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GFmom&daughter

gluten-free Daughter With Anxiety

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My daughter (10 yrs old) has been gluten free for about 1 year now. She was doing great until she accidentally ate 2 cookies she thought was gluten-free (beginning of January). Ever since then she has not been able to sleep at night. Complaining her tummy burns. When she comes to bed with me she settles down and sleeps but then mom doesn't get any rest. I really need some advice on what is going on. It's going on 4 weeks now. Is she still experiencing anxiety from the gluten? What can I do to help her sleep at night in her own bed?

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Well, it could be from the glutening. Could be she wants to sleep with you...my son is 9 and if we give him half a chance he's in our bed.

What about laying down in her bed, waiting til she falls asleep and sneaking out? Or, if she wanders in later walk her back and do it again.

Its tough. My son is very persistent when he wants something, and he wanted to sleep with us for a loooong time.

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Lack of vitamin B12 can cause anxiety. Perhaps the glutening damaged her gut where she has become a bit deficient. Are there any outside issues that are stressing her out? Girls this age can be especially cruel. :o

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Well, it could be from the glutening. Could be she wants to sleep with you...my son is 9 and if we give him half a chance he's in our bed.

What about laying down in her bed, waiting til she falls asleep and sneaking out? Or, if she wanders in later walk her back and do it again.

Its tough. My son is very persistent when he wants something, and he wanted to sleep with us for a loooong time.

I've tried laying down with her and walking her back to bed tucking her in but 30 minutes later she is back up and says she can't sleep. I was working with her about 1 1/2 hours during the night but nothing worked. Now out of desperation I put her in bed with me right away so we both can get some sleep. Not sure what else to do.

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Lack of vitamin B12 can cause anxiety. Perhaps the glutening damaged her gut where she has become a bit deficient. Are there any outside issues that are stressing her out? Girls this age can be especially cruel. :o

Thanks, I will check out the B12. I really feel like there is more to it then any outside issues. She wants to go to school and most of the girls want to play with her. You're right 4th grade is a tough year but so far so good. :)

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Your daughter's "tummy burning" is exactly what I had for 2 weeks after accidentally drinking a cup of herbal tea that contained barley malt. I have been strictly gluten free for almost a year and a half, and I never even had measurable stomach problems before going gluten-free (just neuro), but now of course I feel it when my body comes into contact with gluten. It took 2 full weeks or more for my tummy to stop the feeling like it was burning, especially at night when I was laying down. Not a cramp, but a feeling like it was sensitive and inflamed that progressively lessened and lessened. But I really watched eating anything with acid content while that was going on and it helped. I can't do dairy otherwise I would have tried yogurt to ease things. But I can also identify with her anxiety maybe going hand in hand with her tummy burning.

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I would say that maybe it was insomnia, but her being able to go to sleep when she is in your bed doesn't suggest that. (I get really bad insomnia when I get glutened.) You might want to learn some relaxation strategies to teach your daughter so that she can use them to get back to sleep at night. Some good ones are deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. Are there any other behavioral changes lately that might be influencing this besides the gluten?

Sometimes while you don't get the sleep you want when you have to parent, sometimes it just means biting the bullet and putting her back to bed when she wants to sleep with you. Letting this go on for longer will not make getting her back in bed any easier. Sit down with her during the day to find out what happens when she wakes up at night and comes into your room. Is she anxious, or having nightmares, or missing you? These things can be dealt with directly but you need to talk about them during the day. If she is able to describe what is happening, that is half the way to being able to fix the problem. Good luck.

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I just know that when our kids are feeling "off" we parents go into wtf did I miss on the gluten radar mode and beat ourselves up. :rolleyes:

My daughter went from gluten free 4 1/2- 5 years healthy, to really sick. It was so close to her usual gluten reaction, I was going crazy looking for "hidden gluten". She was scoped and diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitus. (Now they have determined there is an association with Celiac.) EE makes it harder to sleep and causes malnutrition too. If this seems to persist or worsens, she may need to be looked at by a a ped. gastro. (interesting enough ~ kids with EE just say their stomach hurts. So I am concerned she is complaining about "burning".)

But, you are aware of her getting glutened, and this may just need some time to heal.

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I've tried laying down with her and walking her back to bed tucking her in but 30 minutes later she is back up and says she can't sleep. I was working with her about 1 1/2 hours during the night but nothing worked. Now out of desperation I put her in bed with me right away so we both can get some sleep. Not sure what else to do.

Instead of her falling asleep in your bed could you try laying down with her in her bed? The walk back to her bed may be waking her up too much.

Do you have a regular bed time routine? Having my kids go to bed but telling them they could read for 1/2 hour or I would read to them helped them to relax a bit. A warm tub bath 1/2 hour before bedtime can also help relax her.

Some find making a pallet on the floor next to Mom's bed is helpful. Tell her she is welcome to come in if she wakes in the night but she must get quietly into the pallet without waking you up. Let her know that if she has a nightmare or is feeling ill that it is okay to wake you but only then. That might help her feel more secure but allow you to sleep.

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There are many possibilities when it comes to anxiety and unusually enough they sometimes all come together, cause eachother, feed eachother, etc.

You sure she's not getting slightly glutened? I originally went gluten free because I have anxiety also, and gluten definitely can strike up intense anxiety. I have discovered that my anxiety is mainly caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans, a yeast that resides in the intestine and feeds on sugar and secretes hundreds of neurotoxins, it is also very reactive to grains (especially glutenous ones). I think that this is the most feesible cause of your daughters problems simply because you say she only started having this after eating the cookies. If you feed these yeast gluten, they feed on the sugars in the blood from gluten and quickly their colonies grow in the intestines. They can continue to feed on other sugars and maintain their level, until you adhere to a candida diet. Candida albicans has also been known to be able to cause food intolerances by puncturing little holes in the intestine where the undigested proteins are able to escape into the blood stream, so it is very common among people with food intolerances.

Hypoglycemia is also another possibility, low blood sugar can cause both anxiety and insomnia. As for tummy burning, this could be caused by over-acid body or low stomach acid. Try eating less acidic foods like red meat and milk and more alkalizing foods like vegetables and lemon water.

Lastly some people mentioned B12 deficiency, that can also cause anxiety. B12 deficiency despite ingestion of animal products is also commonly linked to an overgrowth of candida albicans, because candida albicans can eat up B12 levels because yeasts are made of large amounts of B12. Magnesium deficiency can also create anxiety.

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Everyone gave good thoughts... Maybe give her some digestive enzymes & probiotics which I feel is very important on the gluten-free diet...

Blessings

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My 8 1/2 year old had terrible anxiety before going gluten free. I'm so glad that issue resolved. However we both need big doses of vitamin B every day and if we miss we get deficient right away. The B has really calmed my daughter down. I'm still trying to get my daughter off sugar, so I believe that this has an effect as well. We both need daily probiotics as well.

As for the sleeping: Since my daughter was clingy from the get go, up until going gluten free, I finally had to make a rule in my house that mama got to sleep in whichever bed was going to get her (me) the most sleep that night. I bought my daughter a queen bed and my husband and I have a king bed. So, I have very little judgment about co-sleeping. Sometimes we go through a patch where I sleep in my daughter's bed for a few days, then I'm back to my bed. If she has a nightmare she's welcome to crawl in with me. We've also tried a pallet on the floor and that has worked also.

Good luck!

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