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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Celiac
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I suffer from Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It started 9 years ago when I was in a horrific Amtrak train accident (1 person was killed in my car and we were trapped in the bottom of the car, lying upside down in a ditch in the middle of the night for over 30 minutes). That was absolutely horrible, but fortunately I was not seriously injured. However, I had severe bruising all over my body as well as trauma to my neck and face.

Then in April, I was in my first car accident. It was my fault, as I didn't see the stop sign. I damaged the whole front bumper of the car but was not injured, nor was the other driver. I got my car fixed and had it for 2 months before it happened again on Aug 4.

This car accident was not my fault, rather the other driver failed to yield and we collided head-on. It was 97 degrees outside (115 with the heat index) in the middle of a busy intersection during rush hour. This crash was more severe and the airbags deflated. Those and the seat belt probably saved my life. My nose was bleeding and I was all shaken up. But I managed to call the police and my mom, who lived nearby. At first I was in bad shock. But then I started crying because I was upset that this keeps happening to me and I was scared. By the time I was put on a stretcher, I was hyperventilating. My head felt very heavy and I started feeling sick to my stomach. Now I suffer from a condition called emetophobia (an irrational fear of vomiting or seeing other people vomit) so that just made me panic more. Well, fortunately the nausea went away pretty soon. But I was continuing to hyperventilate. By the time I got to the hospital, my legs were nearly numb and I became extremely weak. They asked me my name over and over again and I was barely able to mutter it. I had a dull headache and stiff neck and was having a hard time stopping the nose bleed (I've suffered from bad nose bleeds ever since I was really little- another symptom of Celiac I suppose). I couldn't stop crying. Most of the people in the ER were not very sympathetic at all, some were just plain rude. Fortunately my parents were with me, except when I was Xrayed.

Well, the good news is that I wasn't severely hurt. Yesterday, my muscles ached (like the flu) and I was very tired and exhausted and upset. Today I've done much better, but still have headache, back aches and some upset feelings.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if Celiac seems to exacerbate PTSD or if I just have a normal reaction. People have told me that I'm taking this amazingly well.

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Hi Coolclimates, first of all I hope you get to feeling better. I've had chronic nosebleeds since I was 7, it is a condition called Epitasis. Your PTSD could be flaring up or it could just be your body reacting kind of to being jarred, kind of like being whiplashed. Just my opinion.

Try to relax and take it easy for a few days.

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Ugh, sorry, I spelled that wrong. Here is wikipedia's version of it.

"Epistaxis (or a nosebleed) is the relatively common occurrence of hemorrhage from the nose, usually noticed when the blood drains out through the nostrils. There are two types: anterior (the most common), and posterior (less common, more likely to require medical attention). Sometimes in more severe cases, the blood can come up the nasolacrimal duct and out from the eye. Fresh blood and clotted blood can also flow down into the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting. It is rarely fatal, accounting for only 4 of the 2.4 million deaths in the U.S. in 1999.[1] Perhaps the most well-known Epistaxis-related death was that of Attila the Hun. He drank an extremely large quantity of alcohol on his wedding night after his parley with Pope Leo I, suffered a nosebleed in his sleep and was suffocated by the blood."

That's interesting about Attila I think anyway.

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Interesting, I never knew there was a name for this condition. I've had my nose cauterized with dry ice (ouch!) twice in the past with no success and just a lot of pain. But unless I keep my head up or forward, I do swallow lots of blood. I was swallowing a lot of blood in the hospital because they didn't believe me when I said that it was running down my throat and I needed to be propped up. Luckily, my parents found a way to prop me up. The worst thing you want to do is tilt your head back like a lot of people say. It will just lead to blood going into the stomach, which, like you said, can cause nausea and vomiting. In fact, when I got my wisdom teeth taken out, I had swallowed a lot of blood. On top of that I had a milkshake and had been on strong drugs and I did throw up (one of the only times in my life, like I said I'm terrified of throwing up).

Anyway, thanks for the support.

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When I was pregnant with my first child. Bad Bad sick with preclampsia. He was born 2 months early then had 7 miscarriages on top of that, my nose would go to bleeding and after a while I could feel the blood going down the back of my throat and every time my heart beat I could feel the blood pump into my stomach. That was a scary, weird feeling.

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When I was pregnant with my first child. Bad Bad sick with preclampsia. He was born 2 months early then had 7 miscarriages on top of that, my nose would go to bleeding and after a while I could feel the blood going down the back of my throat and every time my heart beat I could feel the blood pump into my stomach. That was a scary, weird feeling.

That sounds really disturbing. Once I took a nap and woke up to find my nose was bleeding. Half of my pillow was covered in blood! Needless to say, I was scared. I almost always wake up if my nose starts bleeding.

I'm doing better from my accident. But last night I had a bad headache and cried a bit. It's just hard to deal with all the PTSD.

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I can remember from the age of about 7, I could be watching tv, reading a book or sleeping and my nose would just start gushing. We lived with my paternal grandmother at the time and she would grab me and stick my head under a water faucet, whether it was in the house or outside. She scared me. I thought she didn't like me and was trying to drown me. No one told me that cold water on the back of the neck would slow the blood flow down. Didn't learn that till I was in high school in biology.

As for PTSD. I know exactly what you mean. I was raped almost 25 years ago. I still have episodes every once in awhile. Not something you get over very easily. But hang in there, It will get better I promise. May take a while, you just have to be patient. I know, easier said than done, right. :)

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I can remember from the age of about 7, I could be watching tv, reading a book or sleeping and my nose would just start gushing. We lived with my paternal grandmother at the time and she would grab me and stick my head under a water faucet, whether it was in the house or outside. She scared me. I thought she didn't like me and was trying to drown me. No one told me that cold water on the back of the neck would slow the blood flow down. Didn't learn that till I was in high school in biology.

As for PTSD. I know exactly what you mean. I was raped almost 25 years ago. I still have episodes every once in awhile. Not something you get over very easily. But hang in there, It will get better I promise. May take a while, you just have to be patient. I know, easier said than done, right. :)

Yeah, I've had similar problems with nosebleeds, although they almost always happen in the winter when it's so dry. I try to keep a humidifier going in my room all the time in the winter but it still doesn't always prevent them. Also, I used to put vaseline inside my nose but some docs have said it's a bad idea. Others say it's ok. Yeah, in the winter, I have been known to have about one nosebleed every day. And they are hard to stop! I had no idea about cold water on the back of my neck! I should try that next time I get a bloody nose. How long do you have to put the cold water on the neck?

I'm so very sorry to hear that you were raped. Fortunately I'm very lucky and have never been raped or in a physically abusive relationship (although I've had very little luck with men, but those are due to other reasons). I can only imagine how traumatic that is. I had a best friend who was raped at age 13 and it changed her life forever. Her parents actually took her out of school as she was being ostracised and teased so much by kids. The whole "blame the victim" mentality. Eventually, they moved out of my town all together to try to get her a fresh start. But unfortunately she has led a very traumatic life as she is a real risk taker and seems to thrive on dangerous situations. She also makes poor judgement. Not that that is any excuse for her to be raped, it isn't. But she seems headed for trouble no matter what. I know other people like that too and it's sad because you just want to stop them and have life get better for them, but they keep going down a destructive path.

Anyway, back to the post traumatic stress disorder thing. i've been feeling better generally, but still having issues with headaches, fatigue and upset feelings. I'm sure this is all pretty normal and in some ways I think I'm doing incredibly well considering what I've been through in the past. But it's also frustrating because I've been on the gluten-free diet for 3 months now and have noticed little improvement with my symptoms. Very frustrating.

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I also have PTSD very severe because of protracted dehumanizing abuse. I will never recover so I have had to go into a different direction and make a life other than the one I was going to have. But I am doing OK and fight on like all of us have to do. Where there is breath, there is a chance at a new beginning and new day! :-)

And I see it as a cycle, with the celiac and all this. I think that whatever makes us senstive to these foods, be in the gene or the intolerance, also makes us sensitive to emotional things. There are threads on here about the neuro effects of it all.

I also have vaso vagal reaction whereby I faint and have even gone into seizures after having blood taken. So I am sensitive to a lot of stuff.

When I am glutened, it makes me much more depressed. It also fogs up my brain and sets it on an obsessive run away horse. I can't think straight.

When I am healthy, I am still a bit spacey and anxious because of it all, but I feel like I can find my way around and make plans.

I am so sorry about what you have gone through. It must have been awful!! And to have no help by the hospital staff? That is just awful!!! But you are doing all the right things. Don't give up! Use it all to make you a better, more educated soul!! And thanks for sharing your story, too.

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On Friday, August 06, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Coolclimates said:

I suffer from Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It started 9 years ago when I was in a horrific Amtrak train accident (1 person was killed in my car and we were trapped in the bottom of the car, lying upside down in a ditch in the middle of the night for over 30 minutes). That was absolutely horrible, but fortunately I was not seriously injured. However, I had severe bruising all over my body as well as trauma to my neck and face.

Then in April, I was in my first car accident. It was my fault, as I didn't see the stop sign. I damaged the whole front bumper of the car but was not injured, nor was the other driver. I got my car fixed and had it for 2 months before it happened again on Aug 4.

This car accident was not my fault, rather the other driver failed to yield and we collided head-on. It was 97 degrees outside (115 with the heat index) in the middle of a busy intersection during rush hour. This crash was more severe and the airbags deflated. Those and the seat belt probably saved my life. My nose was bleeding and I was all shaken up. But I managed to call the police and my mom, who lived nearby. At first I was in bad shock. But then I started crying because I was upset that this keeps happening to me and I was scared. By the time I was put on a stretcher, I was hyperventilating. My head felt very heavy and I started feeling sick to my stomach. Now I suffer from a condition called emetophobia (an irrational fear of vomiting or seeing other people vomit) so that just made me panic more. Well, fortunately the nausea went away pretty soon. But I was continuing to hyperventilate. By the time I got to the hospital, my legs were nearly numb and I became extremely weak. They asked me my name over and over again and I was barely able to mutter it. I had a dull headache and stiff neck and was having a hard time stopping the nose bleed (I've suffered from bad nose bleeds ever since I was really little- another symptom of Celiac I suppose). I couldn't stop crying. Most of the people in the ER were not very sympathetic at all, some were just plain rude. Fortunately my parents were with me, except when I was Xrayed.

Well, the good news is that I wasn't severely hurt. Yesterday, my muscles ached (like the flu) and I was very tired and exhausted and upset. Today I've done much better, but still have headache, back aches and some upset feelings.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if Celiac seems to exacerbate PTSD or if I just have a normal reaction. People have told me that I'm taking this amazingly well.

1st this could be controversial so ask the doctor. That being said only Celiacs are aware of how complex the gluten issue is especially with how it can make you feel. Now, I have PTSD because of sexual abuse before and during elementary school, sexual abuse by grandfather during middle and high school as well as being held prisoner during middle and high school, stalker for over a decade, no support system until 17, not Gluten-Free until almost 22. My PTSD is not manageable if I have been glutenned because it makes so.... weird. For example anger is a given with my personal PTSD situation. Just yesterday I started raging over my school work. I recognized that it was not just extreme anger because of what I was attempting,  it was worse. Well the coffee creamer I used that morning was gluten contaminated. In response to that sudden almost uncontrolled rage I drank another coffee with a creamer I know is safe and calmed down to just mild irritation. The coffee is important to this story for 2 reasons: some people with celiac don't mix well with caffeine, the same for caffeine and PTSD, caffeine can make some feel like they are experiencing anxiety and other stress when they are not. 2nd, caffeine in natural forms like coffee can also be a mild antidepressant, and I would believe this could be especially so for some of us since our intestines being damaged can limit our 'happiness' receptors abilities in a way that only some of them are fully functioning.

I have a background in psychology as well as what I said above. Any questions or other info you can send an email to badlucklifeYT@gmail.com .

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coolclimates,

I don't know if this will help you are not.

I once did research for someone at work who was having constant nose bleeds and why dry weather can make it worse all my research lead me to believe low Vitamin C was the problem.

See this  link that summarizes some of the things that contribute to low vitamin C levels.

http://knowledgeofhealth.com/vitamin-c-in-the-emergency-department-nose-bleeds/

Stress is common before a Celiac diagnosis often and it is possible that the stress of life like PTSD might of contributed to either causing/aggravating or making your flare ups worse.

Here is the link as reported on Celiac.com that reports these findings.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/23506/1/Stress-Common-Before-Celiac-Diagnosis/Page1.html

There is also a thread in the celiac.com forum that discusses "Major Stressors as a Factor" in Celiac disease that you might find interesting to read. 

Linked here

It has a nice link provided by Ennis_Tx that notes how low iron levels and Vitamin B-6 might contribute to panic attacks. Provided here for your convenience.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23603926

It might be worth checking out if you are having PTSD.

*** this is not medical advice just what I have learned from researching nutrition and somethings I've learned from reading other posts on this board/forum.

good luck on your journey.

I hope this is helpful.

posterboy,

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Just a heads up - this topic was from 2010.

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