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oswaltk

So Confused! What Is It?

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Ok, so this has been going on for awhile... but I'm extremely confused at what is wrong with my body.

I have been "eating clean" as much as possible as a health enthusiast for the last couple of years. I work out regularly, have a personal trainer, and lead quite a healthy life. My job is physical, so I am walking all day.

However, it seems that my body is sensitive to foods. I'm working with a nutritionist currently but am still seeking help otherwise to see about anyone who my have similar experiences.

My symptoms are constant constipation, a "cramp" in my lower left abdomen (rarely painful, feels like gas or probably constipation) that never seems to go away but is better or worse on days. I get a bloated feeling all the time but I don't get a distended stomach. I sometimes feel like my intestines are burning, especially if it's close to my period.

I also am a super tiny 102 lbs in a 5'4'' frame. My body fat is at a scary low of 10-11%. I have lost 15 pounds this year, possibly due to the fact I am a celiac and am not absorbing nutrients like I should. Either way, I don't think I get the calories I need (though I LOVE to eat and have zero problems with that, as long as it feels ok in my stomach) so I am losing weight that way possibly too. My doctor has me eating up to 2200 cal/day, but if I eat that much, I would be very uncomfortable!

I am also very fatigued most of the time. It takes a LOT to get going on weekend mornings, and I can rarely go through a day without a nap. Coffee sometimes helps, but it can also hurt my stomach or make me feel full and bloated.

After 2 weeks on this diet, I don't feel any better. I know it takes time, but my mind keeps racing with other thoughts... If I eat eggs and my stomach hurts, I think it's eggs. I know lactose makes me gassy, so then I'll think it's lactose. But what if it's nuts? Casein? Whey? Maybe it's soy? My question is... how to I figure this out? I can't possibly do an elimination diet of all these things for months. I'm at such a loss and my friends and family are tired of me being so weird about food. Why can't I just feel better?

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Hi and welcome.

Let me be sure you understand. You were tested and diagnosed celiac, and you have been on the gluten-free diet for two weeks? If so, you just need to give it time. Two weeks is not enough to heal celiac damage. It may take a few months for things to settle down. Remember all the antibodies have to go away and then you have to rebuild a tennis court worth of intestinal villi!

It is VERY common for people with villous atrophy to be lactose intolerant. Lactose is made at the tips of your villi, which are damaged right now. Dairy in general is a big problem food for people with celiac disease and we (the board) tend to recommend that newly diagnosed celiacs eliminate dairy until you're feeling better. Then you can try reintroducing low-lactose dairy and if that's OK, lactose-containing dairy. The other food to really pay attention to is soy. It seems hard to digest, and most of it in the US is GMO which seems to make it even more likely to cause allergy/intolerance.

Try eating some fats for your calories. Nuts, nut butter on apple slices or celery, avocado, olives, drizzle olive oil on your veggies. Bake some rich almond flour muffins with eggs and coconut oil. Many of us find starches in general are hard to digest. Fats can provide needed calories and energy and help you regain weight. You only need to shy away from eating trans-fat, the fat on grain-fed red meat, and refined omega-6 heavy vegetable oils like canola, soy, sunflower, and safflower.

Another thing that can play into your fatigue is nutrient shortage. Iron, B12, vitamin D, calcium, and even potassium can be in short supply because of the malabsorption. This will make you tired. Bug your doctor for testing and consider taking a B-complex, some vitamin D, and eating some spinach and red meat for iron. If you are seriously deficient on iron you may need a supplement or iron shots.

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Ok, so this has been going on for awhile... but I'm extremely confused at what is wrong with my body.

I have been "eating clean" as much as possible as a health enthusiast for the last couple of years. I work out regularly, have a personal trainer, and lead quite a healthy life. My job is physical, so I am walking all day.

However, it seems that my body is sensitive to foods. I'm working with a nutritionist currently but am still seeking help otherwise to see about anyone who my have similar experiences.

My symptoms are constant constipation, a "cramp" in my lower left abdomen (rarely painful, feels like gas or probably constipation) that never seems to go away but is better or worse on days. I get a bloated feeling all the time but I don't get a distended stomach. I sometimes feel like my intestines are burning, especially if it's close to my period.

I also am a super tiny 102 lbs in a 5'4'' frame. My body fat is at a scary low of 10-11%. I have lost 15 pounds this year, possibly due to the fact I am a celiac and am not absorbing nutrients like I should. Either way, I don't think I get the calories I need (though I LOVE to eat and have zero problems with that, as long as it feels ok in my stomach) so I am losing weight that way possibly too. My doctor has me eating up to 2200 cal/day, but if I eat that much, I would be very uncomfortable!

I am also very fatigued most of the time. It takes a LOT to get going on weekend mornings, and I can rarely go through a day without a nap. Coffee sometimes helps, but it can also hurt my stomach or make me feel full and bloated.

After 2 weeks on this diet, I don't feel any better. I know it takes time, but my mind keeps racing with other thoughts... If I eat eggs and my stomach hurts, I think it's eggs. I know lactose makes me gassy, so then I'll think it's lactose. But what if it's nuts? Casein? Whey? Maybe it's soy? My question is... how to I figure this out? I can't possibly do an elimination diet of all these things for months. I'm at such a loss and my friends and family are tired of me being so weird about food. Why can't I just feel better?

Two weeks isn't very long on the diet. It may take months or longer, depending on how much damage you have in your intestine, to heal.

See if you can get your Dr. to run a full vitamin/mineral blood panel? It should show if there'

s a particular thing you need to supplement? In general it's good to take a gluten-free muliti-vitamin, D, Fish oil, and maybe a B complex?

If you think you are reacting to some other food item, it's a real good idea to keep a food log. Write down everything you eat, along with any symptoms you're feeling. With food intolerances it's very common to get delayed reactions. With a food log you can go back and see if there are things you've eaten and then gotten a symptom from. It really helps put the pieces of the puzzle together.

It's also a good idea to eat mainly whole foods that aren't processed. Things like fruits, veggies, meat, eggs.

Many of us think it's best to avoid dairy at first too.

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Thanks for the advice! Most of this I have already put into practice. First of all, I am not diagnosed yet. My second appointment is today with my nutritionist and I will tell her this isn't working so far. We have yet to try any sort of test.

I am already not eating processed foods since that is part of my Clean Eating lifestyle. I probably have zero trans fat in my diet, and I eat a lot of nuts, avacado, olive oil, flax, and take a fish oil supplement as well. I'm also taking a One A Day with iron. She took me off my Caltrate after I mentioned constipation.

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Also, I have been keeping a food journal for over a year to no avail. It has also been a requirement for my nutritionist. I log anything I eat, the day of my menstrual cycle, if I have had a bowel movement that day, and any feelings I have (mentally and physically). I'm so confused at the lack of a pattern that I'm feeling hopeless and frustrated to the point of tears!

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