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lunacat

Wheat Addict Needs Help

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I am not sure if I have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, but I would like to eliminate it from my diet. Doing that has been incredibly difficult for me. I did have a blood test for celiac disease which came back negative. But I believe that wheat causes problems for me, and several symptoms seem to be attributed to my consumption of it. However, I'm unsuccessful with the gluten free diet every time I try. I generally last about a week at most, and then end up consuming wheat. I can't stop craving it. If I consume the wheat after having not eaten any, even if for just one day, I can get really sick. It usually feels like my brain has been poisoned. It definitely alters my perception and inhibits my ability to think clearly. I've had some worrying experiences where I've felt completely incoherent in thinking and get dizzy, wobbly, and basically can't function.

I grew up eating a lot of wheat and always craved it. I was always very spaced out and did poorly in school. I was also always tired and unhealthy, and many times I've been accused of using drugs due to my spacey behavior. I never did drugs, but I did used to feel very strange, mentally, and never knew why. I've also always been very thin (boney), gaunt looking, always had constipation problems, trouble focusing, poor mental clarity. I don't know if this is entirely due to wheat, but when I cut out the gluten foods, my mental state improves dramatically.

I really need to go successfuly gluten free for a long term period, just to see the results if nothing else. But I think I am addicted to wheat. It's very frustrating. Sorry if this post is a long rant.

Edited by lunacat

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Welcome Lunacat!

Yes, many of us get fuzzy headed along with many other symptoms when we consume gluten.

I do think it is a good idea for you to completely remove it for at least three months (six would be better). A strict gluten free trial is the only test for Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance. NCGI can have many similar symptoms to Celiac Disease, but you will not test positive to blood or endoscopic biopsy.

If you haven't consulted with a gastroenterologist in some time, perhaps start that process again. With your symptoms repeat blood work including a full celiac panel and nutrient testing along with an endoscopy would be a good idea - regardless of the previous negative blood work. If you are currently consuming gluten - keep doing so until more testing is complete.

What are the foods that you really miss when attempting to live gluten-free? Perhaps we can offer some replacements that will help you through the tough moments. I have to avoid many foods and I find my most vulnerable time is when I am hungry without any safe food handy - so always travel with gluten-free snacks and learn what normal everyday items are gluten-free to purchase in a pinch.

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Thank you for the response. I'm afraid to have an endoscopy biopsy. I don't think I have the gut (pun intended) to do it..

I always eventually start to crave bread, cake, pasta..anything involving wheat flour. These items are costly to buy or make gluten free versions of, and the gluten free bread tastes bad. The gluten free pasta I've tried was very gooey and starchy, and just doesn't taste as good as the wheat kind. I do like the Annie's gluten free macaroni, but it's too costly to eat regularly. I just see everyone else eating the foods I love and this makes it difficult. I have weak will power. It doesn't help that my family isn't very convinced about the gluten free thing. They think it's just an unecessary diet fad I am trying. My mother always offers me food with gluten/wheat, even after continuously trying to explain that I want to avoid it. She will try to convince me that it's okay to "have a little".

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Low willpower and an unsupportive family is not a good combination for success right off the bat. You can't do much about your family, but you can do something about your willpower. I liken it to giving up smoking. I found that so long as I kept saying I was going to try and give up smoking -- I failed. I succeeded only when I awoke one morning and said to myself, "You have already smoked your last cigarette." That's it. I knew I would be constantly tempted because my husband was still smoking, so I Ieft a package of cigarettes sitting on the corner of the coffee table at all times, to strengthen my resolve. I kept a huge supply of carrot and celery sticks in the refrigerator, and crunched on those all day, and when I wasn't keyboarding I kept a pen or pencil in my hand -- all to distract myself from the thought of smoking.

Gluten for some people is an addiction as powerful as nicotine. Unfortunately there is no patch for gluten (just as there wasn't when I quit smoking.) It is said that you tend to crave the things that are bad for you and this certainly sounds to be the case with you. Just as I used to imagine what the cigarette smoke was doing to my lungs, so you must imagine the damage the gluten is doing to your intestines and ultimately (if you continue) the rest of your body. Imagine yourself ending up with other autoimmune diseases like lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, colon cancer, lymphoma.... these are all possible if you continue eating gluten.

Then you must develop a list and stock of things you are going to eat when you would normally crave the gluten. If they are having cake at work, keep some gluten free cookies there to eat at those times. Always keep snack food in your purse (Lara or Kind Bars, packages of nuts or trail mix (gluten free of course), pretzels, crackers.) Do not put yourself through the agony of going out to eat with your friends for the first month, because that is when the craving is worse, watching others eat it in front of you. Worse yet, some people go through gluten withdrawal where they actually feel worse off gluten than on it, but again you are usually over the hump by the end of the first month. Take it one day at a time. When you get up in the mornig say, "I am not going to eat gluten toay." If you do that every day for a month you should be right.

If your mother does a lot of cooking for you, you are probably going to have to do your own. Udi's bread is quite good, so is Against the Grain and Canyon Bakehouse; Tinkyada pasta is good and be sure not to overcook it, Vans makes good frozen waffles, Pamela's Baking Mix is good for cookies, pancakes, waffles and cakes. But the absolute best way to eat gluten free if you can manage it is to go to a whole foods diet of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, rice with perhaps some pasta thrown in. Experiment with new vegetables and tastes that you haven't tried before and you will find a whole new way of living and eating.

Do come back with any specific questions and situations that are problems for you and everyone will be happy to give you advice (we love to do that :) ) on how to handle them.

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(hugs) I hear you! My first couple of weeks gluten-free were not fun. I had the shakes, a steady migraine for over a week, and I was not pleasant to be around... Not good. I let myself eat lots of gluten-free sugary snacks at first and that helped some. You just have to stick it out.

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Hi Lunacat

To let you know I can understand how you feel - it is a struggle for me.

I don't directly eat gluten (gluten-free 2011) and haven't eaten bread, pizza, pasta or cereal for some years - makes me appallingly ill but I do have problems associated with appetite. This means that if cc'd it seems to trigger me to eat. Have been very slim all my life in spite of guzzling biscuits and chocolate in the past - thought I had an amazing metabolism !!!

Gluten bloats me up but can make me need to eat - very odd.

Not much help other than to say hang in there.

Things that help me are making sure that there is easy access protein available. I make bolognese (mince) with veg or stew with plenty of root veg in or soup that I can always have some spare in the fridge. Protein seems to be a big help to me.

As per other posts - have those gluten free treats to hand as well. (Sadly, I can't eat them - just going off for a little cry now :( ).

Have got some juicy pears though :P so will have one of them.

Get my drift?

Not meaning to be frivolous - anyone else with appetite issues?

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Hugs!!! Im also a wheat addict. It was very hard to give up my old stand buys. I thought I would never be able to get through it. I finally did find decent gluten free pastas and after a month without bread, gluten free didnt taste so bad. One day I gave in and had a soft wheat sandwich roll, ya know what happened, it didnt taste as good as I remembered. I also got SO SICK!!! I was sick for a week. Wheat addiction is easier to get over after that. I also can concentrate again and my appitite is normal now instead of the out of control hunger like before. It gets easier and you can do this.

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