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TomC

Can Gluten Cause Ms And Other Autoimmune Disorders?

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Hey everyone, I'm pretty nervous right now.

Back in April I found out that gluten was behind most of my health problems ( Leaky gut/IBS, Joint pain, and even mild carpal Tunnel syndrome), and since then I eliminated gluten and dairy and have had great improvements in my digestion and have no more joint pain. Since the last time I ate a ton of gluten (when I found out the hard way) I have had back pain along my spine, and strained my upper back or shoulder muscle. With rest and a gluten free diet, the pain reduced my about 95 %...Almost 100% at one point but then recently came back after having to push and lift heavy at work. I also been struggling with eye discomfort since my last glutening. My eyes became red and hurt, giving me a headache. Since then, the eye discomfort has come and gone. Some days it bothers me and sometimes it doesn't. Recently, my neck pain came back and now I get mild numbness all over my face.

Is it possible that I ate gluten for so long that it led me to have another autoimmune disorder? Or could it be that my recovery from gluten is going to take much long than a couple of months before my body goes back to normal? It seems doctors don't take me serious, they say I'm a fit young guy, but they don't understand the wide range of symptoms I feel everyday.

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While celiacs oftentimes develop other autoimmune diseases, I think your symptoms may be attributable to nutritional deficiencies. The symptoms you describe could mean that your recent glutening might have damaged the part of your small intestine that absorbs B vitamins. Burning, irritated eyes (even photophobia) can be caused by Vitamin B deficiency (especially B-1 and B-12). A number of us here on the forum take Coenzyme B-Complex Caps by Country Life, and some of us also take sublingual Vitamin B-12 tablets. B vitamins are water soluble so the body discards what it can't use, so you don't have to worry about supplementing with these vitamins to see if your symptoms resolve. With celiac disease, you always have to be aware after a glutening that you may lose the ability to absorb certain nutrients--or even hormones. Just so that you're aware, if your muscles, tendons, and ligaments start giving you trouble, you might be low in manganese. This is a common deficiency, but most doctors are unaware that it can cause these symptoms. If you ever need to supplement with manganese, you should purchase chelated manganese.

Lastly, magnesium is a nutrient that runs virtually every system in your body, and our foods have become very low in this mineral. You may wish to supplement with it, as well, to see if you feel better. Because magnesium can cause digestive problems, though, in some people, the two brands that I'm personally aware of that are easy on the stomach are Blue Bonnet and Nature's Way Magnesium Complex.

Here is a website that describe the various symptoms of nutritional deficiencies in case you'd like to peruse it:

http://www.behealthyatwork.com/pdf/Deficiency-Toxicity.pdf

You might see some familiar symptoms on B-1, B-2, and B-12. As for your burning eyes, after a glutening last year, I had to do some sleuthing to get to the bottom of my own burning, red eyes and discovered that I was suffering from a zinc deficiency. Even though the website I've referred you to does not mention this symptom under zinc deficiency, if you Google eye+pain+zinc+deficiency, you'll see that it can also be the culprit. Since I was suffering from other symptoms of zinc deficiency, I concluded that it was the zinc causing my eye problems. I take chelated zinc along with an occasional copper supplement (you need to take copper when taking zinc). Once your symptoms abate, you should take the zinc and copper only occasionally.

Good luck!

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Celiac disease and the resulting gluten-triggered autoimmunity can cause neurological and even MS-like symptoms, including white spots on MRI. The CNS autoimmunity can take a long time to heal, so you simply may not have been on the diet long enough. Let the gluten-free diet do its magic before you start worrying about MS. It took me a year and a lot of supplements to reverse long-standing deficiencies to get over gluten-caused psych problems.

Since your nervous system will recover slowly from a glutening you have to be pretty careful with the diet. You can't afford to put yourself into situations where you risk getting glutened. That means sticking mostly to naturally gluten-free whole foods you cook yourself. Eating out is always risky.

Have you been tested for B12 deficiency? That can cause a lot of neurological trouble and we tend to be B12 deficient from the celiac malabsorption. There is no harm in starting a good B-complex supplement. Your nervous system requires all the B vitamins to function properly. I like to take some extra B12 as methylcobalamin, the natural form, because most B-complex supplements only have maybe 10 mcg of cyanocobalamin. I take 500 mcg a day because it's enough to reverse a deficiency without being crazy high. Magnesium is another you can be deficient in, and it can cause neuro problems. A calcium/magnesium supplement is always good when you're recovering from celiac.

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Ha ha--Skylark, we responded nearly at the same time and with almost the same information! Hopefully, a B complex vitamin, sublingual B-12 (methyl), and a magnesium/calcium supplement will ease this poster's symptoms.

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Thanks for the responses. I am hoping this is all some kind of deficiency that can be corrected. The facial numbness, although mild, has had me worried.

I have not been testing for B12 deficiency. I am going to request that to my doctor as soon as possible. I was tested for Vitamin D and my number was 46....Just from reading, a lot of people recommend over 50 or 60ng/ml.. So I'm working on bringing that up a bit too.

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Ha ha--Skylark, we responded nearly at the same time and with almost the same information! Hopefully, a B complex vitamin, sublingual B-12 (methyl), and a magnesium/calcium supplement will ease this poster's symptoms.

Heh. We sure did!

Thanks for the responses. I am hoping this is all some kind of deficiency that can be corrected. The facial numbness, although mild, has had me worried.I have not been testing for B12 deficiency. I am going to request that to my doctor as soon as possible. I was tested for Vitamin D and my number was 46....Just from reading, a lot of people recommend over 50 or 60ng/ml.. So I'm working on bringing that up a bit too.

Make sure your doctor understands how to properly test for B12 deficiency with homocysteine and MMA. Many think serum B12 is reliable but it's not. You can have a functional deficiency and normal B12 levels.

Also, B12 is safe enough that taking 500 mcg/day for a few months to see if it helps will not cause you any health issues. Same with taking a good B-complex like Solgar B-Complex "50". Just don't take crazy stuff like those ultrapotent 5 mg B12 supplements.

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I agree with Skylark--start supplementing NOW rather than wait for your doctor's slow (and possibly uninformed) advice. Most doctors have no idea how to address nutritional deficiencies, and you must learn to be your own best advocate. After a glutening, you'll notice any ill effects within about a month--match those symptoms to deficiencies and begin there. Believe me when I say that your doctor will not prove to be very effective in this arena, especially since you could be deficient in micronutrients that are rarely ever tested for. You need to become a super-sleuth.

As for MS, I can understand your worries there. However, the eye problems you've described don't fit with MS. Generally, eye symptoms of MS involve the inability to control your eye movements. In other words, you'll want to look left, but one or both eyes won't respond. They'll just sort of float around and have minds of their own. As for facial numbness, again, this is more indicative of neurological problems caused by nutritional deficiencies or perhaps even plaques in the brain caused by celiac (please don't get worried--these symptoms will probably subside the longer you're on a gluten-free diet). MS can present in the beginning with a "heralding" sign where numbness extends from the corner of one's mouth up to one eye on one side. Facial numbness, in general, is not indicative of early MS....so please don't worry.

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I agree with Skylark--start supplementing NOW rather than wait for your doctor's slow (and possibly uninformed) advice. Most doctors have no idea how to address nutritional deficiencies, and you must learn to be your own best advocate. After a glutening, you'll notice any ill effects within about a month--match those symptoms to deficiencies and begin there. Believe me when I say that your doctor will not prove to be very effective in this arena, especially since you could be deficient in micronutrients that are rarely ever tested for. You need to become a super-sleuth.

As for MS, I can understand your worries there. However, the eye problems you've described don't fit with MS. Generally, eye symptoms of MS involve the inability to control your eye movements. In other words, you'll want to look left, but one or both eyes won't respond. They'll just sort of float around and have minds of their own. As for facial numbness, again, this is more indicative of neurological problems caused by nutritional deficiencies or perhaps even plaques in the brain caused by celiac (please don't get worried--these symptoms will probably subside the longer you're on a gluten-free diet). MS can present in the beginning with a "heralding" sign where numbness extends from the corner of one's mouth up to one eye on one side. Facial numbness, in general, is not indicative of early MS....so please don't worry.

Thanks so much. You guys have helped calm me for now.

I have lost hope in ever getting real help from the regular doctor, I basically just use them to request blood work and work leave orders now. When I first had digestive problems they recommended I eat more whole grains! I was naive at the time and trusted their advise.

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Yes, undiagnosed coeliac and eating gluten can trigger other autoimmune diseases, I have at least another two, possibly more. MS isn't usually one that is connected though, things like RA, Lupus (connective tissue) Diabetes type 1 etc. I would go with what Skylark suggests. And also remember that when you go off gluten - it can take a year or more to fully heal and stop having symptoms. Took me around 8 months of being completely gluten free for all my gluten issues to go away.

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Take a look here.

https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/

There are a number of articles on gluten/celiac and the relationship to other AI diseases.

We all know it on here, because we live it, and the rest of the medical community is "catching up"

on acknowledging the connection.

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http:/w.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc/ww

The video is 17 minutes long but is worth watching. Dr. Terry Wahls, Iowa Med School professor, cured herself of MS by a diet which was probably gluten-free.

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http:/w.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc/ww

The video is 17 minutes long but is worth watching. Dr. Terry Wahls, Iowa Med School professor, cured herself of MS by a diet which was probably gluten-free.

The link does not work, hon. Try posting it again?

There is no cure for MS --or any other AI disease---as far as I know. There are treatments and ways to put the symptoms into remission. My friend Suze did the same thing by going sugar and grain-free 25 years ago, avoiding a wheelchair and running the Boston Marathon.

But she still has MS. :(

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It's pretty depressing having to deal with all this at the age of 26. Not knowing exactly what is safe to eat and what foods can cause a reaction. Obviously I can never eat gluten, which is fine with me, its not knowing what other foods will cross react or do damage or not knowing what other AI disease will develop in the future that stresses me out. If I could add back eggs and whey protein shakes to my diet once again that would be nice!

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It's pretty depressing having to deal with all this at the age of 26. Not knowing exactly what is safe to eat and what foods can cause a reaction. Obviously I can never eat gluten, which is fine with me, its not knowing what other foods will cross react or do damage or not knowing what other AI disease will develop in the future that stresses me out. If I could add back eggs and whey protein shakes to my diet once again that would be nice!

Other foods do not really cross-react or do any damage.

You may have other food intolerances, but for most celiacs, those are temporary and resolve off gluten. (notice I said "most")

You may be able to add those foods back in soon.

I have many CNS symptoms and they are resolving slowly. It Takes time to heal. You will have to be patient now.

Do not start stressing over what may happen in the future, hon.

There's nothing good to be gained from worrying like that.

There's every good chance you will STOP other AI diseases from developing if you stop the inflammatory response from gluten.

There are no guarantees in life, so please do not stress over what things you cannot control. Stress does not help anyone with AI diseases. Okay? okay. ;)

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Other foods do not really cross-react or do any damage.

You may have other food intolerances, but for most celiacs, those are temporary and resolve off gluten. (notice I said "most")

You may be able to add those foods back in soon.

I have many CNS symptoms and they are resolving slowly. It Takes time to heal. You will have to be patient now.

Do not start stressing over what may happen in the future, hon.

There's nothing good to be gained from worrying like that.

There's every good chance you will STOP other AI diseases from developing if you stop the inflammatory response from gluten.

There are no guarantees in life, so please do not stress over what things you cannot control. Stress does not help anyone with AI diseases. Okay? okay. ;)

Thanks. That is encouraging. Helped brighten up my day actually.

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Thanks. That is encouraging. Helped brighten up my day actually.

Well, good! Really, kiddo....this part of it is not much fun-- the beginning stages...But, in a few weeks, as you start to feel better, you'll be encouraged to stay the course.

No fretting! Serves no purpose ---except it gives you sore shoulders, wicked jaw pain and makes your eyes all wrinkly ( & who needs that?) :lol:

Cheers, IH

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I'll try again.

Edit to say: it won't post the link but posts the video instead.

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You should see an ophthalmologist. You're eye pain and redness could be Uveitis. I know. I have it. My eyes hurt, they are red, light hurts them, they water, it causes me to have headaches. I have had it for over 2 months. Can't get rid of it. I have been on a steroid drop that long and another drop for high ocular pressure. It is pretty serious and doesn't need to be "wrote off". When I finally taper my steroid drop and go back to my eye doctor in September for a follow up, IF I have inflammation still the doctor is going to put me on an immunosuppressant drug. Probably Cellcept.

With that said, I also have the facial numbness and everything else you describe. I have been to all sorts of doctors and my labs for the most part are ok...excluding vitamin and iron deficiencies for which I take Nu-Iron and a multivitamin. The doctors still think it could be Lupus but I'm not so sure. I see another doctor (rheumatologist) in August so I am hoping he finds out more for me! I also have an awesome Neurologist who helps me out a lot!

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You should see an ophthalmologist. You're eye pain and redness could be Uveitis. I know. I have it. My eyes hurt, they are red, light hurts them, they water, it causes me to have headaches. I have had it for over 2 months. Can't get rid of it. I have been on a steroid drop that long and another drop for high ocular pressure. It is pretty serious and doesn't need to be "wrote off". When I finally taper my steroid drop and go back to my eye doctor in September for a follow up, IF I have inflammation still the doctor is going to put me on an immunosuppressant drug. Probably Cellcept.

With that said, I also have the facial numbness and everything else you describe. I have been to all sorts of doctors and my labs for the most part are ok...excluding vitamin and iron deficiencies for which I take Nu-Iron and a multivitamin. The doctors still think it could be Lupus but I'm not so sure. I see another doctor (rheumatologist) in August so I am hoping he finds out more for me! I also have an awesome Neurologist who helps me out a lot!

Sunshine...did your ophthamologist test you for Sjogren's Syndrome? I have it and it can cause the symptoms you and Tom are describing. There is a blood test for antibodies but, like Celiac, you can have Sjogren's and test negative for it. Are your eyes dry also?

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Sunshine...did your ophthamologist test you for Sjogren's Syndrome? I have it and it can cause the symptoms you and Tom are describing. There is a blood test for antibodies but, like Celiac, you can have Sjogren's and test negative for it. Are your eyes dry also?

No, I don't think so. I have been tested for a lot of things but I don't think sjogrens was something they tested for. Would the steroid drop help the sjogren's? My eye doctor is thinking it may be autoimmune so I wonder why he hasn

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No, I don't think so. I have been tested for a lot of things but I don't think sjogrens was something they tested for. Would the steroid drop help the sjogren's? My eye doctor is thinking it may be autoimmune so I wonder why he hasn

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No, I don't think so. I have been tested for a lot of things but I don't think sjogrens was something they tested for. Would the steroid drop help the sjogren's? My eye doctor is thinking it may be autoimmune so I wonder why he hasn

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I haven't been able to taper the drops because the inflammation comes back. I think as long as I do it slow I might be ok. I am on one drop everyday now. I was on one an hour :unsure: The PredForte drops make my ocular pressure high which makes me worried about losing my vision too. At least we are aware now though so we can take extra precautions.

Too bad your brother won't get help. Much of my family is the same way...

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I haven't been able to taper the drops because the inflammation comes back. I think as long as I do it slow I might be ok. I am on one drop everyday now. I was on one an hour :unsure: The PredForte drops make my ocular pressure high which makes me worried about losing my vision too. At least we are aware now though so we can take extra precautions.

Too bad your brother won't get help. Much of my family is the same way...

I am the same with regards to Restasis...the minute I miss a few doses, my eyes start to bother me. I think I will be on them for life but if it means I can see, I will do what I have to do.

My whole family are loaded with symptoms and AI diseases yet I am the only one, besides my 17 year old niece, who follows a strict gluten-free diet. She didn't even get a diagnosis but had many of my symptoms and she became a different child on the diet. It amazes me that a 17 year old will not cheat, like me, yet all our relatives think life without gluten is not worth living. At least there are 2 smart people in my family! :lol:

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I am the same with regards to Restasis...the minute I miss a few doses, my eyes start to bother me. I think I will be on them for life but if it means I can see, I will do what I have to do.

My whole family are loaded with symptoms and AI diseases yet I am the only one, besides my 17 year old niece, who follows a strict gluten-free diet. She didn't even get a diagnosis but had many of my symptoms and she became a different child on the diet. It amazes me that a 17 year old will not cheat, like me, yet all our relatives think life without gluten is not worth living. At least there are 2 smart people in my family! :lol:

Just be grateful there are 2...some families not so lucky... ;)

And, I agree about your niece! Then again, I

don't understand the lack of willpower...especially when you're sick...or are likely to become sick. Nor do I "get" the omg-I-can't-eat-whatever-I-want-life-is-not-worth-living. mentality either...

So many people, with no hope, for themselves or their children, would LOVE to have something as simple as food... Not saying it's easy, but it is simple... And there is hope...

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    • Hi, how fast after starting with gluten free diet did you notice any improvement with heartburn or reflux? I am 4th day of diet and reflux seams to be worse than earlier. So I am a bit concerned. Please, help!!! Aya
    • OK good to know. Thanks for the tip
    • This is an old thread but I just need to get this out of my system! I am just so fed up with how every caregiver has been dealing with me case. My enzymes have been abnormal and my doc continuously asks me if I'm binge drinking - I literally haven't had a sip of alcohol in 2 years. Never been a heavy drinker.  She also tells me that all of my troubling neurological symptoms - sensory hypersensitivity, tinnitus, jaw/pain, headaches, fatigue, teeth grinding, nightmares, and EPILEPSY are "all in my head." ??? When my GI symptoms first started, she tried pushing acid reflux medications on me, even though Ive never dealt with heartburn. She was confused and aggressively asked, "Then what do you want!???"... um, to figure out the root of my issues? Some diagnostics? Gosh... When I told her my symptoms had decreased on a low gluten diet and I was interested in being tested for celiac, she asked me "why bother? if you're feeling better, just eat less gluten" - not understanding the value of a formal diagnosis.   I just wish I had some other disease that was more medically recognized and understood. Its so demeaning, and I try to see my doctors as little as possible now. I do my own research on PubMED and google scholar. And I don't even think I've had it the worst- I'm totally appalled by all of the crap I've read on this thread. Anyways, I'm done ranting.
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