• Join our community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

  • Ads by Google:
     




    Get email alerts Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

    Ads by Google:



       Get email alertsSubscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

  • Announcements

    • admin

      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
0
hannahisabrooks

Eating Disorders As A Trigger. Sorry If This Is A Repeat.

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello, 

 

Sorry if this is a repeat. I looked online but I only found things from 2008 or 2009 and I wanted to get some fresh insight. 

 

This is a somewhat personal story for me, so when responding please try to keep that in mind. I do welcome everyone's opinion though. And sorry for the length. :)

 

My story in short is that I went to college when I was 18 in the fall of 2005 as a normal human being and came home for Thanksgiving break with an eating disorder. From August until Thanksgiving I had basically starved myself unbeknownst to my parents and lost 1/4th of my body weight. They reluctantly let me return to college but my mom and dad would alternate living with me. I quit school that December and as soon as I was home for Christmas, something triggered me to begin to binge on thousands of calories at night and starve myself during the day by eating zero calories. To get rid of the bloated stomach during the day, I began to take laxatives. This horrible cycle went on for four months until I was dragged to treatment.

 

I had 'successfully' completed treatment by August of 2006 and while I struggled that first year, I did manage to eventually bring my eating to a more 'normal' style. However, no matter what I ate I almost daily had mild diarrhea. To be honest, I never told anyone because I wanted it. In my still warped ED thinking, I wanted it to help my stomach stay flat. Slowly, the diarrhea became worse, and it was accompanied by mild gas and cramps.

 

In the fall of 2007 one day I developed a severe bacterial infection from eating undercooked meat and was hospitalized overnight. I got better quickly, but even though my stomach was fine according to my doctor, the constant diarrhea continued and actually got worse. By the fall of 2008, I had gained a considerable amount of weight and felt just bad all the time. The symptoms were worsening. I was gassy, bloated, and just sick but I was afraid to say anything because while I was suffering from my eating disorder I told everyone I had an ulcer and they believed me and I even believed it, even though it was a lie. I didn't want to have to convince my parents or doctors that this time I was telling the truth. 

 

The summer of 2009, I moved to Brazil where I was fed by a host family. Violent bouts of diarrhea ensued and everyone told me it was just the water. Because of the sudden increase in severity, I believed them. About this time, joint pain began to surface, dry skin, and brittle hair.

 

I returned to the U.S. after three months and shortly after moved to Korea. In Korea, the symptoms continued until March 2010 when I made a decision to give up western food, buy a bike, and give up alcohol (and men for that matter ;> ). I felt amazing. While I did still have mild diarrhea, I lost weight and no longer felt sick. I made no connection with anything really at that time.

 

I moved to the Republic of Georgia in January 2011 for six months (I'm an ESL teacher btw). My symptoms returned almost immediately and much more severely. I stopped being able to walk up stairs easily, I had to rest after standing for more than twenty minutes, I would have bouts of cramping where I couldn't stand up straight. I threw up in the middle of the night, I missed school, I just felt awful. And I gained weight again. Again, people and doctors claimed it was from the water so I just took what medicine they would give me and put up with it. Some days it were better than others. I then moved to Iraq for six months where the symptoms ameliorated slightly but the joint pain in my knees and hips had gotten severe enough for me to quit and return to the U.S. My life of teaching and traveling had ended in my mind. I had no idea what was wrong.

 

After numerous doctor's visits over three months, I was diagnosed by a blood test. I got x-rays on my knees and hips, and the joints look fine. I got gum grafts because my gums had receded. But the doctor left me with just "don't eat gluten." 

 

Two questions:

 

1) If I hadn't developed my ED, would I be diagnosed right now? I have this distinct feeling it was a trigger, although I'm really scared to say this aloud. I feel like some people might think I'm crazy.

 

2) I went gluten-free in November 2012 and felt 80% better in two weeks. However, despite the fact I try my best, the suffering continues. I stupidly ate from an almond butter jar from a non-Celiac friend and I was suffering for a week. Furthermore, dairy makes me terribly sick now and even nightshades (especially potatoes and tomatoes).  After reading many posts on here I have started to take a pro-biotic and I'm reluctantly dairy free and night-shade free. Is there a chance I will win those two back? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ads by Google:
Ads by Google:


Hi there

I thought I would send you my thoughts on your post and questions.

First, from my own experience with eating problems, in my view it is more likely the other way around and the celiac has caused chaos with your eating and eating habits. At least, I think this was the case with me. Over 20 years ago I had an 'eating disorder' that involved bingeing and starving and exercising like mad - I used to get up in the middle of the night to do Jane Fonda workouts (that dates it :ph34r: )! 

I would be desperate to eat, but the food made me ill and totally bloated so I would exercise like mad to try and get rid of it. I also had permanent migraine. 

Stress just makes the whole cycle worse.

My own view (as told to psychologists) was that I felt desperate to eat and thought my body may be craving a certain vitamin or mineral. I was also depressed and felt 'fed up' in the truest sense of the word.

I cannot count the number of times I have told docs over the years that I felt it was something to do with what I was eating!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I think for some of us that celiac can trigger this kind of eating problem. I don't know if this is from the gluten itself or due to malnutrition from lack of nutrients. Either way, disrupted eating patterns can easily become difficult to alter and digestion and the brain seem to be closely linked.

 

Number one priority is to establish a good gluten free diet and put effort into reversing the old ED patterns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also believe it is the other way around.  I had unexplained weight from the time I was a toddler...never overeating and we lived on a very steep hill...it was a one mile uphill walk from my elementary school that I walked each day from the time I was 5.  Three miles on bike to and from school for junior high and about two on bike RT to HS before we started driving.

 

At 11 or 12 when girls start to really worry about their body image as they become interested in boys -- I began to eat even less - and I had never eaten much to begin with.  By age 13 I was eating two salads a day with "Tab" (diet soda before diet coke) filling me up all day long.  During my high school days when all of my friends were extra concerned with weight we used dexatrim and diet coke as the staples with very little real nutrition added in.  Now here is the strange part -- I felt better during those teen years than I did anytime in my childhood or early adulthood when I was eating good healthful food.  

 

Yep, this is why I believe I had undiagnosed celiac disease - my entire life.  How about you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses. Lady Eowyn, I had never thought that my celiacs triggered an eating disorder. It's hard to look back objectively, because now that I've been diagnosed it's easy for me to say, "Oh that must have been because of gluten" but to be honest, I could see where my ed perhaps simply made my celiacs more apparent? I'm newly diagnosed, so I'm still trying to figure things out but from what I've read you may not have symptoms but something happens in some people to suddenly make the symptoms appear.

 

GottaSki, my problem was always gaining weight. My weight would fluctuate drastically and in fact never stabilized until now that I'm gluten-free. So in that sense, I could see where my celiacs cause my ed. Even now, when I have an cc episode, I automatically gain 3 to 5 pounds of water weight and if I have a couple of bad episodes in a row my weight rises by a few pounds for weeks.

 

Thanks again. It sounds weird, but my first thought when I was diagnosed was that maybe many of my ed habits would return now that I have to worry about what I eat so much. The whole point of getting rid of your ed is to eat healthfully and treat your body well, but at the same time feel comfortable eating anything when the occasion calls for it. Most importantly, getting rid of your ed means that you're no longer that person that eats strangely, the one with special foods needs. Now that I'm that special person again, I'm worried. But we'll see.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say it could go either way Hannah. We do know that certain stressors can

trigger Celiac, which includes just plain stress, illness, pregnancy, injury, surgery,

infections, what have you. And a lot of ED symptoms *can* be a result of the

physical illness of Celiac. I don't personally have any experience with eating

disorders, but I can say that I don't think there's anything wrong with being on

*this* special diet. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ads by Google:


This is why I think it is necessary to do some serious push- back to the Media Themes of the Month, regarding whether or not gluten free dieting is necessary or a "fad."  I have seen editors targeted, and then several pieces placed in women's magazines and online soft news, with the faux- concern that if one is restricting any food group it is a sign of a potential psychological disorder. :angry:   Too bad the people passing the links around the most just happen to be long time opponents of gluten free labeling standards, because of their financial ties to the other agricultural industries.  I can't shame them, nor can I out right stop them, but I can continue to point out the reasons why we are seeing this crop- out of stories about "imaginary" "faddish" "harmful" gluten intolerance dieting, vs. the so- called legitimate 1% of celiacs who have the real reason for eating gluten free.

 

To the original poster:

 

1. Don't worry what other people "think," because you may have had celiac from infancy or early toddlerhood, and never been diagnosed.  It takes a long time for the damage from auto immune malnutrition to accumulate to the point where it shows up on the medical tests, and even so, the doctor(s) have to be considering this possibility as the reason, or it doesn't matter.  Blaming the ED for the celiac is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, because being low in nutrients affects moods and behavior.  Most people don't recognize that the gut, not the brain, is the source of most serotonin, and that poor gut health = poor brain health.  Digestion does not take place without those bacteria working in the gut, and if you alter the bacteria, by eating certain foods to make them healthier, you also alter how digestion works, for the better.  They also do not realize that certain medications taken, including those to treat mood disorders, can impact the absorption of certain nutrients.  

 

2. As your gut heals from avoiding the problem protein (gluten) which is triggering your auto immune system, you may indeed "win those foods" back which are making you sick, after avoiding them for awhile. I am speaking from experience as I was dairy free at one point, and if I can go dairy free, anybody can.  I think I set the record for trying different brands of yogurts before I stopped trying. ;)  Turns out that I am sensitive to non- organic dairy, and to certain yogurts which are using dry milk as thickeners which are not totally processed by the bacteria to be lactose free.  That was then, this is now, I can now eat cheese, yogurt, cultured organic butter, organic cream, and very small amounts of organic milk.  Tracking down the hidden gluten in other items, led me down many false paths.   In the meantime, you can select alternative foods for your protein and fat sources, and try them out and see how you get along with them.   Don't be afraid of "good" sources of fat, such as from extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, avocado, nuts, eggs, etc, because your brain just isn't going to function without it.  Some people have to use traditional things like lard, or even palm oil shortening, to be able to bake their own foods and get the texture they want in the finished result.  I can do almost anything with olive oil, and was making cake with oil a long time before going gluten free, that is how my mother baked, so it was just a matter of switching flours.  For the "nightshade" problem with white potatoes, you can substitute sweet potatoes or yams.  In the past, when I lived in rural flyover- America, and we could not get a decent tomato for about 4 to 5 months a year in the groceries, after the garden went dormant, I learned to use different types of fruit in salads to get the same resulting contrast in flavors, anything from grapes, to kiwis, to berries or thinly sliced apple.  Cooked, sliced beets would also work.  If you have never had sliced beets sauteed in olive oil (optional, fresh garlic and sprinkled with sesame seeds) and a bit of agave nectar, you are really missing out on an interesting vegetable.   Eating gluten free is not restrictive, it is eating outside the fast - food box that other people have corralled themselves into, because they can't cook. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hannah

I can understand your feeling that the eating gluten free is embarking on another 'obsessing over food thing' and that this might seem encouraging to an eating disorder.

All I can say is that it hasn't worked out like that with me. Simply DON'T let yourself view it like that. You have discovered what to eat to keep your body happy and healthy :) so just go for it and keep the whole gluten free way of eating as a positive move.

 

Without gluten my appetite and eating habits are normal (without trying) but one of my symptoms of cc is that it triggers me to want to eat. I will add here that one or two other foods do this to me as well. All those years of desperate eating were from the gluten. Luckily (sort of :unsure: ) I never gained any weight in spite of eating masses and whenever I tried to eat healthily (cutting out the packets of biscuits, cakes, etc) I lost more weight - thought I had a great metabolism!!!! I couldn't do it now - I would gain weight now and would be appallingly ill. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      108,915
    • Total Posts
      943,492
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      67,085
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    Pamelas
    Joined
  • Popular Now

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • In many cases no.....I consume heavy magnesium foods like pumpkin seeds, cocoa nibs etc....and still need 2-3x the dose of magnesium recommendations. Going on more of what poster boy said. You dose magnesium to tolerance with citrate like Natural Vitality Calm you start off small partial doses and slow ramp up....it can hit you hard causing gas and D if you go to quick into it. You dose citrate to tolerance meaning you slowly up your dose til you get loose stools...then back down a bit. You should have vivid dreams with a good dosing....also if it becomes to harsh or you can not handle citrate there is Doctors Best Glycinate...it does not have the gut effects at all...but the dreams and how much it makes you relax is more more felt.   ...with this disease you can have a food intolerance or allergy crop up out of the blue....like no where. You have a autoimmune disease....celiac it effects your immune system and can make it really wonky. Like it seems to always be on guard like a sleep deprived sentry on stim packs...jumps at everything and shoots it. If you get sick, eat something odd or harsh you system might red flag it as a issue for awhile and go bonkers....keep a food diary and try a food rotation in the mean time...OH as a example to this, I was fine with chia seeds last week...I got a cold over the weekend....same bag, same brand same way....withing 30mins I now puke if I eat them...new intolerance.....I also am finding jalapenos/paprika making it sleepy tired....so I am removing them both for a few months from my diet and changing to other sources for fats/fiber and vitamin A/C til I get over that issue.....these things just happen. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/are-food-sensitivities-for-life
    • Hi Isabel, Your body needs nutrients to grow.  Nutrients not absorbed well when we have celiac disease damage in our guts.   But, if you do a good job of avoiding gluten, the gut damage should heal and you will be able to absorb nutrients again. The thing to remember is celiac disease is an immune system reaction.  Immune reactions are very sensitive and just a tiny amount of gluten can get them going.   And they can last for months.  So it;s very important to avoid all gluten all the time, to keep the immune reaction down.  Keeping the immune reaction down keeps the damage down, and the healing can keep up. You may start to grow more if you can absorb nutrients better.  Some extra vitamin pills might be a good idea.  Your doctor should know.  
    • Thank you Gail for your response. Of course one should be mindful of the possibility of food allergies but I don't think that's the case with my current situations. Save for gluten containing product, everything I eat now I used to eat before with no reaction whatsoever. I think my issue is more likely to be deficiency in minerals and such.
    • Posterboy, thank you for your response!    Regarding magnesium, do you think relying on food sources like fruits, bananas in particular, is not enough? Just out of curiosity, when you started taking Magnesiums Citrate supplements, did you already consume enough fruits?
    • I fix meal packs in a food prep kit I got online called a jax pack I can fix enough for 1-3 days depending on which pack I fill. I find fixing full on meals in advance...think something that looks great bento style and smells amazing to make others jealous and make it look pretty so you can smile when you pull it out and brag about it.....I had to go the ego route with it sometimes to comfort myself. This allows me to go out and eat sometimes with others. I learned to cook and offer to cook for others...perhaps you can practice and amaze your friends by fixing up some gluten-free dish like crock pot roast, or chicken shred it and have a nacho party? Think of something easy, naturally gluten-free and can bring everyone together and amaze them with your cooking skills. 

      I have comprehensive list of gluten free foods, while we do normally suggest a whole foods only diet, there are options now days for instant meals, and all those standard kids quick foods like hot pockets, cheese sticks, nuggets, tots, corn dogs, etc now from other companies so you can also look the part and not feel that different.

      You are indeed very lucky to have medical services...I have not been able to see a actual doctor since last fall when I lost insurance....I have some friends who are doctors who help out and a chiropractor that will work with me but I can not get blood or labs done.....imagine having to trouble shoot everything and go hit and miss all the time.....

      https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/120402-gluten-free-food-alternative-list-2018-q1/  
  • Upcoming Events