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      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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Why Does Gluten Keep Us From Sleeping
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18 posts in this topic

Hi All

Can anyone tell me why gluten affects our ability to sleep. Is it our body fighting the gluten off?

I have had horrendous sleep problems for soooo many years, and never put it down to the fact it might be from ingesting gluten.

Also, I'm a bad Celiac ...meaning after all these years I'm still in denial. I will go days and days gluten free, and will take the risk and eat something with gluten. I love KF Chicken, try to remove all the skin...last night I had mushroom soup over the meat, and of course was awake all night.

And lastly, does anybody else experience the all over body itchiness from ingesting gluten.

Thanks muchly, sorry for putting a few different questions here on this thread.

Deborah

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I always had trouble sleeping before I was Dx. I sleep much better now, and tend to remember my dreams more often--the dreams are more vivid and strange though. I don't know why gluten affects sleep. The itchiness, I get a lot. It dosen't matter if I've gotten gluten or not.

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Hi All

Can anyone tell me why gluten affects our ability to sleep. Is it our body fighting the gluten off?

I have had horrendous sleep problems for soooo many years, and never put it down to the fact it might be from ingesting gluten.

Also, I'm a bad Celiac ...meaning after all these years I'm still in denial. I will go days and days gluten free, and will take the risk and eat something with gluten. I love KF Chicken, try to remove all the skin...last night I had mushroom soup over the meat, and of course was awake all night.

And lastly, does anybody else experience the all over body itchiness from ingesting gluten.

Thanks muchly, sorry for putting a few different questions here on this thread.

Deborah

Boy, I wish I had the answer to this one! I've always been a bit of a night owl, but it seems like the last 4 or 5 years, and particularly this last year, there are some nights where I simply cannot fall asleep. My body will feel exhausted, but my head won't cooperate. Now your idea about having some sort of gluten is interesting...I'll have to keep watch over whether or not my occasional sleepless nights are in any way related to eating gluten.

As for denial...well, I know that feeling. I broke down the day before yesterday and really had a gluten fest...pizza at Round Table, some other stuff. Of course, now I'm paying for it. I don't know why I'm driven to eat it occasionally....I had been good for quite awhile and then I lost it.

Itchiness...yes, sometimes. About a month ago my head was itching something awful, but that went away after about 2 weeks. :o

I always had trouble sleeping before I was Dx. I sleep much better now, and tend to remember my dreams more often--the dreams are more vivid and strange though. I don't know why gluten affects sleep. The itchiness, I get a lot. It dosen't matter if I've gotten gluten or not.

I used to feel I simply did not dream...ever. Or at least, I never remembered any sort of dream at all. Very strange, because my understanding of dreams is that we DO dream, that we must dream, even if we don't remember. Then after I stopped eating gluten in November, suddenly I started dreaming like crazy, and remembering the dreams.

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I rarely was able to sleep and spent much of the time running to the bathroom before being gluten-free. My body would itch all night long. Now, I do not itch all night, I may itch a bit. I do not get up almost every half hour to go to the bathroom, actually maybe a few times a night and most of the time not at all. I also sleep better than I ever have before.

CMCM-- Cute horse, reminds me of one of my horses of so long ago.

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I've never read any theories as to why gluten affects our sleep, but it certainly does. I'm a newbie, but after about 3 weeks gluten-free, I'm definitely sleeping better. Instead of getting up 3 times a night to go to the bathroom, I only need to get up once or sometimes not at all. And my sleep seems 'deeper' somehow. My experience with gluten is that it makes me very sleepy -- not a good sleep, but a druggy kind of sleep ---- and then after an hour or so, I can't fall asleep no matter what.

I'm also one of those people who never remembers their dreams. The dreams haven't come back yet, but I'm hoping. . . .

And itchiness? Oh yeah!! That was the first symptom that started me looking for answers (8 years ago!) No relief from the itching yet. Is there anyone out there who's had terrible itching (without any kind of rash) that went away after going gluten-free?

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Hey Tommy--I'm 7 months into it and I have the type of itching you describe. It has improved greatly since being gluten-free. Another thing you might want to try, is laundry detergent without perfumes or dyes. I use Purex Free & Clear. I would give it a bit more time. I noticed improvement after 3 months.

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Hi Folks!

Been reading the Posts here about Sleeplessness~ ... also the "all over the body type of ITCH." Ain't it a bummer? Trust me, I have all of these symptoms, & have had for a long time. As for the not being able to sleep, I never associated it to "gluten," before I went gluten-free. Mainly, because I'm in full-blown MENOPAUSE right now, so it is very hard to determine what is actually causing it.

A thought to consider.... if any of you have ever held a long-term job working the night Shift (Graveyard) then that might have something to do with it as well. I worked 9-straight years on the Night Shift, & they say, that working Night Shifts definitely "mess" with one's "biological Time Clock!" Yep... this is true. This also, may be a factor with some of my sleep disorders.

I am also Bipolar, which doesn't help in the least. A big part of Bipolar disorder is "sleeplessness." I'm on Ambien & was on Lunesta for my sleep disorders. I only take the Ambien on occasion, when I get real burned-out and need some sleep...

My "all over body itching" didn't start until about 6-months ago. It just kept getting worse & worse. Then came the pains in the ankles & both wrists. My ankles would swell up as well. Once I found out I had "gluten" allergies, and I went "Gluten-Free," then the body itching subsided ALOT, and I do not have the pains in my ankles & wrists anymore either.

With each of us, I truly believe there are many "factors" involved in each individuals system to consider. There is is mine, I know that much.

Of course, our enviroment & weather has a big part in the AIR in our homes & all... I always try to run a warm mist Vaporizor in the Winter months, due to the extreme "dry" of our air. I also have a very nice Air-Purifier as well.

After reading alot on the Forums here, I found where some folks use a good ole` "anti-itch" Cream, and that is something I never tried before, so I got myself some, and it does work, & also helps RELIEVE so much of the itching. The bottoms of my feet get to itching & turning a firey RED, to the point I can't stand them, and now that I am gluten-free, I have to watch what I put on my feet. I just got some Medicated "anti-itch" Gold Bond cream, and some of this stuff works real well. Even tho I am NOT completely "itch" free sometimes, I still am doing much better than I was.

When I accidentally get "glutened," the weirdest things happen---- the itching will start like "FIRE" on the inside palms of my hands, then work it's way thru-out the course of my body, ending up at my feet!! (again, the burning, itching FEET "thing!") Once in awhile, I will break out in a slight "rash," but without any of the measly-type bumps or anything. It never gets to a full-blown rash. Being "glutened" causes not only my ankles to swell up, but also my hands & fingers. The swelling lasts maybe an hour, then settles down. Unless... I get a severe case of "gluten-attack," then I am up all night long, scratching, itching, & miserable! {kinda like "ants-in-the-pants!} :P

So don't feel alone out there, because after reading the Posts here, it sounds like many of the symptoms are common. I haven't found a "cure-all" for the itching yet, and as far as the sleeping habits go... well, just call me a NIGHT OWL!

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B) Have always been nocturnal and have not noticed any difference in my inability to get a good night's sleep - even with sleep aids. I do have night sweats, though. Tired all the time. Cannot help with an answer into this problem. 3 yrs. diagnosed - also with diabetes 2. One of my major problems lately is being so cold. Seems as though I am freezing - even with several layers and I live in the South. Have always been warm blooded - anyone else having problems with being so cold? Thanks. Sue And

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I don't know why gluten effects sleep so much! Before I was diagnosed I couldn't sleep for more than a few hours at a time even though I was exhaused. When I would wake up in the middle of the night I was confused and even dizzy at times. My husband would tell me that I would even start yelling at him in the middle of the night about things that didn't make any sense. I guess I was just in the twillight zone or something! Since I have been gluten-free I sleep MUCH better. No more hours of sleeplessness, no more dizzy spells, or confused anger. I still wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep a lot, but if I just move to the guest room and I fall right back asleep. I hate that too though. I'm still a very light sleeper, and if my husband does so much as roll over or god forbid he snores I'm wide awake. I feel guilty for not being able to spend an entire night in bed with him.

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How long did it take until you noticed a difference in your sleep patterns?

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It took several months before I really saw a noticable difference. I'm not sure if that was due to my body needing time to heal.....or if I was making gluten mistakes during that time without knowing it. It really happened gradually too....after a while I just started realizing that I hadn't been miserable all night! But at least for me, all aspects of recovery took a while to really be 100% better

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I have major sleep problems, but I think they are more attributed to the collagenous colitis than the celiac disease. I can fall asleep no problem, but around 2 a.m., my bowels wake me up, and I am going non-stop to the bathroom alternating with rocking back and forth with cramping until around 5 or 6 a.m. then it usually settles down for me to fall asleep just in time for the all the kids to wake up! <_<

Collagenous colitis is very nocturnal. That is why you will see so many of my posts done during the night, as I come on here to take my mind off the the cramps.....

Another thing to mention, I am the queen of weird dreams. Very vivid and I remember every detail of them. My husband says I have the wackiest dreams he has ever heard!

Karen

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Another thing to mention, I am the queen of weird dreams. Very vivid and I remember every detail of them. My husband says I have the wackiest dreams he has ever heard!

Karen -

I know exactly what you mean! I wonder if that has to do with gluten? There are so many things that before diagnosis I never would have thought were related to one disease, but sure enough! I have REALLY weird dreams....I only tell my husband about the mildest of them and he thinks that even those are really strange! For some reason I never do catch on that it is dream either! Even as the blonde girl from Sex and City comes down in a space ship to take over the world while I'm an 8 year old BOY traveling with my family (who isn't really my family) :huh: I still never think.....hmmmmm something doesn't seem right here.....

Christine

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Karen--that sounds terrible. I really hope the doctors come up with something that will help--you have such a great attitude and zest for life! Even at my sickest, I would look forward to going back to bed at night because that was the only time I would get relief. How long have you had this?

BTW--I also have more vivid dreams since going gluten free--really weird ones.

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Well, considering I have had watery diarrhea for the better part of a decade now, but collagenous colitis was only discovered last year, I am guessing that one of the main reasons my BM's haven't improved on the gluten-free diet is because of the collagenous colitis.... I am guessing I have had it the whole time..... It has only been the last few years though that it has seriously interfered in my daily living though....

Karen

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Hi Folks!

Been reading the Posts here about Sleeplessness~ ... also the "all over the body type of ITCH." Ain't it a bummer? Trust me, I have all of these symptoms, & have had for a long time. As for the not being able to sleep, I never associated it to "gluten," before I went gluten-free. Mainly, because I'm in full-blown MENOPAUSE right now, so it is very hard to determine what is actually causing it.

A thought to consider.... if any of you have ever held a long-term job working the night Shift (Graveyard) then that might have something to do with it as well. I worked 9-straight years on the Night Shift, & they say, that working Night Shifts definitely "mess" with one's "biological Time Clock!" Yep... this is true. This also, may be a factor with some of my sleep disorders.

I am also Bipolar, which doesn't help in the least. A big part of Bipolar disorder is "sleeplessness." I'm on Ambien & was on Lunesta for my sleep disorders. I only take the Ambien on occasion, when I get real burned-out and need some sleep...

My "all over body itching" didn't start until about 6-months ago. It just kept getting worse & worse. Then came the pains in the ankles & both wrists. My ankles would swell up as well. Once I found out I had "gluten" allergies, and I went "Gluten-Free," then the body itching subsided ALOT, and I do not have the pains in my ankles & wrists anymore either.

With each of us, I truly believe there are many "factors" involved in each individuals system to consider. There is is mine, I know that much.

Of course, our enviroment & weather has a big part in the AIR in our homes & all... I always try to run a warm mist Vaporizor in the Winter months, due to the extreme "dry" of our air. I also have a very nice Air-Purifier as well.

After reading alot on the Forums here, I found where some folks use a good ole` "anti-itch" Cream, and that is something I never tried before, so I got myself some, and it does work, & also helps RELIEVE so much of the itching. The bottoms of my feet get to itching & turning a firey RED, to the point I can't stand them, and now that I am gluten-free, I have to watch what I put on my feet. I just got some Medicated "anti-itch" Gold Bond cream, and some of this stuff works real well. Even tho I am NOT completely "itch" free sometimes, I still am doing much better than I was.

When I accidentally get "glutened," the weirdest things happen---- the itching will start like "FIRE" on the inside palms of my hands, then work it's way thru-out the course of my body, ending up at my feet!! (again, the burning, itching FEET "thing!") Once in awhile, I will break out in a slight "rash," but without any of the measly-type bumps or anything. It never gets to a full-blown rash. Being "glutened" causes not only my ankles to swell up, but also my hands & fingers. The swelling lasts maybe an hour, then settles down. Unless... I get a severe case of "gluten-attack," then I am up all night long, scratching, itching, & miserable! {kinda like "ants-in-the-pants!} :P

So don't feel alone out there, because after reading the Posts here, it sounds like many of the symptoms are common. I haven't found a "cure-all" for the itching yet, and as far as the sleeping habits go... well, just call me a NIGHT OWL!

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I have always had wacky sleep patterns. My son who is 4 and dx last year had a lot of trouble sleeping. Then his allergy Dr. did a vitamin and minerals test and found out he was low in zinc (common w/celiac disease). Now he sleeps great most nights. He has a liquid calcium/magnesium/vit.D and Zinc liquid suppliment called LIfeTime Liquid calcium (whole foods market and on-line)in addition to his vitamin. There is some connection with sleep and Zinc.

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I'm gonna take a stab at this. One thing I noticed was my heart rate decteased significantly when I went on the diet. When I get glutened I notice I breath harder and my heart rate increases by about 10 beats thus my anxiety goes up then I don't sleep nearly as well. So I'm presuming it has to do with the anxiety. Not to mention the chemical imbalances that would occure. My muscles are tense and I get poor circulation down my spine and need to do stretches to release the tension too.

Fun stuff.

N

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