I totally went off my gluten free diet and my body feels like crap.
Last summer, after becoming convinced there was a connection between gluten and anxiety I decided to try a gluten free diet. I remember feeling better in as little as 4 days and how very happy I was. Everything felt better– from my anxiety to my palpitations to my bowels to just being bloated in general.
Eliminating wheat and white flour foods from the diet was not easy for a carb addict like me, but I did the best I could nevertheless. And I was very good in the beginning…
I made it through the entire apple season last fall by using this gluten free flour recipe for my homemade apple pies (labor intensive but good).
Thank God for the internet. I was thrilled to find this awesome recipe for chicken wings– so happy to eat chicken wings again. Every gluten free site says they are a no-no and I was so sad to have to give them up. When I found this recipe I was doing the happy dance.
Here is a good article I found on what you can and cannot eat on a gluten free diet.
I was still going strong being gluten free at Thanksgiving. I host the dinner at my house and the only real sacrifice for me was foregoing my traditional stuffing and eating my watered down gluten-free version. All in all it wasn’t too bad. But on the inside I was starting to resent that fact that I couldn’t partake in so many of the foods that I loved so much.
By the time Christmas rolled around, I wasn’t feeling so happy about the gluten free diet anymore. I *love* baking (and eating) homemade Christmas cookies, you have no idea. I look forward to it every year. It is such a big part of the season for me. This year I only made one batch of cookies for the family. I made this gluten free cheesecake instead, but it wasn’t the same.
I did cheat on the diet once. I came home from work one night stressed out, tired, and famished. There was a bowl of macaroni and cheese sitting on the counter (we have late night eaters in my house lol) and before you could say “gluten free” that sucker was gone. I inhaled it. And man did it taste good. All gluey and chewy and full of substance and everything that gluten free foods aren’t.
I wasn’t feeling the love the next morning when I woke up with palpitations and could feel the anxiety again for no discernible reason except that I had ingested the gluten filled mac and cheese.
It was about that time I went to my doctor and asked for a blood test to see if I really did have a gluten intolerance. When the Celiac test came back negative, I was very happy. (Bread and pasta and cheese doodles and comfort food, here I come!)
My chiropractor said that just because I tested negative didn’t mean I wasn’t intolerant. He said to listen to how my body felt, not what some blood test that wasn’t very accurate said. But I didn’t listen to him. In fact, I stopped going to him.
I knew I felt better being on a gluten free diet, but I went into denial and felt, hey I can cheat once in awhile. Maybe it’s all in my head anyways…
So I went off the diet for the most part (no, for the whole part, who am I kidding?) and returned to my old eating habits. I want back to going out to restaurants and eating whatever I felt like, having cake and pizza if it was on the menu. Part of me felt so happy to be eating wheat and gluten filled foods again (my comfort foods), but there was a part of me that knew it probably wasn’t doing me any good.
Last week I took an inventory of how crappy I’ve been feeling lately on the physical front:
- I’m back to having palpitations again, especially at night. My heart bangs away in my chest while I’m trying to fall asleep and it feels like it’s going to explode.
- I’m bloated again, had to buy a new pair of pants. I feel like a sausage.
- My pms is worse than ever. Right now my boobs are so sore and I suspect it has something to do with the bloating
- I have been getting horrible debilitating migraine headaches with a visual aura. When I was gluten free I was only getting migraines about once a month but lately it’s more like 4 or 5 times a month.
- My occasional joint pain is worse overall. This may be a flare up of my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis but it was not so bad when I was gluten free.
- I can feel anxiety when I breathe (I don’t know how else to describe it), but there is a level of something (adrenalin I guess) that I feel coursing around in my veins and I can literally feel the anxiety with every breath. Even first thing in the morning. Not fun.
- Oh, and I’ve had really bad hemorrhoids for almost 2 weeks. Nasty…
You know what? For me it’s just not worth it to eat all that white flour. I’m sick of feeling like crap.
Yesterday I decided I have to go back to a gluten free diet. For me, there is definitely a strong connection between gluten and anxiety. Since I’m doing everything in my power to stop panic attacks and heal from anxiety once and for all, I really can’t kid myself anymore about the diet. I have to take care of my mind and body, not one or the other.
You are what you eat as they say.
In my last post I was saying how getting better feels so good- and it does. My panic attacks are way down and I have not been avoiding anything lately. My self help methods work, and I am diligent in taking care of myself emotionally.
But I can’t ignore the physical part of how I feel any longer. I’m ready to feel better mind and body.
Have any of you noticed a connection between gluten and anxiety? Does eating healthier in general help you with your anxiety?
I wish you peace,