Living Gluten Free

Posts tagged ‘Autoimmune Disease’

Autoimmune Diseases and Migraines


I’m writing this because I know a lot of people who suffer from migraines and I had mentioned to a friend on Facebook (that I have never met) about having Sjogren’s Syndrome and migraines, she also suffers from migraines and she mentioned it to her doctor and she found that she also has Sjogren’s Syndrome. So maybe this might help someone else bring this up to their doctor and ask about the possibility of having an autoimmune disease that isn’t often talked about. It doesn’t hurt to ask especially if your migraines are not getting better, it could be something else along with it.

It is estimated there are currently over 100 different autoimmune disease out there and that it is one of the top reasons why there is so much illness in the United States. As many of you that have followed me know I have 4 autoimmune diseases. One autoimmune disease that I have is Sjogren’s Syndrome, it is the most undiagnosed autoimmune disease out there. I should know, I have been tested for everything else but once they found I had Celiac Disease and Fibromyalgia they started to pay attention to the other symptoms I complained about and tested me for Sjogren’s Syndrome.

So briefly I will get into autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system goes crazy. Normally it  protects the body against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.  When it becomes confused, the immune system begins to recognize organs and tissues as invaders and begins to attack the body and healthy organs.

In the case of Sjogren’s Syndrome, the antibodies go to  war on the moisture producing glands and mucus membranes.  Unfortunately the main targets are these moisture producing glands but the entire body is affected and systemic symptoms can be disabling for some patients. Think about this our bodies are water based so this really messes with your body.

Now with Migraine Disease there are more women than men who suffer from them and  90% of Sjogren’s patients are female. So is there a link? Sjogren’s Syndrome is characterized by periods of increased disease activity called a flare. Flares can be caused by many things, stress, physical injury, lack of sleep the list goes on.. So these flares can cause migraines and migraines can cause flares Also medication used for Sjogren’s Syndrome can also often act as triggers for migraines and migraine medication can also cause Sjogren’s Syndrome to flare.

My team of doctors explained it like this to me. My body is in constant fight mode. It never truly rests. Its like on high alert, fighting all the time. And there isn’t much I can do about it, now I’m by no means complaining. If you have read some of my post I have come a long way from 2 years ago. I used to be on 14- 15 med’s and now I’m down to 5. I’m up to 7 supplements but that’s ok. My blood pressure has been so good they finally have lowered my med’s that hasn’t happened in 10 years. I’m at a great weight, I eat healthy and I have had only 2 migraines in the last couple of months. Life is pretty good.

Here are a couple or sites to get more info on

http://www.sjogrens.org/

http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-triggers-and-comorbidities-sjogrens-syndrome/?uuid=5006bb9b82cc4162083477

http://www.sjogrensworld.org/tepper.htm#Headaches

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Juicing, mmmm mmmm Good


Here is a link to the blog where I received the list. http://projectgadabout.squarespace.com/projectgadabout/2012/1/11/pressed-pretty.html

Brain Fog


 

Brain fog is a pretty common condition. It can affect people of all ages and is characterized by a state of confusion and a decreased level of clarity. It is also described like feeling cloudy or in a state of fogginess. It is not well recognized within medical field and it is not considered a real diagnosis yet I have been told by all of my doctors that I do suffer from it and why I suffer from it. 🙂 YEAH !!!

The symptoms vary, as do mine (Go Figure). Space out, can’t think of a word you want to say, and can’t finish a sentence. Forget where you put things. It can result in short-term memory problems (I have this) I can’t remember an answer to a question I asked my husband a day or two ago and ask him again. Or I can’t remember a phone call I made the day before. Doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen. Another symptom is mixing up words (Guilty of this too) at work they call it Debbie Isums. My husband will say I mix words up from time to time and say sentences backwards. YEAH!!!. Yep I feel like I am loosing it at times and I more than likely am and yes it sucks.

Cause of Brain Fog can also be from several but not all of these. Several which of course I have (Go Figure) Fibromyalgia (got it), Adrenal fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Lyme disease, Allergies and food intolerances such as to gluten and lactose (got it), Sjogren’s Syndrome (got it) Leaky gut syndrome, side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications (got it, my med’s for migraines causes a form of dementia or brain fog) YEAH!! The list goes on and I have a link to a page that will show them.

So my question is then why isn’t the medical field recognizing it? And diagnosing it? And why did my doctors tell me I have it? Well I asked them that question and their answer was I display the signs during most of my conversations and with my speech. Some days are worse than others, not every day is bad and some days I will stand there and struggle with what I want to say and others finish my sentences for me. RRRRRR.  I literally cannot think of the word I want to say, I will stand in my kitchen look at my husband (who has no patience) and who I want to tell something to stare put my finger up and not the nice one and say “Wait! I will remember it, give me a sec”. And I either do or don’t remember. It’s a hoot at my house.

Is there a cure?, what I found on line and talking to my doctors is “No” not really, we (my doctors and I) are currently working on the issues that are causing my brain fog. So now that I have been on a gluten free diet for 2 years it’s more than likely it one of my other issues that is continuing the brain fog.

They say get plenty of sleep (I do), take vitamins (I do) exercise (I don’t), play games (I do) I’m addicted to a gem game I got on my iPad LOL. Keep your mind sharp. My kids got me games for my DS, brain games. Yes I have my own DS. And breath, the other thing I learned is life is to friggin short, way too short. Don’t sweat the little things.

As I always say “Please talk to you doctors about it” ask questions, be informed and tell them about your symptoms if you are having any.

Here are some links that I hope will help 🙂

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/symptomsofceliacdisease/a/Celiac-Disease-Brain-Fog.htm?nl=1

http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/brain-fog-causes

http://www.livestrong.com/article/204035-brain-fog-symptoms/

http://www.myadrenalfatigue.com/brain-fog

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5612909_thyroid-brain-fog-symptoms.html

Gluten and Depression


I have read a lot of papers on this and although I never thought about it with myself back in the day but now if I look back I can see times where it makes sense about how I was feeling. Was I depressed because I suffering from Celiacs and didn’t know it  and I was reacting to gluten? could be. I also did this because a friend of mine was just diagnosed with depression, she went to another doctor for stomach issues only to find out she has Celiac Disease, so she had a lot of questions about it also.

I have read several paper by Dr. Vikki Petersen and I might even have one of her videos on my site as well. I like the way she explains things, not to formal so you sit there and shake your head and say What? but she explains in a way that your Oh I get it.

So here it goes. After the digestive tract, the most commonly affected system to be affected by gluten is our nervous system, makes sense right (I thought it did). Gluten sensitive people immune systems responds to the protein gliadin. Gliadin is a protein found in wheat. This protein is similar in structure to other proteins present in our bodies, including those in the brain and nerve cells. The immune system “confuses” proteins in the body for the protein gliadin. So they call this mimicry, the result is that the body attacks itself and inflammation occurs. When inflammation happens in the brain and nervous system, a variety of symptoms can occur, including depression.

There was a study done and 15 patients with untreated celiac disease were compared to 15 patients treated with a gluten-free diet for a year. In the untreated group, 73% had abnormalities in brain circulation while only 7% in the treated group showed any abnormalities. The patients with the brain circulation problems were frequently suffering from anxiety and depression as well.

Researchers look at the association between gluten sensitivity and its interference with protein absorption as well. Tryptophan is a protein in the brain responsible for a feeling of well-being and relaxation. A deficiency can be connected to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Vitamin D Deficiencies and Celaic Disease


So this is what I have gathered so far from my doctors and what I have read. Because I have Celiacs Disease I do not absorb nutrients, so I do not absorb vitamins. They are too hard on my system and a little know fact but most vitamins also have gluten in them which I cannot have. There are vitamins out there that are gluten-free but you have to look for them and really check and do your homework.

Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency due to malabsorption increase the risk of osteoporosis in those with celiac disease. Now I never show any vitamin D in my system ever, so I usually have to go on 50,000 units once a week for 1 month to bring my vitamin D level to normal. What happens is 6 to 8 month later when I go back in to have it checked its back to either being extremely low or not showing up at all in my blood work. So now I try to eat more food that is higher in vitamin D.

Foods High in Vitamin D

  • Fish, Sardines, Salmon and Tuna (Love fish so I”m good)
  • Soy (If I have to)
  • Eggs (Love them)
  • Shiitake & Button Mushroom (Love them)
  • Dairy (Cant have)

The other best way to get vitamin D is sunshine, which I love to get and when its warm out I do a lot of swimming in our pool but I do not lay out in the sun any more (for obvious reason) but I do use a great Gluten Free Sunscreen

There are conditions that develop when vitamin D deficiency is ongoing. Muscle weakness, pain and lack of energy. Hyperparathyroidism, Rickets can occur in children, Osteoarthritis and bone fractures can also occur.

I had to have a bone scan done because of my lack of vitamin D and because I am no longer 5 ft 8 I am now 5 ft 7 (I argued with the nurse when she measured me) so they thought I was having bone issues but were surprised to see that my bones are in really good shape considering I don’t keep vitamin D in my system. I still want to know where that inch went, I’ve been 5ft 8 since kindergarten.

Life, gotta just laugh at it sometimes

Contest: Win an item from No Gluten Natural Girl Products


WE HAVE A WINNER !!!! Sue P

We are having another contest !!!!!!

Like our page and tell your friends to like our page on Facebook and once we hit “500 Likes” we will have a drawing and the winner will receive an item from our website.

https://www.facebook.com/noglutennaturalproducts

http://www.noglutennaturalgirlproducts.com/#!

Today is Celiac Awareness Day


Here are some stats courtesy of University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Fact Sheets.

Celiac is most common genetic autoimmune disease in the world? Really and the fact that it took me getting so sick that I was finally diagnosed is sad according to the stats.  Celiac compared to some other diseases: at least 3 million have celiac, 3M have Type 1 diabetes, 2.7M have epilepsy, 2.1M have rheumatoid arthritis, 1.5M have lupus, .5M have Crohn’s, 1M have Parkinson’s, 400K have MS. Those with celiac would fill up 4,400 Boeing 747s or 936 cruise ships. Celiac is very common, but not commonly diagnosed. Don’t you think this is sad because I certainly think it is.

Just in case you don’t know. The disease affects the digestive process of the small intestine and is triggered by the consumption of gluten–a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  Celiac Disease causes an abnormal response to gluten ingestion: the immune system attacks the small intestine, inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients, destroying the intestinal villi and wreaking havoc on the bodies systems.

I have heard from many people who have been told by their insurance that they will not cover them now that they were diagnosed and I also have heard from people that they have been told “No” on  life insurance because of being diagnosed. Now I have never had an issue with insurance or life insurance so I feel very lucky. Then I started thinking  isn’t that what you pay all your premiums for? Anyway that is a whole other subject that I wont get into now.

The University of Chicago has wonderful information on their website. And here is a link to the e-book they offer.

http://www.celiacdisease.net/assets/documents/Jump_Start_Your_Gluten-Free_Diet__5_20_2011.pdf