Celiac and your emotions


There are two surefire ways I know when I’ve been glutened. One is that I’m ungodly tired. As in multiple naps, in bed at 7, can’t focus, tired. That is a post for another day.

The second way I know I’ve been glutened is when my emotional state is completely out of whack. I just spent two minutes losing it at my kids for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. A full blown, out of control, no excuse, I’m a bad dad, temper tantrummy, scream-fest. Seriously, I’m such an ass.

So besides locking myself in my room when I’m feeling this way, what are my options and maybe even more to the point, what are the causes?

I’ve learned a few interesting things about gluten and the psychological state.

According to studies, “Gluten is highly addictive through the opioid peptides it contains and the excessive zonulin production it incites. Zonulin allows these opioids access to the bloodstream and the brain.”

So if I ingest gluten, it’s almost like an alcoholic taking a drink after being dry for five years. The body fights it in any way possible.

And another study showed that “Because gluten enteropathy is, in part, an immune system disorder originating in the wall of the small intestine, any amount of gluten…keeps the immune system activated, which in turn may result in “spreading” of symptoms.  What began in the gut seems to move through the body, affecting lung function, the skin, and even the brain.”

So I got that going for me…which is nice.

So what does this all mean?? I’m not sure I can process it at the moment, but I do know that Celiac is not just a digestive disorder and there is a lot more going on inside of us Celiacs than we are even aware of.

But I also know that no matter what, I have got to keep my cool. Sorry girls 🙁

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24 thoughts on “Celiac and your emotions”

  1. I wish I had been reading your blog when I was diagnosed… but blogs hadn’t been invented then. Neither had the internet! It was 1976 and I was an aethletic but skinny little 6 year old. But I felt like I’d eaten a bucket of concrete every time I ate anything and no one knew why and most doctors assumed I was being ‘difficult and fussy’.

    It was 36 years ago but I can recall the details with absolute clarity – especially the long list of things I would never be allowed to eat again! (and yet I do eat them sometimes because I just can’t stand the words ‘Strict Lifelong Gluten-Free Diet’ any longer.)

    I’m still not used to the daily annoyance of the gluten-mine-field. I can’t even tell whether I get symptoms or not. I just think this is ‘how I am’.

    Attitudes have changed a lot since the 1970s and awareness in the general population has obviously increased. But there is still very little understanding of the emotional effects of the disease and relationship between a being a celiac (therefore different but not in a cool way) and the resultant social anxiety. I just wanna go out for dinner and drinks with my friends and not have to mention the word gluten.

    I used to worry when I was a kid that if i was kidnapped, my kidnapers wouldn’t have a clue about gluten-free food and so I’d really be suffereing!

    Thank you for expressing our collective frustration in such a funny and entertaining way.

    Dear Kim Kardashian, being GF is not cool. Sometimes it’s boring and annoying and it makes it hard to be spontaneous.

    1. The Gluten Dude

      Spontaneity is the one thing I miss more than anything else. I can put up with the restrictions, the limitations, etc.

      But sometimes I just want to grab a bite and not have to think about it or plan ahead.

      Thanks for your positive words about the blog. I should’ve started it 36 years ago!

      1. RE our woes about spontaneity and my wishing that I’d seen your blog (or anything like it!) when I was a child, teenager, young rebel art student, traveller, and triathlete….. This has given me a thought – I’m going to let my young 15 year old friend know about your blog. Celiac Powers unite!

  2. Love ur blog I always learn something new and interesting thanks to you guys. It really helps me to understand what im going through and knowing others go through it too. Thanks!!:-D

  3. Great blog. I have a coeliac teen and your stuff is perfect for her, a balance of info and fun. Plus she loves anyone who will take a shot at a Kardashian 🙂 Way to make being a coeliac cool. Thank you!

  4. Thank you so much for your blog. I was diagnosed two years ago, but it took me a year to finally go absolutely no cheats. I get so angry or drastically sad whenever I’ve been gluten-ed. >..<

    Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for your blog it helps keep me from feeling oh so on my absolute own!

  5. Thank you so much for your blog. I was diagnosed two years ago, but it took me a year to finally go absolutely no cheats. I get so angry or drastically sad whenever I’ve been gluten-ed. >.< mostly I remember how as a teenager my emotions were out of control more than others. I scared my parents, ate more bread, got worse. Now I see the cycle and know I'm not a crazy horrible person. In fact this is the most clear headed I've been since I was diagnosed, however, I have just been diagnosed with Plantars Fascia and Tarsal Tunnel at the age of 22. I believe the nerve damage is directly linked to celiac, but la! no doctor will listen to me ^.^

    Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for your blog it helps keep me from feeling oh so on my absolute own!

    1. Hi Britteney,
      Sorry to hear you’ve got plantar fascitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome (as well as celiac!). There are several treatment options that hopefully will give you relief and get you back on your feet. Surgery should be a last resort but I’m sure you’ve probably discussed all that with your podiatrist and/or physio or an ortho surgeon? Don’t worry too much about whether or not celiac disease has been the cause of the nerve damage because regardless, you’ll still need to treat the symtoms anyway. Could there be other causes? (I’ve done my own research on this as I’m a triathlete and am pretty familiar with the dreaded running injuries!)
      Good on you for sticking to the GF diet. I’m now 42 and I wasn’t very disciplined at 22! If you happen to visit (or live in?) Australia, I just discovered that beautiful Byron Bay (10hrs drive north of Sydney) is gluten-free heaven! They’re really into ‘organic, GF, wholefoods’ etc. Even GF beer is available!

  6. The same symptoms of fatigue and anger happen to me, I just had a blood test and am still waiting for the results but the more I research the more I am convinced. Had started marathon training 3 years back, was strong but realized something had to be wrong with my diet because I was slowing down and couldn’t finish runs. Now I realize that the runners diet of whole wheat pasta and bagels was actually hurting not helping my running. I’m still not up for marathons but my shorter runs are doing better.

  7. Was reading through here to find some “sanity” I guess. Finding this page was like walking into a house full of old friends and family for me. Just 6 months ago I was given the prognosis of Celiacs disease. GF for 6 months, now that all of my skin wounds have healed up… I couldn’t help but wonder why I feel like…. like…everyone else here. I’m 44 years old…and it seems like my emotions ran me before…and it seems they run me even more now. Even to hold a job down seems sacrificial at times. Honestly… I wouldn’t hire me… I hope this web site is still up and being managed. I guess I’ll know soon…
    Peace…and much of it…

      1. I wanted to thank you for what you have created here. I hope you still feel that sense of satisfaction in knowing your efforts have helped so many. Shane’s above comment about “walking into a house of old friends” struck a chord with me. This condition transforms us on so many levels. After 3 months I continue to shed casual friendships as I’ve lost so many of old ways of connecting with people. I come here for that sense of belonging that I took for granted in the world for so long. Thanks Dude and thanks to everybody sharing their stories.

  8. All of the symptoms here describes the way I’m feeling on a daily basis. I was told I’m allergic to wheat,rhy, barley an oats. I have muscle weakness also even thought job requires me to walk at least 3 miles a day.

  9. Oh my goodness! This has been me for 4 days after being glutened 🙁
    I am being so negative and horrible and lethargic. And my joints all hurt. I feel so sad and alone. You posts help to know I am not alone x

  10. Oh my goodness! This has been me for 4 days after being glutened 🙁
    I am being so negative and horrible and lethargic. And my joints all hurt. I feel so sad and alone. You posts help to know I am not alone x

  11. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1998. I have been on gluten free diet since then. However, I still find my emotions sometimes get out of control. Is that the result of eating gluten for so many years (21)

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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