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Gluten-induced panic attack?

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by Jody, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Well now.

    This has been interesting today.

    Due to being grocery-challenged from time to time, Jody has been eating toast and peanut butter for breakfast, tomato sandwiches for lunch and spaghetti for dinner the last two days.

    I don't do well with these foods. Even a great homemade spaghetti sauce doesn't change it I'm afraid. :)

    I started feeling it yesterday, a head fog and what we in the armchair psychologist peanut gallery used to call "free-floating anxiety". I knew what it was and that helped a bit. But by today it had gotten worse, along with pain deep in the pit of my gut, heart palpitations and vibrations in my arms.

    Tonight was a change for the better, steak and mushrooms, and yellow beans with butter. But, it had still been a day and a half eating symptom-inducing foods and by this evening, after a protein, fat and veg. dinner, I was still paying the piper till a few minutes ago.

    Panic attack. Royal, want-to-curl-in-a-ball-and-cry-for-Mommy panic attack. Holy cats. Even knowing what it was, it was still a wild ride. Major feeling? Terror.

    Yeah. Food-induced terror. Weird. I've had it before. And until I changed my diet 7 yrs ago I had it most of the time.

    Man! That stuff is BAD for me. Gotta find a way to be able to stay away from it.
  2. JanisB

    JanisB Senior Member

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    Jody, I used to be up nearly all night from gluten. It either has, or raises glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter. The peptides from incomplete digestion make gliadomorphines, which affect the CNS and ENS. The immune system gets involved because the white blood cells in 2/3 of the population have alleles which tell it to present gluten peptides to T cells to make antibodies and go on the attack. And that leads to a cascade of inflammatory cytokines.

    Most people have to do some testing to prove to themselves that gluten is causing them to make antibodies in the gut and, perhaps also, some potentially damaging products like transglutaminase. The best lab to use (NFI) is enterolab.com in Arlington TX as they will do stool and genetic testing without a physicians order and their prices are lower than the competition. Plus the lab direction, Dr. Fine, is a cool guy and doing really good research on the relationship between food allergies and gut health.

    Once you know, you make a 100% commitment to avoid every bread crumb. And you see results in lots and lots of syptoms.

    Janis
    Search for the Cure: My Healing Journey
  3. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Thanks for the response, Janis.

    That's what it is all right. I have never had the tests but my own trial and error pointed this out to me some years ago. Sometimes I can't afford to avoid this stuff, and I know when that happens, I could be in for some rough days. Like today.

    Amazing, that when it passes, it is really gone. Not like panic attacks that are about something, ... this thing passes like a giant tsunami. Awful when it hits, and I feel like I'm being tossed around during the storm, but then it just ... goes away. Thank God for steak and yellow beans.

    When I was a teenager I had a struggle for some years with depression. Could never pinpoint the cause, guessed it was due to this situation or that. Figured there was just something wrong with me for a long time.

    Switched my diet to high protein and low carb 7 yrs ago and watched alot of it just drop away. All that time I was poisoning myself. Especially when I was a vegetarian trying to eat healthy. I know it works for alot of people but I see now it was a bad idea for me.

    Astonishing how much of emotion is physiologically induced.
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    When I have to go for awhile mixing carbs along with protein for many days, I can feel my IQ drop ...

    Once I can get back on the right diet, within 24 hrs, it begins to rise again ...:)
  5. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Jody

    Sorry you haven't been feeling well. It is difficult to eat right all the time especially when you can't get to the store. I'll send you some ribs and pinto beans.:D It is amazing how much your diet can effect your mood. I think people often dismiss this idea too quickly.

    I don't know much about testing for gluten intolerance. From what I have read there are no tests that are very accurate. My son's doctor says the best test is to get off of it for six months and then slowly start adding foods back to see what happens. He says it takes about four months to remove gluten from our bodies but the six month trial is to account for any accidental ingestion. Casein takes less time and is also worth a trial.

    My son told me the other day that he noticed that when he started the diet he was less hyper and impulsive. This is huge for him as he rarely has any insight regarding his own behavior.

    Take care,
  6. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Thanks Frickly. :)

    I'll take the ribs. Didn't you use up all the pinto beans in the cake?:confused:

    That is great about your son, showing a positive difference since the diet change. It is truly astonishing how we're affected in so many ways by what we eat.

    I do know that for me, there's no need for tests for gluten sensitivity. I've definitely got it. :eek:

    Most of the time I can stay away from it. After last night (really off and on the last couple of weeks) I will make a more concerted effort.
  7. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Eeep! This does not sound like fun at all. I am amazed at how much food sounds like it can effect all of this. I am glad you know why you are feeling worse Jody. Sometimes we need reminders of why we go to extra lengths to do things in a very specific way and it sounds like that's some of what happened here for you. Helps keep up the motivation! lol :D

    One of these days I'll be able to do my own experimenting on this. I have some hopes that due to our repetitive diet these last several years, we may find some of our symptoms being relieved at least a little if we adjust what we eat.

    I think I missed the answer on the cake Frickly made. Did it have beans in it? hehe Its amazing where you can find beans so it seems possible to me. mmm, I like beans. lol

    Lisa :)
  8. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Lisa,

    Yeah it's astonishing what food can do. The wrong foods. And the right foods. :)

    I swear before we knew better on this we lived on noodles with margarine and iced tea. Bad for anyone. Poison for me. But who knew? :confused:

    You couldn't find an answer on the cake and pinto beans because Frickly has NOT as yet answered my very innocent question.:rolleyes:

    Actually, the question arose from a different thread on General Hubbub, about 4 kids being 4 too many. Frickly mentioned making a cake and pinto beans. The question seemed logical to me ...
  9. JanisB

    JanisB Senior Member

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    There is an article in the medical literature from Italian researchers called "One Mg. of gluten a day keeps intestinal healing away." Catchy title, but it basically points out that, even though we don't always feel the effects of small amounts, they still impact the body.

    In my experience, it took 2 years for the antibodies to gliadin to get down to a very low level, and that was without cheating. Think of it like a vaccine -- every time you get a tiny bit of some denatured pathogen, your immune system makes antibodies that last for several years. That's what it tries to do with gluten -- make antibodies to keep you safe from those dangerous bread molecules :(

    Frickly, tell you doctor about Kenneth Fine's work at www.enterolab.com
    Stool testing and genetic testing are accurate. Blood tests are not because we don't put bread into our veins, at least not usually.:) -- so antibodies or transglutaminase have to escape from the gut-associated immune system into general circulation.
  10. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Jody

    Your not going to give up on this bean question are you? No, I did not put pinto beans in the cake. My pinto beans did turn out pretty good. Beans, ham, bacon,onion, garlic and, of course, jalopenos. My neighbors come to all our birthday parties and her husband, apparently can't eat anything with jalopenos, onions, pepper or anything with any taste. I told my husband that I don't know how to cook if I can't use garlic, jalopenoes and onions. He always leaves my house hungry.
  11. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Well, it's really Lisa's fault. She wanted to know about the beans and the cake. :rolleyes:

    And I'm delighted that they turned out so well. And relieved by your recipe.:)

    My husband would love your pinto beans too. :D
  12. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Oh sure... blame me why don't ya. :p lol

    I have heard of white beans being used for baked goods and all sorts of other odd things. Pintos, yeah I am pretty glad you left them out of the cake. hehe They do sound tasty!

    Lisa :)
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    And of course, we must keep in mind that Frickly is from Texas ... :)
  14. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hi Jody,

    What you describe actually is a Panic Attack. Panic attacks come out of the clear blue, like a tsumani, and end just as swiftly. I don't think we understand true Panic Attacks very well. I had panic disorder from 18 to early 30s and always thought they were like seizures. There's a big subjective difference between an anxiety attack, no matter how intense, and a true panic attack.

    The connection to gluten is very, very interesting! While I'm so sorry you had to endure such a painful experience (they are truly terrible) you may have put another piece in the puzzle for me and I am very grateful to you. No need to repeat it, though, I'll remember!

    I have continued to eat gluten despite my suspicions as I am on ODSP and a gluten sensitivity (or maybe just celiac) would qualify me for more money for food. One must be eating gluten to have an accurate test result and one must have a test result to trigger the extra funding.

    Your terrible experience is just the push I needed to... uhm... to think I really must act on this as soon as the heat breaks and I work out all the other obstacles to getting to a doctor appt. Anyway, that's my problem.

    I think you probably had a seizure caused by gluten and did me a huge favour!

    I'm so sorry and thank you!

    koan
  15. dmholmes

    dmholmes Senior Member

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    I've had nocturnal panic/anxiety attacks for quite a while, 2 or 3 nights a week. Only happens within the first hour of sleep, never repeats in the same night. Wake up confused, major fear, and sometimes some physical symptoms.

    I was on gluten-free diet for 6 months, only happened twice. And both times I had something to drink that I can't be sure was gluten-free.

    Not sure if its the gluten or something else that I wasn't eating because of the foods I was excluding.

    David
  16. sandra

    sandra

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    Gluten Induced Panic Attacks

    Hi Jody,
    I just wanted to tell you that the same thing happens to me if I eat any wheat or gluten, sugar or caffeine. I have a fabulous nutritionist who explained this to me. Since I have been on a wheat free, gluten free, sugar free etc diet I haven't had a panic attack since so its been 5 years now. And yes I do cheat and am ok if I don't go overboard.
    Sandra
  17. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Koan,

    I am glad to have been of service. :D

    dmholmes,

    I guess it could be a number of different things you could be having reactions to. Gluten is a very, very common cause for this type of thing, so it would be worth looking into.

    sandra,

    That is great. :) Such a relief to be free of such an awful symptoms.

    I think it's great that you're far enough long that you can have the occasional cheat, as well. I used to be that way, and will be so again.

    Did I mention I have a thing for pizza? :rolleyes:
  18. dmholmes

    dmholmes Senior Member

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    Jody, I've been checked for celiac and gluten (Entero), both negative. I'm just gluten intolerant I suppose. Eating GF cleared up all digestive issues I was having.

    David
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    dmholmes,

    Test results aside, finding out what works for us is the important thing, eh?

    I have never had any test results come back anything but normal, normal, normal. So it has all been trial and error. But the diminishing of symptoms speaks volumes. :)
  20. JanisB

    JanisB Senior Member

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    Testing blood for anti-gliadins and transglutaminase (the 2 things normally checked) is notoriously unreliable until advanced stage tissue damage. This is because the gut is designed to take things in from the outside and provide a barrier to the rest of the body, letting in only the stuff we need. The reaction takes place in the gut. Then we test the blood. Huh? Does this make sense to you?

    If the gut is severely damaged, the tight junctions that protect the interior tissues of the body from the toxic environment in the gut will be permeable (e.g. leaky gut). Toxins and antibodies will find their way into the bloodstream. But some people never get positive test results until they are serious complications of GS (like lymphoma).

    But before that time, one can test for gluten intolerance with genetic testing of the HLA DQ through www.enterolab.com (no prescription required). One can also do stool testing through the same lab, through Metametrix, and saliva testing through Diagnos-Tech. NFI in any of these labs.

    Sorry if I sound preachy. This is a pet peeve of mine, the dinosaur like resistance of the medical profession to intelligent innovations, the resistance to things that might make people healthier but limit their enjoyment of bread and cakes, etc.

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