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WinterSong

How Do You Deal With Stress?

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Over the past few months (pre-diagnosis and gluten free) I feel like I've been under an incredible amount of stress, and I feel that it could be having a negative impact on my digestive system and healing process. I have a high level of anxiety, get migraines more frequently (I'm on the verge of one right now) and run on little sleep. I'm not allowed to take any vacation time until the fall, so I have to find some way of making things easier while I'm in this setting.

How do you cope with stress and anxiety?

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Migraines for me are a sign I have been glutened but that may not be the case for you. Not being able to sleep is also for me a sign. Do make sure that you are for sure gluten free. If you haven't already check all meds and supplements and do all you can to avoid CC in the home and out. Go with whole foods as much as you can as that can be helpful.

If your anxiety is getting to be more than you can handle don't be fearful of seeing a therapist and getting some help. You really need to sleep so if a short course of an antianxiety med is needed you may want to consider it. Just make sure that it is gluten free.

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hi Jessica!

I feel for you because I suffered horrid anxiety, migraines and insomnia pre-DX (had no idea WHY because I am not normally anxious at all) and it took almost 6 months gluten-free for it to disappear. Some people notice an improvement much faster. Everyone heals at a different pace.

Before DX, I tried a stress-reduction class and tried to learn meditation, yoga, biofeedback; used relaxation tapes, had acupuncture, took hot baths, had massages, saw a therapist and a had a brief trial of anti-anxiety meds.

NOTHING made it stop completely. (These techniques probably would have worked except for one thing--GLUTEN :angry: )

I no longer suffer from any of those symptoms now that I am 100% gluten-free and getting my folate, B-12, and Vitamin D levels up where they should be. I was seriously deficient. Vitamin/mineral deficiencies can cause these issues as well as depleted adrenals.

Those symptoms DO still reappear --when I am accidentally glutened. :blink:

I agree completely with Ravenwood---

Make sure that NO gluten is getting in.

Make sure you are getting the proper nutritional support.

I would add: Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Just until you are less physically stressed.

Be good to yourself. Your body has been through a lot!

From Recognizing Celiac Disease: "Celiac disease patients showed high levels of state anxiety in a significantly higher percentage compared to controls

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JessicaNYC - I have noticed less anxiety now that I'm gluten free. It's been about three months for us. Before going gluten free, I tried SamE, and that helped. Yoga, meditation and all that begins with breathing deeply. Even if you can get 1 minute of deep relaxing breathing in at work, it might help. Hang in there and get your vacation planned! It will give you something to look forward to!

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I feel like I'm doing everything right in terms of my diet and avoiding CC. But my anxiety over the past few months has seemed to increase even after going gluten-free. I don't know what to do, and I just feel like crying right now because I don't want to live my life in this constant state of anxiety. I think a lot of it is caused from stress at work that I'm taking home with me. I almost missed my bus to visit family last weekend because I was on the verge of a panic attack about making sure everything in my small apartment was turned off before I left. I checked everything probably nine times and just thought, "This is crazy. I don't want to be this person." The same thing happens at work. I'm waiting for it to get better, but I'm almost four months gluten-free and haven't seen any positive change. I'm really struggling with it right now.

Sorry for the vent...I have a headache....I guess I just have to keep breathing and have faith that it will get better soon....

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As others have mentioned, I'd double check everything to make sure there is no CC. Little things - vitamins, other medications, toothbrush, etc.

Have you spoken with your doctor about the anxiety? If it continues and other things don't work, he/she may be able to either prescribe something or give other recommendations for dealing with it.

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Hi, Jessica.

I get migraines, too. About 95% of them cleared up after going gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, but that pesky 5% that remain are usually brought on by stress. My job runs in cycles of busy beyond belief to thumb twiddlingly slow and back up again, the heavy phases running on for months at a time with no possibility for time off. I've always been a worry wart and perfectionist. In order to retain my sanity and reduce the migraines I've had to make myself stop. I must turn off. I must make time for myself. I must say no to people who want something from me. My set aside time is rarely planned out. I use it for whatever I feel like doing at that time--a bath, reading, sitting and doing absolutely nothing, playing with the dogs, cloud gazing--whatever it is, everything else gets tuned out. I also give myself permission not to care so much about the housework, getting things done after work or on the weekend, etc. I've learned to let go and prioritize because otherwise I'll ratchet myself up so tight that a migraine is inevitable. I must for my health. Yes, I do care if the house is a disaster and needs to be cleaned, but it's not a disaster if it's not done perfectly right now or even this week. Also, a sublingual vitamin B complex and 5HTP supplement has helped some.

Cheers,

K

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I'm waiting for it to get better, but I'm almost four months gluten-free and haven't seen any positive change.

Have you considered the possibility of having other intolerances? Dairy turns me into Crazy Megab**** right before it slam dunks me with a migraine and major GI distress. Soy leaves me blue and foggy and headachey.

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Have you considered the possibility of having other intolerances? Dairy turns me into Crazy Megab**** right before it slam dunks me with a migraine and major GI distress. Soy leaves me blue and foggy and headachey.

I second this suggestion. Soy gives me migraines and increases anxiety.

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But my anxiety over the past few months has seemed to increase even after going gluten-free ... I'm almost four months gluten-free and haven't seen any positive change.

If your issues with stress, anxiety and OCD weren't caused by gluten in your diet, a gluten-free diet isn't going to cure them, of course. Four months is probably long enough to see if they were or not. You've said that the stress on your body of going gluten-free has only added to your other existing problems, and I believe you. An article I read on this site back in '08(?) equated going gluten-free to opiate withdrawal (affects some of the same receptors), which can be an incredibly stressful event.

It may be time to see a qualified professional to treat stress, anxiety and OCD separately from gluten issues.

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Jessica, Until you mentioned in your second post that it was increasing, I was suggesting it will probably subside as you heal. However, if you are following a strict gluten-free diet and no other food intolerances are causing you this anxiety ??(like others on here, dairy and soy cause similar gluten reactions in me)--- then I would say maybe you could use a little professional help with stress reduction techniques. Nothing wrong with getting some assistance from a pro.

Could you try a gentle yoga class? learn deep breathing--and do it periodically throughout the day. It really does work! Just stop whatever you are doing and close your eyes and breath in slowly through your nose deep into your belly --puff that belly out!---and blow out slowly through your mouth. Do that five times or more--until you feel yourself calming down. Tai Chi is awesome. Take a walk in the park every morning. Turn off your phone, computer, everything --after dinner-- and just sit and read or soak in a tub with lavendar. Write down your thoughts before bed and let them go. Play relaxation tapes. (These are all the things I told you I tried, but when I was wound up with gluten, malabsorption, deficiencies and adrenal fatigue, they were ineffective. Now, they work! :) )

Seriously, you need to take time for yourself!

Are you taking a good B-complex? The B vitamins are the first to get whacked in malabsorption. I had a major "perfectionist streak" myself and I was mega-stressed out --like easily startled by noises, frantic to get things accomplished, and re-checking things I did repeatedly for fear I made mistakes--and now, I am soooo not worried about those things anymore B)

I had a major folate deficiency (B9) and B-12 anemia and low D that required prescription supplementation.Has you doctor checked your vitamin/mineral levels? You would be surprised how much these low levels can add to your feelings of anxiety.

Okay, those are all the suggestions I have. ;) I think I know how you feel because I once felt the same way --feeling so ridiculously stressed out and crying nearly every day with frustration and fatigue. I hope you find something that works for you, kiddo. Best wishes!!

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Hi everyone. Thanks again for the responses and listening to me vent. It's been a rough week, but I got something settled at work today and already feel more relaxed.

I'm going to try a few relaxing techniques. What's funny is that I'm a part time yoga instructor, so I know a lot of them. I should just put them into better practice and find other things to help my mind slow down. My brain feels busy all the time, and I think that's one of my main problems contributing to the anxiety.

I'm also seeing my doctor next week to get my blood tests taken again and check my progress. I think I'll ask him to check for nutritional deficiencies, too. Thanks for the suggestion. As a side note, I don't think it's other intolerances - dairy is out of my diet already (for the most part - I may have traces of it here and there but don't seem to react badly to that in particular), and I rarely have anything with soy in it. But I'll be on the continual alert for CC.

From a calmer place than I was this morning, I feel like there just happened to have been a lot of stress in my life since my diagnosis (which in itself is enough to deal with), and with no real break to slow down my head feels jumbled. I'm really going to make it a point to slow down, find joy in simple things, and not take my work home with me. And planning a getaway or two in the fall couldn't hurt. :)

Thanks again B)

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You might also get your thyroid checked. An out of whack thyroid can give you symptoms of a panic attack.

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So I spoke with my doctor and he thinks that even if I do have vitamin deficiencies that a gluten free multi-vitamin every day (which I already take) would work fine. I still think that I want to try to up my vitamin B levels to see what happens.

Anyone have an idea of which vitamin B I should try exactly? Ex B6 vs B12 vs B Complex?

Otherwise, I'm doing my best to make positive changes emotionally and mentally. The past two or three days have been better.

Thanks so much for the support everyone!

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I take a B complex for an energy boost. Sometimes more than once a day. The B vitamins are water soluble so it's pretty hard to OD on them.

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Outside of what the others said about gluten, you also should find an outlet for that stress. For example, i play video games when i'm stressed. It distracts me and lets me 'calm down'. :)

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I immerse myself in doing what I love and surround myself with those who love me and "get" it. I lie down on my lounger under a shade tree in the back yard with a good food encyclopedia! :P Then I putter around with my vegetables in my raised beds. Then if I am able cook, cook, cook and cook some more. The power of distractions is phenomenal.

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Over the past few months (pre-diagnosis and gluten free) I feel like I've been under an incredible amount of stress, and I feel that it could be having a negative impact on my digestive system and healing process. I have a high level of anxiety, get migraines more frequently (I'm on the verge of one right now) and run on little sleep. I'm not allowed to take any vacation time until the fall, so I have to find some way of making things easier while I'm in this setting.

How do you cope with stress and anxiety?

1) run

2) spin yarn (more soothing than knitting)

3) green-space time

4) yoga (when I can't run, for weather, weird work schedules, etc)

5) watching full seasons of predictable TV series (Law and Order). this is probably my worst coping mechanism.

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5) watching full seasons of predictable TV series (Law and Order). this is probably my worst coping mechanism.

LOL (me too!) Maybe it is not your "worst"--if it helps you RELAX! When I was really sick (pre-DX) I could not concentrate/comprehend to read my books and I was too weak and in pain to do anything strenuous (had to give up swimming, dancing, even Tai CHI!! and going to the gym )and I was really "agitated" from gluten and anxious and SEVERELY sleep-deprived, I decided to flood myself with "happy things"---so, I emailed and talked with only the most upbeat people I know :) and I watched more sitcoms :D in a 2- year span that I have in my life. (poor hubby saw more episodes of Scrubs and That 70's show than he could stand) :rolleyes: I really think it helped me. I found myself laughing even though my situation was not very funny at all. If it were not for my sense of humor, in fact, I doubt I would have survived.

So, yes, LAUGHTER--and some mindless TV--in moderation---can also be a great stress-buster!!!

To answer your question about B vitamins--a good, gluten-free B-complex should do the trick, unless you have a specific B deficiency requiring more supplementation? Are your B-12 and Folate levels okay???

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