we also moved).

A year + later I'm still not convinced that it was asthma and I hadn't had any breathing problems. So about a month ago I started gradually going off the Symbicort. So, maybe this current event is because of the Symbicort and not the Celiac disease! Never even crossed my mind. Plus Symbicort can cause weight gain, hives, diarrhea, heartburn etc. So which caused those symptoms in me before?! The gluten or the Symbicort? If I dont have either I guess in the long run it wont matter. I guess I just assume everything is Celiac Disease now when it could be something else :P

I'm in Korea and the labling laws here are VERY relaxed. Doing the best we can. Don't eat oats at all, buy our flours (except rice flour) online from "trusted" sites and the only other grain I have is the occasional rice. I think I'm pretty much eating the same ammount. I know my B6 levels were low but I dont know about any other vitamin levels. It was really hard to get the B tests here. Think I'll be ordering a multi-vitamin soon. The damage to my intestine wasn't too too bad but I likely had undiagnosed Celiac Disease for 30+ years they estimate. The doctor also had me on probiotic and some meds for IBS when ended a bit over a month ago too. Urg, this is like an anoying mystery novel :P

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FC,

Tums (which I used to live on) have soy in them. Is soy an issue for you? It is for some of us.

I found that digestive enzymes helped me more with stomach burning than anything else.

I sometimes feel like I should feel BETTER by now (it's only 2 months) but I know I have been ravaged by this thing for my whole life, so I try to be patient.

Your immune system has been working overtime fighting the disease process. Maybe your healing time from the lung infection is slow because your body is still adjusting. Do you take Vitamin C? It works in tandem with the B complex for immune system support. Definitely get yourself a good gluten-free multivitamin. There are some on this site in the gluten-free Mall.

Just some thoughts! Hope you feel better soon!

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Urg, this is so frustrating. I didn't think of this before but in October 2009 I got really sick. I couldn't breath. I thought it was the N1H1 virus (11 of my students had it at that time) and the mold problem we had in our appartment. Though the doctor didn't test me he said that I was wrong because I didn't have a fever and that I had asthma. He put me on a bunch of meds that made me sick. I went off of them and he put me on Symbicort and I didn't have any more breathing problems (we also moved).

A year + later I'm still not convinced that it was asthma and I hadn't had any breathing problems. So about a month ago I started gradually going off the Symbicort. So, maybe this current event is because of the Symbicort and not the Celiac disease! Never even crossed my mind. Plus Symbicort can cause weight gain, hives, diarrhea, heartburn etc. So which caused those symptoms in me before?! The gluten or the Symbicort? If I dont have either I guess in the long run it wont matter. I guess I just assume everything is Celiac Disease now when it could be something else :P

I'm in Korea and the labling laws here are VERY relaxed. Doing the best we can. Don't eat oats at all, buy our flours (except rice flour) online from "trusted" sites and the only other grain I have is the occasional rice. I think I'm pretty much eating the same ammount. I know my B6 levels were low but I dont know about any other vitamin levels. It was really hard to get the B tests here. Think I'll be ordering a multi-vitamin soon. The damage to my intestine wasn't too too bad but I likely had undiagnosed Celiac Disease for 30+ years they estimate. The doctor also had me on probiotic and some meds for IBS when ended a bit over a month ago too. Urg, this is like an anoying mystery novel :P

You may want to check out this article linking celiac and asthma

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110224/hl_nm/us_asthma_linked_celiac_disease

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oops there's no way to delete a post -- i started to write but now need to run -- sorry!

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You may want to check out this article linking celiac and asthma

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110224/hl_nm/us_asthma_linked_celiac_disease

Hi ravenwoodglass!

I saw that article too! To be honest though, I really dont think I ever had asthma. 11 of my students and my husband had N1H1 virus and we had black mold on all of the walls in our appartment when I first had breathing problems. When we left the country on vacation, no breathing problems. The doctor said that this was because the medication was working but I was never convinced. I think the Symbicort just caused dependancy and possibly other problems. :(

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FC,

Tums (which I used to live on) have soy in them. Is soy an issue for you? It is for some of us.

I found that digestive enzymes helped me more with stomach burning than anything else.

I sometimes feel like I should feel BETTER by now (it's only 2 months) but I know I have been ravaged by this thing for my whole life, so I try to be patient.

Your immune system has been working overtime fighting the disease process. Maybe your healing time from the lung infection is slow because your body is still adjusting. Do you take Vitamin C? It works in tandem with the B complex for immune system support. Definitely get yourself a good gluten-free multivitamin. There are some on this site in the gluten-free Mall.

Just some thoughts! Hope you feel better soon!

As far as I can tell soy isn't causing a problem. It's so hard to tell though if there isnt a big difference isnt it? I know I just cant handle alchole right now and other than ginger ale pop isnt my friend either. I'm planning on buying a multivitamin from Lame Advertisement.com in the next couple of days...I'll have to check if it has vitamin C.

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Just an update, seems like the problem might be mushrooms of all things! I had 2 fairly bad reactions this past week and the common thing both times were mushrooms. We thought back at the last couple of times I've had bad heartburn, difficulty swallowing, upset stomach and it looks like a pattern might be forming. We eat fair amount of mushrooms and if I've been having allergic reactions and just thinking it was "my stomach healing" that might help explain why my immune system is low. Gonna try eating the same foods next week without the mushrooms to see if the same thing happens. Gotta love new food allergies! :P

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Just an update, seems like the problem might be mushrooms of all things! I had 2 fairly bad reactions this past week and the common thing both times were mushrooms. We thought back at the last couple of times I've had bad heartburn, difficulty swallowing, upset stomach and it looks like a pattern might be forming. We eat fair amount of mushrooms and if I've been having allergic reactions and just thinking it was "my stomach healing" that might help explain why my immune system is low. Gonna try eating the same foods next week without the mushrooms to see if the same thing happens. Gotta love new food allergies! :P

You might want to look into candida. Since you lived in a house with black mold you may have systemic yeast infection. I developed an allergy to mushrooms after living in a house with black mold about 5 years ago. I have often suspected a yeast/mold connection but I don't have any scientific evidence to back that up. Probiotics, anti-fungals and avoiding foods like sugar, yeast, mushrooms (they are fungus) could help you if you suspect this is a problem.

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