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  • ELIMINATION DIET - Life Saver or Suppressor?

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    Old 10-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
    live2Bfree28's Avatar
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    Unhappy ELIMINATION DIET - Life Saver or Suppressor?

    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. 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.). BTW, I made sure the vitamins were free of all common allergens and intolerable foods and they were reputable brands. I even tried a childrensí 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. FYI, 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 donít 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. Itís almost like I am depressed, but without the fluctuations in my mood or negative thoughts. I often become what I like to call ďneutralized.Ē I feel like I am stuck in neutral because I donít feel like doing anything, not even lying down to go to sleep. Itís 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. Itís like I loose sight of whatís happening in the world, donít 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. Itís 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 ďwhatís this life forĒ does cross my mind. If I donít 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,


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    Old 10-16-2009, 06:11 AM   #2
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    Re: ELIMINATION DIET - Life Saver or Suppressor?

    "I donít 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."

    This sounds like anhedonia, it's a sign of advanced or chronic depression. (even chronic low grade depression will cause anhedonia eventually) It's possible stopping the Luvox triggered it. Stopping a SSRI suddenly is a very bad idea, I hope you weaned off Luvox slowly?

    Were you tested for Celiac disease before going gluten free? Celiac has many neuropsychiatric symptoms and a actual diagnosis can give you peace of mind, knowing what you need to avoid instead of wondering.

    Old 10-17-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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    Re: ELIMINATION DIET - Life Saver or Suppressor?

    I agree that you should be tested for celiac disease. If you are negative, reintroduce wheat gradually (keep avoiding yeast bread, though; eat sourdough instead). I would stay away from dairy, too. I would have two or three meals a day, without any meals or snacks in between. Non-stopping eating is a great evil. I would also avoid mixing fruits and carbs in the same meal. By the way, what does your current diet look like? Can you say what you had for each meal yesterday?

    Last edited by pendulum; 10-17-2009 at 01:20 AM.

    Old 12-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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    Re: ELIMINATION DIET - Life Saver or Suppressor?

    live2bfree.. did you ever have any bloodwork done to see if you were deficient in any vitamins? b12 and vit d comes to mind. What did your doctor say? or Are you self-diagnosing/medicating?

    Getting tested for celiac after being wheat/gluten free for 6 months will most likely not show anything. If you are celiac, a gastro doc will tell you to re-glutenize for at least 9 wks and then be tested.

    Hope you are feeling better!

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