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Walt Englund

Brain Fog, Irritability And Other Anomolies

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I've had these symptoms almost my entire life:

Brain fog is what I see it called. My head is usually so foggy, I have a hard time focusing. Lots of the time, it's almost like I'm dreaming. Was pretty bad in school sometimes. This makes it very hard learning things now in one try, it can take many.

no stranger to anxiety. Little things can make me anxious. I usually get my wife asking "Why are you anxious?". This morning I was helping clean, but I was also worrying about her (feeling sick) and other little things. It got to be so much, I wanted to smash things and there was even times I could've broke down crying. I got close.

grey hairs popping up since i was a teenager. I'm 28 now. Hairline is also receding, but that is "genetic" apparently. Plus sometimes i get around 50 hairs that come off on my hand in the shower. Up to 100 a week. That can't be all "genetic".

Every time i move, my joints will pop. Knees, ankles,wrists, elbows. Try being quiet while walking, only for a joint to make a loud creak. Gotten worse since i was a kid.

I have reactions to food containing gluten. Typically huge acne or swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes nothing. Not had a diagnosis, but I did take gluten out of my diet at first for a few months, then reintroduced it. My skin got clear with nothing - no acne at all during that time, Once i ate some pasta i got some huge pimples. So for well over a year I ate no gluten at all. It helped. I had pizza almost everyday last week - got very foggy and irritable. There were times i could throw things for no reason, I got so irritated(and I was in a supermarket), but i held back.

i won't elaborate on this too much, but I also appear to have the dreaded E.D. - getting excited is not a problem, it just won't stay usually. Goes soft(er) after a bit. By myself or with the lady. Very frustrating. As far as I can remember, I think it's been like this since puberty, but I'm not 100%.

Once a few years back I was taking a combination of supplements, plus being gluten and dairy free(the over a year part I told earlier) there was about a 3 month period where I felt what I guess is deemed as "normal" - little things didn't irritate me. I didn't snap at people. Most miraculously of all, I had no brain fog. My thoughts were completely clear and I wasn't slow at responses to people. I never remembered feeling that way in my life. Then I slowly, for whatever reason(probably money), stopped taking some of them - in the middle of that 3 month period, not sure which, and I slowly started to go back to how I "normally" am mentally.

The supplements all were, from memory:

8mg Fish Oil

5-HTP

St. John's Wort

Chromium

Zinc(with Vitamin C and others)

Multivitamin

Vitamin B12 sublingual

Iodine

Anyone have a clue what could be my issue? I'd really like to feel the way I did then permanently, but I seriously can't afford to try everything again.

Oh, and I DO have a family history of diabetes. My Grandma on my mom's side and my aunt. No males that I know of though.

I may be leaving some stuff out, but this is all I can think of at the moment.

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I don't know if I can help, but I'm going to try. First, many of us have trouble absorbing hormones, so you might have difficulty absorbing testosterone--this is something to discuss with your doctor.

Also, it seems that you may have Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is an auto-immune disease associated with celiac. It causes an itchy, blistery, acne-like rash (mine was diagnosed as severe acne for many years) and can be controlled by eliminating BOTH gluten and iodine. I noticed that you used to take (or still do) iodine. This leads me to my third point: I think you should have your thyroid tested. If you felt better, rather than worse, when taking iodine, you might be hypothyroid or have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is very common in people with celiac. Symptoms can range, but personally I had severe brain fog and my joints gave me trouble (I believe because the tendons and ligaments seemed to be affected). Also, it's common for hair to fall out. I think you have a high probability of having a thyroid problem, and medication can make you feel like a new person. You might also consider supplementing with chelated zinc, since being low in zinc can also cause hair to fall out. Recently, I got glutened and ended up with a zinc deficiency that manifested itself in hair loss. I ended up taking chelated zinc and a silicon supplement called BioSil, and my hair grew in very thick within a few months' time.

I hope some of this information helps you....undoubtedly, others will post responses shortly.

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A full Metabolic Panel may point you in a directions. And a Celiac Panel might be in order.

I would begin with a full blood test to check your levels of potential deficiencies. Something is going on and that's a great place to start.

Remember to check your anger at the door and seek answers...don't stop until you find them. :)

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Won't hurt to get tested.

By the way, it is normal to lose between 40-60 hairs per day.

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I think your answer was in that one full year of being gluten free.

Your skin problems went away and your mood stabilized. Gluten can cause all the symptoms you described, so you might have your solution in going gluten free again and staying that way. I don't know about the ED, but there have been others who report increased sexuality after being gluten free for some time.

I accidentally got glutened last week and my irritability and brain fog returned with a vengeance...it lasted 3 days.

I think the suggestions above are good ones too, but for the most part you nailed your problem when you did that one year and saw resolution of your problems. Hope you do it again!

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Walt- in particular- im recommending you not take St. John's Wort. for some people it's okay and helps- but for others- it can make u feel worse- almost slip into "mania".

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Walt- in particular- im recommending you not take St. John's Wort. for some people it's okay and helps- but for others- it can make u feel worse- almost slip into "mania".

So I've heard. That's a reason I stopped taking it - I would almost start crying for tiny things like mail not arriving, after being on it like a year(maybe closer to 2, hard to remember). It made little sense. Of course, when taking it, I never had an "off period" like I hear you're supposed to. I was always taking it. The sunlight thing got kinda irritating.

Now, I actually take no supplements at all. Minus that, wish I could afford the fish oil and other things again. Hopefully in the near future.

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About the anger - my Dad actually always had problems with that stuff too. He'll snap at people for little things. My mom would sometimes ask "Why are you snapping at us?". I think that's inherited to an extent, at least what causes it. Not sure if it's gluten with my dad, but he gets diarrhea when he eats ice cream.

I don't know if I can help, but I'm going to try. First, many of us have trouble absorbing hormones, so you might have difficulty absorbing testosterone--this is something to discuss with your doctor.Also, it seems that you may have Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is an auto-immune disease associated with celiac. It causes an itchy, blistery, acne-like rash (mine was diagnosed as severe acne for many years) and can be controlled by eliminating BOTH gluten and iodine. I noticed that you used to take (or still do) iodine. This leads me to my third point: I think you should have your thyroid tested. If you felt better, rather than worse, when taking iodine, you might be hypothyroid or have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is very common in people with celiac. Symptoms can range, but personally I had severe brain fog and my joints gave me trouble (I believe because the tendons and ligaments seemed to be affected). Also, it's common for hair to fall out. I think you have a high probability of having a thyroid problem, and medication can make you feel like a new person. You might also consider supplementing with chelated zinc, since being low in zinc can also cause hair to fall out. Recently, I got glutened and ended up with a zinc deficiency that manifested itself in hair loss. I ended up taking chelated zinc and a silicon supplement called BioSil, and my hair grew in very thick within a few months' time.I hope some of this information helps you....undoubtedly, others will post responses shortly.

The acne was obviously worst as a teen. My back/shoulders look like basically third degree burns, they'd come in so huge. Think thumb sized. This even continued, but not as bad up until i went gluten free.

Now, it shows on my back most of time and sometimes my face. Sometimes gluten causes my lymph nodes to swell, others not much of anything. Been having way too much pizza lately, and i swear the lymph nodes on my tongue swelled up and there was a pimple under my tongue!

With all the pizza, my anger has been getting worse, not to mention focus/concentration. I'm not an as... a-hole, but I do get irritated easily lately - sad thing is I don't realize it til after i snap at someone.

The thyroid thing - my aunt has thyroid problems(to the point her eyes were shaky constantly). She used to be a large woman, then she got a goiter. Not sure what she had done, maybe medication, she's ridiculously skinny now.

When taking the iodine, I tended to go overboard like I did with some things. i'd take like 15 times the recommended dose(I heard it wouldn't hurt anything), but after a few months I started to get a bit jittery in nature. Not sure if i was taking that much during my 3 months of "normalcy" or not. My memory is often awful. People think I don't pay attention, but i do, it just escapes me easy.

I think your answer was in that one full year of being gluten free.Your skin problems went away and your mood stabilized. Gluten can cause all the symptoms you described, so you might have your solution in going gluten free again and staying that way. I don't know about the ED, but there have been others who report increased sexuality after being gluten free for some time.I accidentally got glutened last week and my irritability and brain fog returned with a vengeance...it lasted 3 days. I think the suggestions above are good ones too, but for the most part you nailed your problem when you did that one year and saw resolution of your problems. Hope you do it again!

The ED thing may also have to do with blood pressure I think - Usually when I'm about to "finish" is when it goes "downhill". My wife noticed too. Sometimes i'd get dizzy right before.

I also suspect my dad may have the ED problem - my mom and dad haven't slept in the same bed in like a decade(they do have sex occasionally - i accidentally walked in on them before. the nightmares. lol). They get along fine, and they obviously love each other, i just always found it odd.

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Hi Walt,

I just posted a reply about ED here:

I should also mention that we've been married a long time so I knew my huisband's moods were "off." I also knew that he used to be a firefighter, not an anxious person at all! He got back to himself when he changed his diet. He was better able to focus and multitask. Part of this was that his sleep improved. He had been sleeping 10 plus hours, but wasn't rested.

I think when you see the doc, you should have an anemia workup as well as vitamin D and testosterone. And be sure to get your blood sugar checked. Get all the copies of the bloodwork for your records.

I will be happy to answer any questions you might have, relative to ED.

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One thing I've noticed about my moods when I'm eating gluten regularly is that if something emotionally severe happens, I tend to want to beat the crap out of myself. I used to do it regularly(not bad, just hitting me head with my fist), whenever I'd get depressed. It was like the only thing that helped at all, but that sure isn't good for the brain. It pretty much stopped completely when I went gluten-free - i'd get sad,sure, but not to the point of self-abuse.

That wasn't something I wanted to admit here, but I figured I had to say it.

Hi Walt,

I just posted a reply about ED here:

I should also mention that we've been married a long time so I knew my huisband's moods were "off." I also knew that he used to be a firefighter, not an anxious person at all! He got back to himself when he changed his diet. He was better able to focus and multitask. Part of this was that his sleep improved. He had been sleeping 10 plus hours, but wasn't rested.

I think when you see the doc, you should have an anemia workup as well as vitamin D and testosterone. And be sure to get your blood sugar checked. Get all the copies of the bloodwork for your records.

I will be happy to answer any questions you might have, relative to ED.

When I was younger, it was usually emotionally traumatic at home. Alcoholism(not me, of course) and lots of fighting from my parents - lots of divorce talk. Not something that's good for a kid that isn't even 10. Thankfully that all passed after the alcohol got out of the picture.

I just woke up from about 9 hours of sleep and I'm still a bit sleepy. That usually happens to me.

Did your husband have the ED problem even when you met him?

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