Living Gluten Free

Posts tagged ‘Conditions and Diseases’

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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Just thought I would share this information, I also found articles with statements on each spice and its regard to fighting cancer.

Garlic: The American Cancer Society explains that certain properties in garlic, specifically allyl sulfur, may fight cancer.

http://www.ehow.com/way_5339698_garlic-cures-cancer.html

Ginger: Ginger causes the cancer cells to “commit suicide” by destroying themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy cells untouched.

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/ginger-fight-cancer.htm

Cinnamon: “Only about half as many cinnamon-treated cells as control cells were
counted, not bad for a common kitchen spice!”

http://healthycocoberry.com/?page_id=342

Turmeric: Has been shown to eliminate cancer cells from the body.

http://www.cancerquest.org/cancer-prevention-curcumin.html

Cayenne Pepper: Kills androgen-independent prostate cancer cells within the male body.

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.

My friend said “Oh gluten free is so popular now” Really, she is lucky I love her.


Complaints of Celiac Disease are on the rise in the United States.  A friend of mine said to me it must be getting popular to go gluten-free, she saw a show where Hollywood A lister’s were saying how going gluten-free helped them shed pounds. Are you kidding me!!!. Let me just say that I didn’t choose to go gluten-free and yes if you eliminate pastas and bread from a normal diet and eat more fruits and veggies you will lose weight. Lord, what is wrong with people.  For those of us who have Celiac Disease (me)  it hurts, it makes us sick and to be frank “It sucks”.

Celiac disease is an inherited (Yes, mother it is) autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the small intestine, it interferes with proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. So I am reading these articles and it says that because so many people have it now researchers are trying to figure out why. ??????  Then as I read on they called it a trend. There is another theory that involves improvements in sanitation and hygiene and it said that industrialized countries are more at risk for celiac disease because their bodies have not had to fight off as many diseases. My head hurts now and I am not reading any more of these articles or I may hurt someone.

This is why I think it is on the rise (ready) now I am 50 so back in the day we ate different. My gamma made food from scratch, we ate veggies we grew in our back yard and McDonald’s was only if you were lucky or it was your birthday. We eat in my opinion too much processed foods which contains gluten in it,  HELLO !!!!.  Another reason why more and more people are being diagnosed is because doctors are more aware of the disease and look at symptoms differently than years ago. Oh and there is the little thing about the gene they found that I mentioned early.

So this is what Dr Murray who works at the Mayo Clinic stated in an article (yes I read 1 more) about Celiac Disease and it isn’t far off  of what I just stated. He states “Another potential culprit is the 21st century diet”. Although overall wheat consumption hasn’t increased, the ways wheat is processed and eaten have changed dramatically. “Many of the processed foods we eat were not in existence 50 years ago,” Dr. Murray says. Modern wheat also differs from older strains because of hybridization.

So if you ask anyone that has Celiac Disease if  they think this trend will go away or if you ask  if you eat gluten-free to lose weight watch out because you might just get slapped upside your head. Really people, Celiac Disease is not a trend and it is not a choice, trust me I wouldn’t have picked this at all, I’m just saying.

Is Celiac Disease the causes of other health issues?


There is a lot of personnel information in here and a lot of medical information that I have collected while trying to figure out things that happened health wise to me in the past and linking it to my diagnoses of Celiac Disease in February of 2010. I am not a medical doctor and I don’t pretend to play one. The information I am sharing is only to try to help someone else sitting there going through issues and thinking they are alone. I also don’t want to scare people who are newly diagnosed, again this is information I have collected and what I personally went through

Let me also start by saying that I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. Things happen for a reason and I do truly believe that. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. Oh one more thing, throughout this blog you will see and read my little sarcastic remarks because well that’s just me.

Most people can just have Celiac Disease or are gluten sensitive and that’s it, some don’t even have symptoms. People who have Celiac Disease do tend to have other autoimmune diseases (Of course we do, why not!)  In which the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues. They feel the connection to this may be genetic (Don’t tell my mother, she is still mad because I told her Celiac Disease is genetic. LOL) 14% of the celiac patients had thyroid disease, 6.4% of adults with type 1 diabetes can have celiac disease.

Some of the other autoimmune diseases are (Let me get this one out-of-the-way because YES I have it) is Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed. Now I have been suffering from dry eyes and dry mouth forever but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease did they pay attention to all my other symptoms.  The other diseases they feel are connected to Celiac Disease are Type 1 diabetes, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, (which I mentioned earlier) Autoimmune Liver Disease (My doctor is on the fence with this one, I must have liver scans every 6 months) Rheumatoid Arthritis and Addison’s disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged.

Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases (OK ready, here we go) such as anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, dementia (My friends tell me I have the start of this), migraines (I have had them my whole life, not fun at all), epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). Now I do have Fibromyalgia which causes pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Is this related to Celiac Disease some say yes others say no.

There are many other health issues that some say are caused by Celiac Disease especially if untreated.  Cancer, miscarriages, infertility and early menopause are also linked to Celiac Disease. I had my first child at 21, a beautiful, healthy boy and delivered in several hours. No biggy, I can do this again. When he was 4 I got pregnant and lost that pregnancy around 4 months.  Over the next 2 1/2 years I lost 2 sons’ that were born premature. Now I wonder did it have anything to do with my undiagnosed celiac? Not sure, I don’t know or really want to know now because you can’t change the past you can only look to the future.  Finally after getting pregnant yet again, I had a surgery called a Cerclage (they suture the cervix shut) and it is usually performed between weeks 14-16 of pregnancy.  These sutures are removed between 36-38 weeks to prevent any problems when you go into labor and for extra care my doctors confined to bed rest after my surgery (That was not fun).  Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep anything down and had to drink Ensure shakes (The smell of them still makes me gag) to get some kind of nutrient in me. I gained 20 lbs and lost 18 of it before the delivery. By the heavens above my youngest and last child was born, a healthy baby boy.

So I can only imagine how overwhelming all this information is, I know it was for me at first. Again I don’t want to scare anyone. I was just giving information from my research over the last year and a half.

Now I was always or at least I thought I was very proactive when it came to my health and I would ask the doctors questions and question their test or medications that they gave me. I had never heard about Celiac Disease and it was never brought up in any conversation with any doctor over the years (25 at least). Since being diagnosed I find that I am not the only one who suffered for most of their lives. Most of us in are 50’s (Yes I will admit to my age) are finding out we were misdiagnosed.

I wrote this blog because I am getting articles from so many people about the diseases and issues it can cause. I have shared this information with the hope that maybe one person will read this and go to a doctor with a little more information than I did or ask one more question than I did or at least won’t feel all alone like I did.

How long did it take you to get diagnosed with Celiac Disease? Me, 25 years :(


Ever time I went to the doctor they had a reason for my symptoms. In my 20’s I had Colitis, 30’s Irritable bowel, 40’s Spastic Colon. At 49 it hit me and it hit me hard, I was sick all the time, lost my eyelashes, my hair was falling out and my doctor at the time said I had a bad sinus infection and put me on antibiotics. Thankfully for me he went skiing and the one day I felt well enough to go to work a colleague of mine was very concerned and suggested I see his doctor so I did. They could not  find any reason for all that was going on, they started by taking me off the antibiotics and sent me for test. When I still wasn’t getting better and made a trip to the emergency room they sent me to a Gastroenterologist. Then we got the news, so all these years did some heavy-duty damage. Tell me your story and how hard was it for you to get a doctor to help you, some times it helps to hear you are not the only one this happens to or that you aren’t crazy after all.  LOL