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Bee Vreeland

What To Do When New Allergies Develop.

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I am new to this forum as a member, but I've been reading since a little after I went gluten free-- about a year and a half ago. I've found so much great advice before, but currently my problems have changed and I'm searching for advice.

I'm seventeen, and I've never been diagnosed officially with Celiac's; but I started having the classic diarrhea, cramps, and wheezing symptoms after a bad case of the flu in 10th grade. After a few months of these symptoms, I went off gluten, and I felt better than I ever had. So much more energy, and the other symptoms disappeared.

Now, a year and half later, my symptoms suddenly returned-- but worse. I think I've developed an allergy to something else-- probably due to overuse (I probably rely on corn, dairy, and nuts too much.). Also, I ate gluten for about a week several weeks ago, but it's been long enough that it would be out of my system.

My symptoms currently are:

-Fatigue. (Normally I put in 18 hour days with no problem. Lately I feel ready for bed around 6:00.)

-Chronic diarrhea. (For weeks now, and before I went back to gluten for that week.)

-Thinning hair. (It's not horribly dramatic, but noticeable to those who know me. Is this even a possible symptom of food intolerance?)

-Cramps.

-Mood swings. (Although this does make sense considering I feel terrible and am very worried about the symptoms.)

-Muscle cramps. (I was running 4 miles a day since last summer with no exhaustion or pain. In the past six weeks, it's almost completely declined due to sore legs. I love to run-- I do it for fun. Now it's suddenly difficult.)

-Weight gain. (I have trouble keeping my weight up. I dropped to 97 pounds around March and had to deliberately gain weight. I have a naturally high metabolism. Yet in the past six weeks, my weight rocketed to 135. This is not overweight for my height of 5'6", but the rapidity disturbs me.)

-Sudden increase in appetite. (Normally, it is rather small. In the past six or so weeks, I've become hungry constantly and never feel full. I'm taking in excess calories and gaining weight, but it's like my body is not getting the message that we've eaten enough. I don't understand why this is happening.)

I've been reading about the elimination diets, and intend to start on bananas, rice, apples, and other low-allergenic foods tomorrow. However, will that make me allergic to those through overuse? Am I likely to overcome whatever intolerance is bothering me now, or will I have to be highly restricted for a long time? Also, I'm at a decent weight now, but I'm scared of it dropping too much over time. Most of all, has anyone else had similar problems?

I know this is long, but I am at my wit's end. Any advice or support would be highly appreciated.

-Bee

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Have you had your thyroid checked recently? Insist on that if you haven't. Weight gain, thinning hair & fatigue are symptoms of thyroid issues. Other things, too. So go to the doctor.

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Thanks, and we have thought of a thyroid problem. However, I'm really hoping (and leaning towards) new allergies because it all started six weeks ago when I suddenly started eating HUGE amounts of food in an attempt to gain my last five-ten pounds. I was about 110 at that point. Before that, I had a rather bland, predictable diet. I'm afraid I kind of shocked my system with loads of peanut butter, nuts, ice cream, chocolate, and other foods I don't normally eat.

Today I started banana-rice-applesauce-apples. Hopefully that will get rid of at least some of my symptoms, although I'm not sure how long I should expect to do that or what to add back from there. I've been reading other posts and am encouraged (although sorry to hear others have to deal with this!) that others have had new allergies develop (and eventually overcome them, in some cases).

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For me, I do not worry about an official diagnosis since the test has false negatives and requires exposing oneself to gluten which is harmful if one has celiacs. That just seems totally illogical to me. I think if you feel better off gluten that is what is important regardless of what the official name or cause is.

I am in a similar situation where I went gluten free last year and this year I started feeling worse. I have been diagnosed with "bipolar" which often has a seasonal pattern and I am super curious if people with celiac's have noticed regression during certain times of the year.

I also was put on a new diet and supplements (anti-inflammatory / gut repair) that have been great for many people but did not work for me. I also realized I had stopped a supplement (Orthomolecular's Betaine and Pepsin - helps with low stomach acid) that seemed to be worthless but now I am suspicious that it was helping. It is worthwhile to see if you have made any changes that could have triggered you to feel worse.

I was not tested for allergies until I learned about my intolerances, so I do not have the proof but it appears I developed allergies for all the foods I used to it. I was told by a doctor that properly digested food is rendered nonallergenic. So if we are having allergies there are obviously problems with our digestion.

I can totally relate to your symptoms since they are like mine - fatigue, problems with bowels, thin hair/hair loss, moody, mood swings, cramps, pain, weight changes, bloated, always "starving" even when feel physically full. I have had thyroid testing before and the symptoms have historically gone with my thyroid, cortisol, and blood sugar being abnormal.

In regards to low allergenic foods, I am allergic to rice and apple. Bananas can be problems if you have seasonal/ pollen allergies.

I think the bigger problem would be intolerances since allergies could resolve if you can fix your digestive system. However, if you keep having allergic reactions it makes it harder to heal.

It seems possible that you shocked your system by changing your diet but it seems like some variety is better and that limited diets can sometimes cause more harm than good. I have done radical changes in my diet but I have not noticed an issue with it especially when it seems to be the change my body wanted any way.

I was told that corn causes problems for those with thyroid problems or gluten intolerance. Some people can have it but others cannot so it could be an issue for you. Dairy is another big issue for celiacs and people in general there are so many parts that can be a problem - casein intolerance, lactose intolerant, milk allergy, etc.

You did not say what your finances and insurance situation are like. I would find out about intolerances especially dairy and cross reactive foods (foods where your body reacts as if they are gluten - corn is one of them they test for as is dairy and rice is too). I would find out about allergies to minimize your exposure to them while you heal and if you do have them rotate them or have minimal amounts (not what my one doctor recommended but it helped my ability to deal with my diet it is just too hard to have a list of a "billion" things I cannot have). It might be nice to get thyroid testing - try and get the full panel since TSH alone is not enough information - it would likely be good to get your thyroid antibodies tested. I love the books Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms by Datis Kharrazian and Allergies by Carolee Bateson-Koch - I recommend them highly they have helped me a lot.

Hope this helps. Feel free to reply or PM me if you have any questions.

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Thanks for the detailed response.

I had bananas, rice, and apples/plain applesauce only yesterday, and I feel so much better already. Obviously, I can't grow my hair back overnight; but the diarrhea is improved, and I dropped from 137 on Tuesday night to 128 pounds this morning. I'm thinking water retention had to be part of that.

So if I don't improve completely, I still have the thyroid possibility in my mind. However, I'm pretty optimistic it's something I was eating. Now I'm just anxious to figure out what. I'm sticking with bananas/rice/apples today, maybe adding pears. Tomorrow I think we're doing chicken. I'm nervous about the dairy, nuts, and corn, though. Should I wait a week? A few weeks? More than that?

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I would wait til you felt better to add something else back in and since it could take a few days to react to something you would probably be better not adding things back in close together that way you are able to tell if you have a problem with a specific food. And for things that you are suspicious of I would reintroduce that at a much later date, with my youngest daughter we only introduced a new food every week and if she had a reaction we would wait another 2 weeks to try something else and for things that we were suspicious off we waited about 2 months to try it.

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I started this gluten-free diet in april of this year so still new to it but i was feeling great till about july. then all symptoms were coming back. i eliminated dairy and within a week i was great again. i tested it after abt 2 weeks had some lasagna that i made that had ricotta and mozzarella in it suffered for 5 days. so i will stay off dairy for quite awhile now. hope i can reintroduce it at a later date i LOVE milk.

melissa

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I'm on the mend but still being fairly cautious, logging what I eat and taking the probiotics. I'm avoiding corn, dairy, nuts, chocolate, gluten-free oats; maple syrup is also suspect. The tiredness and sudden weight gain is still an issue, though, so I'm off to the doctor tomorrow. But I'm thankful for the improvement in the diarrhea.

That sounds awful (the symptoms and the giving up dairy!). :/ I hope you can eat it again too.

Thanks for all the responses. I feel encouraged and like I'm on the ight track so far. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

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