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cait k

Stress + Symptoms

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Hey everybody. This is my first time posting to the site.. i was diagnosed with celiac last summer (took them 5 years to finally diagnose it) and i have been gluten free since last may/june. My symptoms have improved but not completely gone away- i went to a specialist and he said sometimes it takes over a year so i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

However, i am in law school and at especially stressful times- like right now during finals- my symptoms become horrible. It is almost like i am back to pre-diagnosed times. I'm having digestive issues, bloating, cramping, headaches, extreme fatigue, skin issues, hair loss, bloody noses...basically you name it and i have it. I'm taking vitamins and normally eat pretty well.. my main question is does anybody else notice your symptoms getting much worse in times of stress? I'm generally a very stressed out person so maybe thats why my symptoms have not gone away totally..but in times like this i am completely miserable. And it makes studying for (already horrible) law exams that much more difficult.

I know that stress can make diseases worse in general, but i'm just wondering if anybody else has encountered this problem?

Thanks!

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first of all - welcome!! So the uh, "good news" is that you definitely aren't alone. I've found that my digestive system is much more sensitive in times of stress. And everything just funnels into my being really off balance (lack of sleep, etc). And then, at times when I feel like maybe I made it through a stressful episode with my system in tact, it goes all to peices right AFTER the stress passes. :huh: yeah. I can't win. But, I do think that with time the symptoms will get less severe even during stressful times. But for the big picture - just keep taking care of yourself the best you possibly can. :D

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Thanks! Well i guess there's comfort in knowing other people have the same issues.. it's just super disheartening and frustrating! Doing everything right and still feeling this badly. :(

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OOOH yeah, I al 5 months pregnant now and the stress is kicking up my symptoms. I'm sorry you have to deal with this!

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I cant even imagine how hard that must be!

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Have you been eating out more? I tend to eat out (or prepared/packaged foods) more when busy/stressed, and then the contamination adds up to enough to start symptoms over a few weeks even if any one meal would not affect me.

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Seems to me that the intestinal tract is wired directly to your brain, ha ha. When one gets stressed out, the gut reacts. When I get stressed I actually eat less because things bother me - things that normally wouldn't.

I agree that processed stuff is gonna affect you even more so. In times of stress, try to eat 'clean' - food that still looks like it was originally ! Additives, preservatives, etc. just don't help gut function.

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My husband says that all emotion is directed through my stomach first LOL

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haha yeah i have heard it is directly related. I do not eat out more when im stressed i am more like NorthernElf in that i just eat way less because i dont want to be sick all the time and dont have time to deal with it. So i definitely have not been contaminated bc i literally have been a hermit in my apartment studying and only have gluten-free food and gluten-free appliances in the apartment. :( wish we could cut the link between brain and digestion! would make life a lot easier

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Maybe look into one of the Mindfulness programs? I've heard pretty good things about them for general calming of stress-related symptoms for various things.

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Maybe look into one of the Mindfulness programs? I've heard pretty good things about them for general calming of stress-related symptoms for various things.

I agree completely with sb2178- I have recently started using a mindfullness meditation for stress and it really is amazing. My celiac and colitis both seem to respond negatively to stress. Now I have started using an IPOD before bed and doing a lying down meditation for twenty minutes and wow the difference is amazing. The one I use is by Jon Kabat-Zinn (sp?) I have read that it can actually show changes with the brain on an MRI with before and after pictures of someone using mindfulness training, which really is a more modern/revised form of meditation. There are sitting up meditations also that you can do in the day in between studying - they say the brain is just like any other muscle - so if we practice with it using mindfullness it should be better for us all around. I think you can download them or do them right online - even the twenty minutes makes a huge difference for me.

Good luck with your studies!!

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Also some of those symptoms could be related to hypoadrenia (impaired or low adrenal function). Not enough to measure as Addisons, but significantly low. This will affect your cortisol, insulin, estrogen/testosterone and all their precursors which will whack out all your hormones including your stress hormones.

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