Ive been doing research for awhile now because I suspect I may also have a gluten allergy. I am 40 years old. I can remember as far back as my elementary school days, always feeling nauseated and sick and having bad bouts with constipation. At 17, I went to the doctor because of the constant stomach upset and nausea. I had an upper GI scan done and nothing was found.( I had to drink that nasty white stuff and they x-rayed my stomach) They said I had a sensitive stomach… thats it. When I was 22 i had a procedure done with a scope where I was put under sedation and they check out my stomach. Again, I was told I had an irritated stomach lining. I was put on meds to reduce the acid in my stomach. It kind of helped. But for years Ive still been struggling with digestion issues. Nausea, cramping, having to go to the bathroom right after I ate.. etc. Because of this I hate going out to eat and within the past 2 years my anxiety has been so high (because of how i always feel) that i dont like to go too far from home. Ive had problems with anemia off and on for many years. The past 6 years Ive had frequent headaches.
In January, i joined weight watchers. I did good the first 8 weeks (loss 16 lbs).. was exercising and watching my diet. In march I began to feel really fatigued. Very achey in my muscles and joints. Stomach upset was constant. One day I went to the doctor in tears because of the horrible cramping. He diagnosed me with IBS. I still complained of the extreme fatigue and muscle/joint pain. He did blood work that didnt show much except maybe some borderline rhuematoid issues.
Well, when I was thinking about my weight watcher diet, I was eating a lot of whole wheat breads, pastas, cereals, etc…. Im thinking now that maybe that diet and all its gluten caused that decline in the general way I was feeling. I stopped exercising because I was just too tired but continued following the diet…and contined feeling horrible.
Tired. Exhausted. lethargic. Headaches. Dizzy. Head feels “spinny” all the time. Very tired right after I eat. I cant stand it anymore. i shouldnt feel this horrible at just 40 years old.
This week Ive gone gluten free. I’ve noticed a slight increase in energy (but definitely not back to normal). My tummy feels better (its much more “quiet”.) I still feel sleepy/groggy throughout the day but not as bad as before. Today, I tested it out and ate a brownie/coookie combo dessert thing. Shortly after, I felt even more sleepy, a bit nauseated and I have the worse headache now. I wont be doing that again.
Im keeping a food journal and also documenting how I feel. Im going to go back to my doctor and talk to him about this and see of he can run some tests. I hope I have finally found the reason for feeling so horrible for these past 20+ years and hope to feel “normal” soon.
Ideally in a case like this, you can go to your doctor and get a definitive diagnosis, follow the doctor’s advice, and get better. Unfortunately, the effects of gluten on the body are still not widely understood by many doctors. Although it is too early to say that this case is related to gluten, it looks highly likely. Yet the doctors missed the mark, relying on expensive but inconclusive tests which revealed nothing.
The second-best way to test for gluten allergy or celiac disease is to cut out gluten for at least six weeks and see if things improve. Due the widespread ignorance of gluten health problems, it is often the only and therefore best way to see if gluten is a problem or not. It does not tell you if you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, but either way, if you cut out all gluten from your diet, you’ll be fine without further testing. If you have celiac disease and eat some gluten occasionally, you could be heading for big health problems later on.
What are your experiences with stomach upset and gluten?