Days 33-39 Quest to Health: Crying Spells & Anxiety

Fitness & Health

Instead of breaking down my fitness and health for the past week, I’m going to summarize. I pretty much only worked out one full day, which was really only one workout. The workouts in between were short and shouldn’t really even count. Unless doing 15 min on the treadmill is sufficient enough to be considered a workout, lol. I had a hectic weekend, which took me three days to recover from. I wore myself out and my body literally went limp. I began feeling the “crying spells” in association to the withdrawal symptoms we feel when coming off of gluten. I have been feeling really lethargic, having erratic thoughts of sadness, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, really fatigued and limp, and overall just lacking motivation.

I woke up crying one night, and had spurts of tears for two straight days. I was just ending my menstrual period, however… this was pretty unusual. I’m so grateful to have come across the info I have in my research about this stuff, otherwise I’d really think I had some issues! Below are some other individuals’ posts from the celiac forum about their experiences with these gluten-withdrawal symptoms:

“I´m dealing with some very severe depression (It feels like PMS almost all of the time — crying practically every evening, anxious, taking little problems with friends as huge disasters). Thinking back, these depressive symptoms started pretty much at the same time I went Gluten-Free. I know the way I used to cope with depression was by eating, usually cookies. Now I can´t cope that way, and I also tend to lose my apetite rather than gain it. Has anybody else had similar experiences?”

“I had terrible depression when I first went gluten free. It really did clear up for me though after a couple months. It does come back if I eat gluten though – so I’m very very careful now. All of the icky side effects of being gluten-free really do go away when your body gets used to it.”

“I would say it took me about 18 months to really see a difference in my anxiety on a daily basis. Anxiety has always been a much bigger issue for me than depression. After 3 years, I still get anxiety when accidently glutened, it’s one of the first things I notice when this has happened. I’d give it more time, the anxiety and depression tend to take longer to ease up.”

“I have been diagnosed with celiac disease since May 4. Since then, I’ve had several (probably 5 or 6) days of crying spells. They don’t generally last real long and they often times just come out of the blue (so to say). I’ve been stressed out with some other things in my life lately, too, so this might be part of it. And these crying spells generally don’t happen before I get my period (although I also suffer from PMS). The first few weeks were the worst and I cried like every 2-3 days. Anyone else experiencing this? Does this go away after awhile? Maybe it’s part of the withdrawal symptoms that I’m suffering because I’ve suddenly changed my diet drastically?”

“I have been gluten free for a year now. I go through those spells when I cry. For no reason at all. If i have been contaminated sometimes i just feel really overwhelmed by nothing at all and just start crying for no good reason.”

“I used to get really emotional before and during when I was going off of gluten. I also got more sensitive to it, or at least more responsive to already being sensitive to the gluten. One thing I know, having been able to directly related gluten to responding emotionally, is that there is a real, physical link, so don’t give up figuring it out, and know that when you do you’ll be able to know you’re being affected by something for real. There is definitely a connection between hormones and gluten. There is a reason why autoimmune disorders are treated with cortisone. And its probably online somewhere that immune reaction causes depletion of hormones or inhibition of release.”

“I have crying spells frequently, but they are not due to depression. The spell will come on suddenly with my other symptoms right after I have ingested a trigger food like gluten or wheat, and are accompanied by extreme fatigue, brain fog, a spinning head, shortness of breath, a jumpy stomach, cramps and excessive distention and bloat. I’ve been this way for years, when I try to control it in public, I have to scrunch my face up and keep it all in and try breathing slow, and people look at me and say, Oh my God what the bleep is wrong? And I tell them it’s nothing, I’m used to it but I can’t control it. At home, I let it all out and it feels better.”

So I’m not the only one I take it?! Thank goodness too, because I have been a complete wreck. On top of it, I feel so awful about not doing my fitness 100%. It doesn’t help when the people around you don’t understand and “fuel the fire” so to speak. I have a difficult time even noticing that I am experiencing symptoms until it’s to late and then I tend to re-evaluate my behavior and thoughts. It’s so stressful! It literally feels as if my body is detoxing, and relearning how to function. It does feel as if your body and mind are in control of their own, and you are merely a victim facilitating it all.

I have been trying my best to be gluten-free, but I think it slipped into my diet somehow by accident. When I am not 100% careful, I always pay the price. Even the slightest trace of gluten can have massive side effects. Getting tired and lazy about it and just eating what you can where you are because you are so tired and hungry can make this diet really overwhelming. I admit to being less careful at times, and eating home cooked meals that I haven’t prepared myself, or restaurant food that seems to be “ok.” It’s really just not worth it. It’s also hard to determine which packaged foods are really gluten-free. It’s still a work in progress!

For those of you who are experiencing these symptoms, remember that you are not alone and you are not crazy! You have the right to cry, so I say go ahead and get it all out. It’s ok to cry as long as you know that you are going to feel better eventually.  It’s okay to feel. With time and healing, it will get easier and your emotions and life won’t feel so sporadic. Sometimes it feels like it will never end, especially when you’re thinking, “It’s been months!” I need to remind myself to stick with it all the time. It feels like day-by-day at this point, with constant reminders and lots of effort.

I hope this helps! Feel free to share your experiences as well.

XOXOX F