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Extreme Adverse Effect of Eliminating Gluten?

Answered on December 17, 2013
Created December 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

A young woman in my family has intractable migraines, absence seizure disorder, and fibromyalgia. Her doctors told her to stop eating "anything with a face" a while ago, so she's a "vegetarian" who eats tons of pasta, cheese, and JUNK--she can't work so she stays home and bakes and eats cookies and cakes. She didn't eat many vegetables ever, and now is avoiding nightshades, which has taken out some of the vegetables she was once willing to eat. She has gained perhaps 100 lbs since being told to be a vegetarian, and her symptoms have only gotten worse, the fibro diagnosis came about 2 years after that.

So some medical type FINALLY suggested getting off gluten. When I spoke to her about it before, I got the typical "what would I eat". Reluctantly, she agreed to try it because a doctor instructed her to do it.

I asked her how it was going, and she told me that she had to stop. Her blood pressure got so high she was almost hospitalized. Her assessment was that "I'm too delicate to change my diet that drastically."

I have no idea what she could have been eating when she went gluten-free, since her diet is mostly refined grains and sugars. Some of her fibro friends who have successfully gone gluten free did warn her off "gluten-free" products, but I'm not sure she got that message.

What could possibly account for this adverse physiological response (aside from the psychological issues which are many)????

I am so sad to see this bright and talented 29 year old living at home with her parents (a somewhat toxic situation) and becoming more and more disabled.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 17, 2013
at 10:33 PM

what is she lying about

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on December 17, 2013
at 10:11 PM

Lol, yeah you guys are right, I should probably lighten up. In hindsight I might have overdone the assumption about her being fat, lazy, etc. But my point is that ultimately a person's well being is in their hands. I have tried many times to explain to people, such as my parents, how certain foods can be detrimental to their health, like sugar, bread, ice cream, cookies, etc. but they rather eat that crap than live longer and be less sick. It's a personal choice.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on December 17, 2013
at 09:47 PM

Why is it?.... that when someone's situation does not match another's expectations or experience that the immediate judgment is "lying, lazy or stupid" ?

From few paragraphs of description you can make a completely accurate assessment of the situation? Some what you write might be true but where's the help?

So I guess best plan is "she should kill herself immediately"?

Medium avatar

(238)

on December 17, 2013
at 08:54 PM

Harsh, maybe some truth but you don't really know that - lighten up.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on December 16, 2013
at 10:48 PM

Shellfish don't have faces btw. :D

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5 Answers

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3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on December 16, 2013
at 08:57 PM

Disclaimer: I'm no doctor.

When someone cuts gluten/starch drastically, then they lose weight (especially since your friend had put all that weight exactly because of grains, as you described). When weight loss happens, toxins from the fat cells are released in the blood stream. IF the person is ~healthy, there's nothing to fear. But if the person is chronically very sick -- and that person certainly is -- then these toxins can create problems. I ended up in the ER 2 months after going GF too, with high chest pain. It wasn't a heart failure, but it was because of inflammation that started after all these fat toxins were released on my body. So for a person like your friend, she must start eating lots of veggies (many different kinds, some raw, lots of greens) and fruits in order to get antioxidants, while at the same time minimize gluten consumption (without cutting it altogether). After 1-2 months on this diet, then she should cut down gluten completely again. But this time, tell her to add plenty of wild fish (mostly wild salmon) and shellfish (mostly oysters) in to her diet, if she doesn't want to start eating meat. Also get her to ditch vegetable seed oils for olive oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter in order to minimize inflammation.

0
700aeb0fc4a0c8c6906eab73c7b0ef6f

on December 17, 2013
at 11:38 PM

I personally did not feel the effects of removing gluten but I hear its a common phenomenon. Here is a link:

http://nutritionaltherapy.com/the-storm-before-the-calm-why-some-people-get-temporarily-worse-on-a-gluten-free-or-casein-free-diet/

Although its not a scientific study, it does shed some light on the topic.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on December 17, 2013
at 08:53 PM

Since we are talking Paleo, present her with a copy of a quality Paleo book. Primal Blueprint comes to mind. Since she is bright, she will either get it or not. Beyond that it's you against the medical profession and obviously they know better- right?

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on December 17, 2013
at 08:31 PM

Simple, your friend is lying. She loves her bread, cookies, pasta, and all the other starchy, sugary junk she shoves in her mouth far too much to let it go. If she's indeed obese and she is too lazy to do anything about it (like not shoving cookies into her face), in addition to being 29 years old and still living in her parent's house, I hate to break it to you but she is not bright and talented, she's an idiot. Most people like her that don't have the willpower to help themselves are utterly hopeless, don't waste your time it will only get worse.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 17, 2013
at 10:33 PM

what is she lying about

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on December 17, 2013
at 09:47 PM

Why is it?.... that when someone's situation does not match another's expectations or experience that the immediate judgment is "lying, lazy or stupid" ?

From few paragraphs of description you can make a completely accurate assessment of the situation? Some what you write might be true but where's the help?

So I guess best plan is "she should kill herself immediately"?

Medium avatar

(238)

on December 17, 2013
at 08:54 PM

Harsh, maybe some truth but you don't really know that - lighten up.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 16, 2013
at 10:38 PM

The toxins in the blood stream makes some sense, and would explain her reaction.

She's not going to be one to convince to eat more veggies or fish/seafood (they have faces, too), but if there is a plausible explanation for doing it too rapidly, then maybe I can convince her to do it incrementally, with the understanding that she won't really feel any benefits until she gets to the point of no more glutens. I think some doctors recommend doing it one meal at a time--start with breakfast since it's the most challenging.

She will eat salads, maybe I can talk her into leaving the pufa dressings for oil and vinegar, and using real butter on her veggies instead of margarines.

Thanks for the ideas!

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on December 16, 2013
at 10:48 PM

Shellfish don't have faces btw. :D

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