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anti-soprano

Reaction = Breathing/anxiety Issues

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Hello All-

I am a newly diagnosed Celiac who has been gluten-free for about a month. I had my first (and surely not my last) glutening a few days ago. Reading several posts, it seems as though most people experience GI symptoms; stomach pain, D, bloating, etc. I was wondering if there was anyone else out there that had a similar reaction to mine, which is difficulty breathing and an overall feeling of anxiety and just-plain-wrongness, as well as tightness in the back of my throat. My abdomen is bloated, but that's the only real GI symptom and I also wonder if it contributes to me not being able to get a full breath. The symptoms (minus the breathing thing) remind me very much of when I would have bad reactions to allergy shots as a kid- not anaphylaxis, but major swelling of my arm. Although I fully understand that everyone's reaction is personal, I'm beginning to wonder if my reaction is normal or not in the grand scheme of things.

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Welcome to the forum! Although I dont get anxious after a glutening, I definitely experience mood symptoms and I'm not my usual happy self. I become angry, snippy, and short with people and my fiance can tell by the look on my face that I've been glutened. Like you said, things feel "off" or "wrong" and I have an overwhelming feeling of dread and want to isolate myself until its all over. If you read more posts, you'll see that a lot of other people on here definitely experience anxiety after being glutened. Just know and remember that it will pass and you'll come out of it. Sure, it feels terrible at the time but the good thing is that with us, its not a permanent thing. Best wishes!!

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I experienced this a lot when I first went gluten free. I've seen some scholarly articles about how in essence gluten molecules attach themselves to endorphins and lessen their effect on mood. It's kind of like kicking dope for a while. I had terrible depression as well. It takes time but it does get better the longer you stay off gluten. I'm not completely free of it after more than two months but I get more and more "normal" days; also more and more days with good energy. Hang in there. Someone here suggested Iron and I did find by doing a smoothie in the morning with a couple of fistfuls of frozen spinach in the mix really helped to stabilize my mood. Turns out many folks with celiac have bad iron deficiency. None of this gets better overnight - takes a bit of time and patience.

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Iron is the first thing that comes to my mind. A glutening can knock down the tips of the villi enough that you aren't absorbing iron and other nutrients as well as usual? It happens to me.

When my anemia is bad it's like I can't take in a good deep breath and the anxiety is so bad I can't sleep.

Have you had your iron levels tested? If they were low, you may need to increase your iron intake for a bit?

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Oh, I think I know how you feel. Especially the tightness in the back of the throat. Sucks :(

But I always thought it was because I spent 9 years of life sick all the time so I basically hate feeling anything "funny" on my stomach. I also panic a bit. I didn't think it anemia related... Funny, my iron levels were cool the last time I was checked, but then again, when it happened I've been sucessfully gluten-free for some time.

So spinach it is.

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I went through a frightening period a number of months ago, this after being strictly gluten/dairy/soy free for 2 years. I was doing fine and one day I started getting the feeling that I couldn't take in a deep enough breath. I underwent many, many tests (most of which happened during the very time I was having the symptom) to make sure there wasn't an underlying cause but all they proved was that I was healthy as a horse. That's not bad news, but I still was having the breathing symptom. Not all day, just in the first part of the day; thinking back, that should have been a clue. One day I ran out of the gluten-free/DF/SF, no nitrate bacon I had been eating for awhile. The symptom subsided. After a week I ate it again and started with the breathing problem again.

You are totally correct, that everyone is different. But for me, the feeling like I couldn't suck in enough air was a simple food intolerance. I removed that item from my diet and the symptom has stayed away since. I usually suspect cross-contamination when I react but my typical immediate symptom is dizziness and that's not what was happening. I haven't tried another bacon brand since, but my best takeaway from that experience is that just because it is gluten-free/DF/SF, it doesn't mean your particular body chemistry will tolerate it without problems. And a food intolerance can absolutely cause that breathing symptom for some.

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Anxiety can cause what feels like shallow or restricted breathing and a tight feeling in the throat, so it could all be part of the anxiety kicking in. It's especially bad during an anxiety attack. Anxiety is my worst symptom, and disrupts my life more than anything else. After a recent glutening I had to get a prescription for Xanax, which I hadn't taken in well over a year. Pretty sure the anxiety gets worse, or at least feels worse, after the body is no longer used to be poisoned regularly with gluten.

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