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kyga2

gluten-free And Eating Disorders

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Has anyone also dealt with an eating disorder in the past? I feel like I had successfully conquered mine, and then with the need to be gluten and dairy free, I have found myself having to think about food WAY more than is healthy for me. Instead of merely a pleasure and source of nourishment, food is once again full of potential danger and that need to be vigilant has pushed all of those unhealhty thinking buttons.

I can't really go to the counselor about it because I'm about to lose my health insurance and I don't need another pre-exisitng condition to prevent me from getting new insurance. Can anyone recommend a book or website or perhaps your own experience in successfully navigating this issue? Thanks.

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Has anyone also dealt with an eating disorder in the past? I feel like I had successfully conquered mine, and then with the need to be gluten and dairy free, I have found myself having to think about food WAY more than is healthy for me. Instead of merely a pleasure and source of nourishment, food is once again full of potential danger and that need to be vigilant has pushed all of those unhealhty thinking buttons.

I can't really go to the counselor about it because I'm about to lose my health insurance and I don't need another pre-exisitng condition to prevent me from getting new insurance. Can anyone recommend a book or website or perhaps your own experience in successfully navigating this issue? Thanks.

i would think that whatever you discuss with a psycologist/counselor should be CONFIDENTIAL, no??? i mean if you're worried- you should not write it down on any paperwork- even paperwork the counselor gives u- because you do sign away "medical information" for insurance purposes.. but i would think if you discuss medical information in a session- it should all be confidential. idk

i was anorexic in my teens... technically, i only starved & had OCD with counting calories for less than 2 years- but i still had an unhealthy emotional world with food & binging up untill the last year.. have u gone 100% gluten free yet??? because i really think when you remove wheat and gluten and all its OPIATE hold on you- you begin to have a more normal healthy relationship with food. seriously- people battle with food so much and beat themselves up for it- when really- its almost like heroin - once you remove that drug like food- you actually dont feel as controlled by the food.

i still have an addiction to dairy- which i have not been able to break yet- it gives me pleasure. but i find without gluten, and eating semi low carb- i feel better and not so crazy. and i NEVER EVER count calories EVER- because i dont wanna fall into that OCD crap.

good luck to you :)

ps- but know you're not alone... and i KNOW there are those out there who cant relate to us... ie: one time my TMJ had flared up a little too much- and i consulted with my dentist (i was also having wisdom teeth issues)- and i revealed to him that days prior- i had eaten a whole MEDIUM sized bag of Almond M&Ms... and he looked at me like i was a LOON- "why on earth would u eat a whole bag"??? ..i was thinking- why not- why is that crazy- so what- yes, i ate the whole effing bag, whatever

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Hi

This is an interesting topic....I relate in that I had issues in my teens as well that were pretty extreme. I have been thinking that it was probably a good thing I wasn't aware of this disease back then b/c it would have made the ED VERY easy to hide. As I have been trying an elimination diet to figure out what is causing my symptons it's made me self concious when I go out to eat. Part of the "victories" of me overcoming my ED was that I was able to EMBRACE food and order and eat whatever was put in front of me...one this (and it could potentially be a "for life" diet if I continue to feel relief), I find myself ordering the same way "no butter" "hold the bread" etc. This is definitely something that should be looked into.

1. it may be easy for parent to brush aside potential ED issues in their teens if they can simply say "oh she has an allergy"

2. it may trigger ED tendancies for those in remission

Even those at work keep asking me "are you on a diet?" even though I'm a healthy weight,, am very fit etc...b/c I have obviously been saying no to the cookies and cakes, not eating from the chocolate jar (as I'm avoiding dairy and soy) and ordering sandwiches wrapped in lettuce instead of bread....sigh.

I STRONGLY encourage you to see someone insurance be darned. EDs are no joke as you know and it shouldnt be something you risk. It's not worth it. You already aren't healthy physically, you don't want to risk mental health as well - they go hand in hand. I wonder if there is a support group for just this sort of thing? It would be very niche but I agree that it something that might possibly be needed.

At the very least, do you have a friend or someone you can confide in who can help you?

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I had (have) an ED - I've struggled with anorexia and the occassional 'binge' (not technically binges, but eating more than feels comfortable) for nearly 15 years now. I can definitely understand the frustration of feeling like you've conquered your battle, or made significant headway with it, only to feel yourself losing grip and sliding back into that all-too-familiar-mental-rabbit-hole. For me, the gluten challenge my doc had me try and do was extremely triggering - I was in pain all the time and my GI tract was chronically inflamed making eating hell for me. When I realized that I was avoiding eating I gave up the challenge - I lasted 6ish day on the challenge I think.

I've been gluten-free since July 2010. There have been ups and downs with me in terms of my ED. Right now I'm in a down spot, but it's mostly because I'm overwhelmed with school, my PhD, planning a wedding, and just having been diagnosed with SLE. My adrenal and thyroid function is a mess, and I've gained weight since January and feel hideous and ugly and fat and totally not comfortable in my own skin. I'm having a really hard time taking the weight off. However, my weight-gain wasn't rooted in going gluten-free, it was rooted in trying a low-carb (carbs only from vegetables) diet that someone I trusted recommended to me. While that person thrives on such a low-carb diet, the diet just shot me straight into the ground, and I haven't been able to emerge in a successful way. I'm really stressing and freaking about fitting into my wedding dress in July and my ballet recital costumes in June. I think I've really digressed from my original point...

I did have to think more about food for awhile when I first went gluten-free - always second guessing and what not, but I found it made the ED a bit easier to deal with in some ways. Suddenly it was acceptable for me to be OCD about my food and what was going in my body, whereas it was highly frowned upon before. I felt better physically, and that seemed to make it a bit easier to be good to myself with food and food choices - not to starve and not to binge. And the weirdest thing happened with my self-perception... For the first time in, well, ever, I was actually able to see myself clearly in the mirror!!! I could see the bones where others said there were bones (I have a very thin frame) but I could also see the muscles, tendon, and the female fat. I don't know if this makes any sense...

I hope my response was semi-helpful... feel free to write back if you'd like. I know the hell of EDs, and no one should have to go through it alone.

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I understand here, and can sympathize. I am currently in treatment right now (at age 18) for bulimia I have been facing since I was 14. In fact..and I may get a lot of crap for this..but I used to use my celiac disease as a coverup. Say, I would go out with friends and 'get sick from something I ate,' I blamed celiac so nobody knew I was purging.

However, I feel like having to live gluten-free mentally takes over my life, also. I'm constantly thinking about food. Where am I going to find it? Is there going to be anything here I can eat? How many calories is this? Will I be able to purge it? I hate this. I told my therapist that 'I'm in so deep that it will take a crane to pull me out.' And its true.

Not eating gluten definitely helps, though. When I eat gluten, even though its an accident, I feel the need to purge. And being acutally sick, is another trigger. I really did think I was getting better. But, here at school, I ended up getting sick the second week and it all spiraled back down.

These are real mental diseases that we need help to conquer. Fighting this battle and coming out on top is harder than living with it and letting it consume you. So, you've conquered this before. Relapses are normal. Keep in mind that you will need professional help to do this (as you know because you've beaten it before), and a good support system. This is a lifelong battle, and you can do it. :) I have faith in you.

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..and I may get a lot of crap for this..but I used to use my celiac disease as a coverup. Say, I would go out with friends and 'get sick from something I ate,' I blamed celiac so nobody knew I was purging.

However, I feel like having to live gluten-free mentally takes over my life, also. I'm constantly thinking about food. Where am I going to find it? Is there going to be anything here I can eat? How many calories is this? Will I be able to purge it? .

Not eating gluten definitely helps, though. When I eat gluten, even though its an accident, I feel the need to purge. And being acutally sick, is another trigger.

I can understand why you would have used your celiac as an excuse - it can be oh-so-tempting. For me I found the frustration to be the other way around - until people truly believed me that I am a true celiac, they thought I had manufactured the story to make my diet more restrictive. The odd thing is, my diet became much less restrictive after going gluten-free. For me, something never sat truly right with me when I consumed gluten-y foods, and I think I subconsciously avoided them. I think part of that avoidance was mediated by the pain that I felt from eating them, and part of it was mediated from the fact that I didn't feel I could trust myself to eat them in moderation. Usually my 'binges' were on gluten-y type foods (now they're obviously not, and said binges happen FAR less frequently now.)I also found that the few times when I did purge were always associated with gluten-y foods - bread, pizza, etc. I found it very odd that other high-fat high-calorie foods (e.g. ice cream) didn't trigger that same impulse to purge the way that a slice of pizza would... I may be an outlier in this though.

I have found that being glutened can be a trigger, but it can also act to oppose being a trigger. On one hand, there is that urge to just keep purging the body of food and get 'thin', but on the other hand, feeling empty like that comes at such a cost and it's so damned inconvenient/ painful, that I honestly just find myself longing to have return to functionality and be able to leave the bloody bathroom!

For me, except for right now, b/c I"m in a tough spot right now, I found I gained a great deal of liberation from my thoughts of food by adopting a whole foods diet - no processed foods and no chemicals. I think there are ALOT of very addictive and potentially dangerous additives and chemicals put into our food. It wasn't until I tried to give up things like my conventional yoghurt cups, chocolate chip rice cakes, jam, etc that I realized just how addicted I was to them. I wonder if you may gain some similar liberation from your mental struggles... It's hard to get over the initial hump of giving those foods up, but I found it to be well worth while.

Forgive me for being a polly-anna, but today is a new month, and possibly we could all look at this as a fresh start and a fresh chance to start re-conquering our issues and demons and taking back control of our lives. There is nothing more debilitating than feeling like you don't have control. We are all strong, and incredibly strong-willed, evidenced by the fact that we have eating disorders in the first place. Let's take march as the month to try and channel that energy into a positive place, rather than a negative.

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Has anyone also dealt with an eating disorder in the past? I feel like I had successfully conquered mine, and then with the need to be gluten and dairy free, I have found myself having to think about food WAY more than is healthy for me. Instead of merely a pleasure and source of nourishment, food is once again full of potential danger and that need to be vigilant has pushed all of those unhealhty thinking buttons.

I can't really go to the counselor about it because I'm about to lose my health insurance and I don't need another pre-exisitng condition to prevent me from getting new insurance. Can anyone recommend a book or website or perhaps your own experience in successfully navigating this issue? Thanks.

Personally, as a person who's suffered from ED, I think that you never conquer an ED. I consider myself in remission, but there's always a chance that it'll creep back - it's come back 2x as an adult. You don't outgrow an ED. For me, I have to stay in control of the food and not let it gain control over me. I've learned as much as I can about Celiac, science of nutrition, I have learned to cook, and always make enough food for leftovers. I have good food around and my meals are planned a week in advance so I don't have the stress of "What am I eating today?" "There's nothing to eat." "I'm not hungry." "Food tastes bad." Or start an even worse downward spiral.

I don't know where you live or what your financial status is, but there are "free" mental health clinics or sliding scale places that provide treatment for ED. You don't have to provide insurance information. Since you already have an ED diagnosis (??), this won't add anything to a future insurance plan that wasn't going to be there anyway. Like another poster said, anything you talk about in a therapy appointment is confidential. Therapists aren't in the business of diagnosing people anyway, only a licensed doctor can diagnose you.

Good luck. I feel a knot in my stomach thinking about your post. I hope you can find some peace soon.

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Thanks for all the helpful responses! I think my main issue with the counselor was that I was concerned I would get diagnosed with depression and put on meds, which becomes the 'pre-existing condition'. I will be able to get insurance, I would just prefer that it be reasonably priced.

Good (if that's the right term here?) to know that I am not the only one, and not crazy. The primary form this bad thinking is taking is the weird pleasure and relief I have in not eating things. People offer me something and I refuse on the grounds of the food intolerance but inside I'm secretly glad to have an excuse not to eat. People keep saying I look too thin and I just say I have food allergies. Um, that's true but . . . My husband won't eat gluten free stuff with me, on the grounds that it's expensive so I should get all of it and he gets the cheap stuff. However, I end up feeling panicky when I make a batch of something and realize I have to eat the whole thing myself. Our freezer is full.

I will keep at it and not quit. At least I am aware when I am thinking disordered thoughts that I am thinking them. I would be interested in exploring this issue further. It's a sub-group of a sub-group, and I feel sorta lame for even bringing it up because I keep reading the posts of people who struggle so hard to lose weight.

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