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Old 10-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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live2Bfree28 HB User
Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

Hi all! I finally convinced myself to join HealthBoards. I am hoping that someone can now shed some light on my situation.

I have suffered from anxiety (generalized to panic attacks), manic depression, OCD, and negative thinking for many years. To help combat my OCD, I started taking Luvox about 13 years ago at the age of 16. Even though I took Luvox, I still experienced vast amounts of anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts that really crippled me throughout high school, college, and the workforce. As the years progressed, my anxiety and manic mood continued to escalate out of control. Life was definitely not getting any easier as I approached my mid to late 20s. Over the last 2.5 years (since April 2007), I have spent countless hours trying to analyze and alter my mood with herbs and medicines. I basically put my life on hold and funneled all my time and energy into psychoanalysis.

To make a long story short, back on April 13, 2009 I began an elimination diet that my Sister introduced me to. The premise of the diet was to eliminate foods that are commonly known to cause an intolerance or allergy. So I started the diet in full force by stripping my meals down to the very basics. To highlight the major categories, I eliminated dairy, eggs, corn, soy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, oranges, most sugars, red meat, pork, and shell fish. I also stopped taking all supplements except for 800 mg of fish oil, Luvox, and Glycopyrrolate (used to treat Hyperhidrosis). Adjusting to the diet was quite a feat and shock to my body, especially in the first week. Surprisingly, about one week into the diet, I began to notice my worry, anxiety, and depression diminished. The most noticeable thing was the anxiety and worry because that was the ruler of my life. Gradually, as I continued to adhere to the diet, I felt more at ease. I was simply blown away by how my mind went from having hundreds of negative racing thoughts a day to almost none. I also noticed that the longer I was on the diet, the less revved I would get, especially when I was under a lot of stress. My anxiety, bewilderment, and panic attacks had become a thing of the past. In fact, I was able to stop taking my Luvox for the first time in 13 years after I was on this diet for a month.

I felt fifty times better on this diet than I had before, except for a couple of things. One, my energy and strength levels had severely dropped. Two, my motivation and excitement about things continued to diminish. At first I thought it was maybe a lack of nutrition, but by now I have added everything back to my diet except for milk, wheat, and gluten. I also tried to intro three different brands of multi-vitamins at three separate times, but each multi either caused severe pressure in my head (I am about 95% sure high doses of B vitamins cause this), or some other bodily/mood reaction (congestion, worry, irritability, etc.). By the way, I made sure the vitamins were free of all common allergens and intolerable foods and they were reputable brands. I even tried a childrens’ multi-vitamin with loss does of vitamins and minerals (around 50% of DV), and even that gave me a headache. I have also tried supplementing with D-3 (this helps to perk me up, but too much, even 400 IU, causes a headache over the course of a week), 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan (both cause a headache), and some others.

As of today, I have been milk, wheat, and gluten free for almost six months. The only supplement I take today is fish oil (EPA Gems by Carlson Labs). I take one soft gel consisting of 580 mg of Omega-3 acids every other day or every third day. I have to be careful how much fish oil I take because too much of it can build up in my system over the course of a week or two. If this happens, I will become even more lethargic. For your information, fish oil used to never do this to me before I began the diet. The fish oil is the only thing I take today. I TAKE NO MEDICATIONS.

This is all great except for the problem I have with lethargy, apathy, and motivation. Additionally, I don’t really feel like I have any emotions or creativity. It's like a part of my brain has been shut off. I have lost interest in hanging out with friends, my career, meeting a woman, partaking in fun activities, and so forth. All I ever feel like doing is sitting around and not doing much of anything. I used to thrive on working and accomplishing things, but now I can hardly get myself to do anything. It’s almost like I am depressed, but without the fluctuations in my mood or negative thoughts. I often become what I like to call “neutralized.” I feel like I am stuck in neutral because I don’t feel like doing anything, not even lying down to go to sleep. It’s like I am wide awake but unable to shift myself into the direction of an interest or passion. I also have this feeling of being isolated from the rest of the world and spaced out. It’s like I loose sight of what’s happening in the world, don’t care what goes on around me, and could care less about setting goals.

I am not sure what to do anymore except reintroduce wheat and gluten. I am wondering if anyone out there has had this same problem. If you did, how did you resolve it? I am tired of supplements because they all seem to cause pressure in my head that is very, very uncomfortable or increase my inability to shift off tasks (provoke OCD). My body is incredibly sensitive to anything I put in it, especially supplements. However, it does very well tolerating foods, which is why I think I should give wheat and gluten a try again. It’s just that I am afraid to bring these two back into my diet because I fear having to deal with an onslaught of negative thoughts, extreme self consciousness, and amplified anxiety and depression. However, I cannot remain as I am because life appears bleak and unexciting. I am not suicidal, but the thought of “what’s this life for” does cross my mind. If I don’t bring back the wheat and gluten, I will consider reintroducing Luvox to hopefully help boost my mood and ease my shifting of thoughts.

I look forward to your replies.

Kind regards,

live2Bfree28

Last edited by ms_mod; 10-15-2009 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Changed BTW to By the way and FYI to for your information. As per the posting rules always use whole words in your posts.

 
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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care_berry HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

Hey there! I think others who are reading this need to know this information is so incredibly important for everyone to know. Live2bfree28, this is like reading my something very similar to my own life's story. Getting rid of corn, soy, gluten, casein, peanuts and a few other allergens cured my anxiety/panic for 3 years now. I have stayed off of them and when have gone back on them, get the familiar panic attacks a few minutes later, stomach issues, rashes, and once had one reaction so bad I should've gone to the hospital.

Thank you very much for posting this as I feel like I am the only one that has posted about it and find that sometimes I am ignored (or at least feel that way) unless I am willing to talk about some miraculous medication or something. Sometimes there are underlying causes as to why we can have anxiety and medicines don't always work, as in your case.

That's very strange that the supplements made things worse for you. I was automatically thinking of the B vitamins when you said your symptoms came back, but now am thinking that some of the foods you reintroduced have caused this. In particular I am thinking the soy might be doing this, but see I have problems with all of them so I wonder if you might still be too. It might just be delayed reactions though. I know you said that it began happening before you re-introduced these foods back into your diet. Soy is still a big one though. I would assume you know about the phytoestrogens that soy has unless properly prepared? I personally won't eat soy unless it has been rendered harmless, so I just stick with eating things that contain soy lecithin as I know it doesn't have the bad stuff. I have been curious about fermented soy but am afraid to try it lol.

Also, have you done any food allergy testing through a doctor? Just because you don't see symptoms right away doesn't mean that certain foods can't be still causing problems. I personally went to a chiropractor who does muscle testing and found out some things that way. At least that's how it went with milk, corn and peanuts. I know it's true now as I do react to them if I eat them.

Another thing I would mention here is about soaking the grains you do eat. This is so important! I have no idea if you know anything about this, but it's good to post about here to inform others as well. Soaking grains before cooking and consuming them gets rid of the harmful phytic acid and other anti-nutrients that make grains hard to digest and can cause allergies. Many traditional cultures throughout the world would soak or sprout their grains, some for several days at a time. This also goes for nuts and seeds as well as they contain many anti-nutrients that need to dealt with. Like for example, I if want to have rice for dinner, I put it in a bowl with water in the morning and let it soak until nighttime. 8 hours are needed to remove most of the acid.

I know you don't like the idea of taking supplements anymore, but let me see if you could maybe make an exception. I recently went to a seminar where the doctor there was speaking about health issues, and in one part about the importance of magnesium. Not the kind that you take in the form of a supplement, but one that is applied on the skin in lotion form. I have been using the one recommended for several weeks and have definitely noticed a difference. I wonder if it might help you. There are many brands online but I use Dr. Shealy's magnesium lotion. Most people are very deficient in it and by taking it orally, it is difficult for the body to process and can cause stomach problems. The second best to the lotion though is called magnesium taurate. It's least likely to give problems, but still is harder to absorb.

Anyways, don't go back on gluten! At least me, I could never imagine going back to the panic attacks, anxiety, stomach problems, and weight loss I had while on that food. If you do decide to, please be super careful, maybe even see a doctor about it. I found out the hard way two months into being gluten free and had some bread that caused the worst allergic reaction. I felt like I couldn't get enough air for several long and scary minutes and should've gone to the hospital. The next morning though both of my underarms had turned blue and hurt a ton. It's a scary allergy to have. Well, I will continue thinking of other things that might help you. I still hope the stuff I mentioned at least helps a bit.

 
Old 10-16-2009, 02:12 AM   #3
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orangecat HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

I agree with the previous post-don't back to gluten (gluten includes wheat). I felt the best ever when I was on the ph miracle alkaline diet per the protocol of Dr. Robert Young. There are several different versions of the ph alkaline diet, depending on whose book you are reading!

This diet consist of only vegetables, raw or barely cooked, lots of olive oil, certain nuts and seeds, brown rice, quinoa, and a few other grains. No sugar, no coffee or tea. Absolutely no sodas and not even orange juice! It was hard to follow mostly because no one in my family wanted to eat the same food. I actually came to like the food and would feel really satisfied after a meal.

I felt shockingly good, both mentally and physically, but I eventually slacked off just because it's hard to have eating habits that everyone else thinks is so odd. But while I was on it, I had tons of energy!

If you think about it, throughout the history of mankind, people did eat similar to this. The gobs of sugar that's in everything is very recent in the history of humans. So is the quantity of food we eat, with most of it's processed and we buy it in a box, meaning it's not fresh.

If I were you and would go back to the complete elimination diet and see how you feel both mentally and physically. Jack Lalaine follows a diet very much like the ph balanced alkaline diet, and he appears even in his 90's to be quite energetic.

Good Luck!

 
Old 10-16-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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hopeforpeace70 HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

This is very interesting. I'm going to ask my doc about it. I was on Zoloft for several years and seemed to manage my OCD, then it pooped out recently. Went on Citalopram (Celexa) and worked great for 8 mnths then pooped out again. Been taking Luvox for past 2.5 mnths and has been a rough ride getting used to it. Last few weeks was starting to feel better, but now I feel like crap again. I eat a lot of breads, corn chips, etc. Hmmmm, this is great info. Also, you said Luvox wasn't working for you for several years, did you ever try any other anti-depressants?

 
Old 10-16-2009, 05:37 PM   #5
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care_berry HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

Hi there again guys! Well, today I did some thinking and it occurred to me, do you exercise Live2Bfree? I know it must be hard with the not feeling like doing much of anything, but maybe that could really help. I recently read about a woman who had the most horrible depression even as a kid who kind of fell upon running and walking as her cure. Nothing helped her: no medicines or talk therapy had helped her. It motivated me even more to keep up running because that is something I try to do a lot anyway and want to avoid depression. Yesterday I went for an hour with my dog in the beautiful weather. Also, I know you said you had problems with vitamin D3 supplements, but what about just going out in the sunshine for a while? I do this even though I am taking vitamin D3 supplements and I really feel it helps my moods. I am sure it's a combination of both things that help, along with other supplements I take. The one thing that bugs me is I still have low energy at times and think it's because I haven't been taking the B vitamins in my regimen but am going to start very soon. I read too somewhere that celiacs even months into being gluten-free still have B vitamin deficiencies. Been 3 years for me so I figure that must be what it is. Plus too the B vitamins are so great for digestion and mood as well. So what about taking sublingual B vitamins? Do you think that would help or have you tried them? So like a liquid form is what I am thinking I guess. I wish I could be more helpful here but maybe those few things would help?

 
Old 10-19-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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live2Bfree28 HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

Care Berry,

Thanks for sharing all the info! I will have to give Dr. Shealy's magnesium lotion a try. You asked whether I had been tested for food allergens. Yes, I have. Back on 06/20/09 I had a high level test conducted <edit> They tested for Immunoglobulin E and G. Both tests resulted in normal levels; however, this was three months into my elimination diet. By that point in time, any foods causing allergies had been absent from body long enough that the level of antibodies were probably so low that any test conducted would not have detected them. It would be better if I was tested now since I have intro'd everything except for dairy, wheat, and gluten (update on wheat and gluten to follow). I am planning to eventually shell out the money for a particular allergy test called the Immuno 1 Bloodprint by Immuno Laboratories. This tests 115 foods using 91 antigen units.

I will definitely try soaking my grains. That is the first time I have heard of doing that. I would think that by cooking them in hot water, the same thing would be accomplished, but at an accelerated pace.

I know I just mentioned on Thursday, 10/15/09, that I had not tried wheat or gluten in a very long time (since 05/17/09), but things have changed. I did a lot of thinking as to whether I would try sampling the wheat/gluten or reintroduce my Luvox to boost my mood and lessen my rigidity (trouble shifting thoughts and multitasking). I have been able to deal with the rigidity, but my dampened mood and lethargy have been really taxing. So I decided, instead of reintroducing the Luvox, I would try the wheat first. It's much easier to withdraw from a natural food than it is from a medicine. When I withdrew from my Luvox back in May, it was not easy. I was so rigid that I often felt like I was paralyzed both mentally and physically. It was so hard to shift off things.

Anyways, I tried a whole wheat bagel Friday night, a piece of wedding cake Saturday night, and a small bowl of Post Grape Nuts cereal tonight. Here is what physically happened since I intro’d the wheat. On Friday night I started to develop a sore throat about three hours after I consumed the wheat. Now, I am not sure if this was just a coincidence and I happened to be coming down with something, or what. On Saturday, my soar throat broke out into an outrage. By Saturday night I was hardly able to swallow. Also, on Saturday night, I developed a severe headache and aches and pains all over my body. I felt like I had the flu. Before I went to bed that night, I had horrible chills throughout my body. When Sunday came around, especially late afternoon, my soar throat and head ache had started to subside, but I still had the ache and pains and fatigue (felt like I was hit by a truck). Today, Monday, I have no aches and pains or headache and my soar throat has almost passed. What’s interesting is, this is almost the same experience I had when I intro’d corn into my diet back on 06/12 and 06/13. I get hit with aggressive flu-like symptoms that only last for about 24 to 36 hrs. I STRONGLY believe that when you refrain from eating a certain food for long enough and into it again, it shocks the heck out of your body.

Now on to the mental part. Since I have intro’d the wheat, I have noticed a moderate increase in motivation. Something has lit up in my brain over the last three days. I feel like I am zoned out less and more in tune with the world. My energy levels were up today, as I was able to come home tonight and clean my house. The best part of it was I was able to actually experience a certain degree of satisfaction and well being. I have not felt this way since back in May of this year. Over the weekend, I noticed myself singing to myself, cracking more jokes, and having more emotions. This is all so weird to me because I have not been like this for months. I think I may be on to something here, but I need more time to evaluate it.

So I mentioned all the good things, but you are probably wondering how my anxiety is, right? Well, I can tell you that only after three days of eating wheat, my anxiety has increased just a tiny bit. I socially felt more uncomfortable talking to customers on the phone today. I also had more trouble concentrating at work, as I was easily becoming distracted by things and did not want to sit as still as I normally do. I was also experiencing a few negative thoughts today and worrying more, but nothing overwhelming; it was all mild. I really can’t say anymore about the anxiety right now because it’s still too early. I will post more in a few days. Oh yeah, today I was also more irritable than I normally am and more likely to fly off the handle.

That’s enough for tonight. I am headed to bed.

Good night

Last edited by ms_mod; 10-20-2009 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Removed banned word. If a word comes up like this *** in your post that word is banned on this website. Ms_Mod

 
Old 11-07-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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care_berry HB User
Re: Wheat and gluten free diet cured anxiety, but now i have a new problem

Hi again Livetobefree! Sorry I didn't reply back as I have been busy with school and came across your post again which reminded me to respond! Well, hopefully you are still doing ok with your diet adjustment again. Worries me though the signs of anxiety you had coming back a little and that scary reaction to the cereal. I have read that gluten can act like opiates in the brain and are highly addictive so just be careful. Anyways, I was just checking in! It's been nice to read about someone else who was helped so much by avoiding food allergens like I have been! Take care and hopefully I will see you on here more!

 
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