May have to go gluten free. Advice please! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-11-2016, 07:24 PM
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May have to go gluten free. Advice please!

So, let me start off by saying, at the beginning of the year I began eating wholemeal bread instead of white. Not long after, I started having an upset stomach every 1-3 weeks. I think it's happened about 12 times this year. Extremely unpleasant. I never understood why, until I made the realisation it was because of the wholewheat. Greatly cutting down on wheat consumption, and cutting out wholewheat, made the upset stomachs stop entirely, which is fantastic.

However. Two days ago, I ate a wrap and a pitta for lunch at a restaurant, having not eaten any wheat at all for a few days. Within minutes, I felt very shaky and weak, and my heart was pounding. I could feel it in my chest. This lasted for the rest of the day. I thought I was just freaked out because a creepy old guy was trying to chat me up (I'm 16, and I think he was in his late 30s), but the very next day, the exact same thing happened right after eating a sandwich at home, in just minutes. I felt even worse than I did the day before, and it lasted into the following morning, which was today. I still don't think my heart is beating as it should, though.

I will be seeing a doctor soon for depression, so I'll bring this up at the same time.

It looks as if a gluten free diet may be necessary. Would greatly appreciate some advice, I am aware that quite a few members on here are gluten free. At the moment I'm eating a lot of rice cakes with hummus and peanut butter, basically as a subsitute for bread. I feel I'm probably not getting as much variety and nutrients as I should.
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#2 Old 06-11-2016, 07:57 PM
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Hi Ember!

I have a few thoughts on this based on my experience (which may differ to yours and many others' of course!) and I'm typing quickly before going out to lunch so I hope I make sense but I resonated with your post so...


I'm glad you're working out what feels best for your stomach! An upset stomach and strange heart feels are horribly disruptive to life. I experienced both those for decades (I'm 31 and I've only felt better in the last few years).
I have a mother and Grandmother with Coeliac disease so they tested me and found I had the antibodies etc. (this is under fire in the last week or so though! I won't go into that whole story here/now...) so I went gluten free but continued to be veg and in fact vegan for most of that time (barring the last 3 months of experiment with fish). It's definitely doable but does take a sometimes frustrating amount of planning.

Buckwheat bread is fantastic (and you can make GF bread sourdough like 'normal' bread), chickpea flour is nutritious and as proteiny as wheat, and...oh. Lots of things! A lot of readymade GF products happen to be veg/vegan because they're catering to allergies in general, too.
It's doable!

That said, it's also possible the stomach pain is coincidence (could you be reacting to something else in the bread? Something else entirely?) and/or you don't react well to wholegrains (I have a few friends in that camp) in which case you could try sourdough ones or soaked ones or just no wholegrains at all, but don't need to avoid gluten.
You might end up avoiding all wholegrain AND non-wholegrain wheat but that's still easier done than gluten, which is pretty extreme and has trace elements in all kinds of useful foods . So it's good to really investigate fully what's going on so you don't limit yourself more than you need to .

Weakness could be a deficiency (from gluten intolerance etc. or just general diet) but can also be anxiety. I experienced panic attacks for many years (never do now. Ever!) and it felt a lot like you were describing. Which could still be dietary but could be something else.

Do let us know what your doctor says after you bring it up with him ?
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#3 Old 06-11-2016, 07:59 PM
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Ah, also! I have a friend who used to have similar feelings after some (carb-based... like bread) meals and it turned out to be blood sugar and blood pressure related. Postprandial hypoglycemia and hypotension or something?

I'm sure now that you're noticing it you'll get to the bottom of it, make a few tiny changes and feel excellent .
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#4 Old 06-11-2016, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for your helpful reply! It wasn't just stomach pain. I had vomiting and diarrhoea. A lot of it, too. I'm so glad it's stopped now. While weakness and heart pounding isn't ideal, it's a hell of a lot less agonising than what I experienced before.

I don't think it's a deficiency, since the weakness only occurs after eating wheat, for a few hours. It seems to only be temporary.

Yeah that's true, it could just be wheat, but I don't really eat any gluten other than wheat so it's hard to tell. I seem to be okay with other wholegrains and carbs because the rice cakes I eat are wholegrain. For breakfast I tend to have a gluten free cereal mix of buckwheat, millet, and rice. Those things don't give me any problems.

Since eating the pitta and wrap a couple of days ago, I have been experiencing mild constipation and a bit of a noisy stomach. They weren't wholegrain, by the way, neither was the sandwich. Again though, way better than vomiting or diarrhoea!
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#5 Old 06-20-2016, 05:56 PM
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Apparently I have to reintroduce gluten back into my diet for 6 weeks in order to get tested for coeliac disease. I really do not want to do that. Since cutting out gluten, I've had so much more energy, and my skin is a lot clearer.
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#6 Old 06-20-2016, 11:35 PM
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Hi lovely!

Ah yes. Yep. That's the routine for Coeliac testing. Sigh. I know how you feel about wanting to keep avoiding it but can also say it's really worth figuring out whether you have to avoid it for life and even in trace amounts or whether you're intolerant or what.

My gluten challenge was a bit of a nightmare but a lot of peoples' wasn't actually that bad because they/you haven't had time to heal yet. IF you have Coeliac disease your stomach will still be crappy for a while as it all heals up and it might seem like there are other foods you can't tolerate but you get most of those back with time and you don't want to THEN have to do the gluten challenge, y'know? Better to do it now...

I do have it, it turns out. The false alarm was a false alarm. Ha. I wasn't one of the people they'd mixed up tests for, it seems, and they'd thought I might be. I had one pie after a year of GF following my gluten challenge and diagnosis and 4 days later (after being amazed that I was fine the next day etc.) was sick as a dog. Bother!

It's a bit of a hassle being GF but life is so much better that it's worth it. And it sounds like it will be for you too and it's only a matter of making sure you know why and what approach will care for your body the most.
Do the challenge, I say. 6 weeks then you can never touch it again and be more informed either way .
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#7 Old 06-24-2016, 02:12 PM
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#8 Old 06-26-2016, 08:13 PM
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I have been eating just a single slice of bread every day, for a few days, and I already feel awful. I can't concentrate, I'm constantly exhausted, I keep feeling really sick, and I am getting random stomach aches.

I'll be getting a blood test on the 12th of July. I was only gluten free for a week or two, hopefully that's not enough to affect the accuracy of the test too much.
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#9 Old 07-01-2016, 08:10 AM
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I am also gf vegan, and while it can be a pain sometimes it's totally doable. You can get some great pastas, I think this is really the easiest transition, many are made from corn or rice or quinoa and are delicious. Bread is a little tricker, the only one that I've found to be good is Sami's Sourdough, which you can pick up in health food stores. Also the Bob's gf blend is great.
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#10 Old 07-07-2016, 10:16 AM
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My blood test for coeliac disease came back negative. Even if I'm not coeliac, I'm still not eating gluten again, as I am definitely intolerant (or perhaps allergic?).

I stopped eating gluten again after my blood test and I feel much better.
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#11 Old 07-07-2016, 01:46 PM
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If you feel better without it I'd say don't eat it.
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