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  • Wheat and anxiety

    Has anyone found a link between eating wheat and anxiety? My son is in such a state of anxiety right now and we're trying to find ways to help him. He doesn't eat any wheat at home but does eat it when out with his friends - probably 10-20%. He has suffered from anxiety since middle school where he would have stomach pains and wouldn't want to go to school. It has progressed since he has been in high school - last year, after having surgery on both knees, he started throwing up for the two weeks before swim team season started. It was so bad his doctor did give him Xanax which didn't help at all. Then in January he fractured his lower back during swim practice so that was very stressful.

    We've had him to doctors, therapists, etc. He hasn't been doing too well in school and now has developed pain in his abdomen in the gall bladder area. We've had him to the doctor and last night the emergency room after he said he threw up after coming home from his high school's college rep night. All the tests were negative including his abdominal ultra sound. We have started some amino acids that help with anxiety (NAC, l-theanine and gaba) so we'll see how that goes. Also, magnesium. Our next step is a gastroenterologist but I truly feel it is all from anxiety.

    If anyone has any insight I would be truly grateful. It is so difficult watching your child go through something like this.

  • #2
    Could be another food intolerance contributing? If he's willing, I'd look into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to see if you can use it as a framework to eliminate any potentially problematic foods. Of course, you won't really be able to tell if he doesn't adhere strictly (eats offending foods with friends).

    I'd check out The Mood Cure for more info on amino acids. L-Theanine didn't work for me, but L-tyrosine and 5-HTP helped a lot.
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
      Could be another food intolerance contributing? If he's willing, I'd look into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to see if you can use it as a framework to eliminate any potentially problematic foods. Of course, you won't really be able to tell if he doesn't adhere strictly (eats offending foods with friends).

      I'd check out The Mood Cure for more info on amino acids. L-Theanine didn't work for me, but L-tyrosine and 5-HTP helped a lot.
      Thanks. I do have L-tyrosine and can get some 5-HTP if the L-Theanine doesn't work. I have found it works for me. I have read The Mood Cure and that's what got me looking into amino acids. My daughter has had great success using NAC along with choline and inositol to the extent that we can tell if she's forgotten to take them.

      I will look into that diet. Since the anxiety is so bad he might be willing to go along with it but it's hard being 16 and different.

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      • #4
        i'm finding myself more calm since I've cut out wheat and sugar. I deal with anxiety due to health issues but I find that since a while it's getting less.
        Besides that there are many examples you could find that show children who were helped by a sugar free or low carbs diet.
        My story, My thought....

        It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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        • #5
          Is he being bullied? I never wanted to go to school, and it certainly wasn't because of wheat.
          Out of context quote for the day:

          Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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          • #6
            Make sure he's not consuming caffeine, that can make anxiety infinitely worse. A dietary change is worth trying. He'd need to be about 3 weeks clean of the offending food to tell if it's helping for certain.
            High Weight: 225
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wildrose View Post
              Is he being bullied? I never wanted to go to school, and it certainly wasn't because of wheat.
              That was the original issue in middle school but not now in high school. He has a good group of like minded friends (all in the band) and really loves his high school (private while middle school was local public).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
                Make sure he's not consuming caffeine, that can make anxiety infinitely worse. A dietary change is worth trying. He'd need to be about 3 weeks clean of the offending food to tell if it's helping for certain.
                No caffeine. He doesn't drink soda, coffee, tea or energy drinks.

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                • #9
                  I've read lots of success stories from people who discovered that getting off the wheat eliminated anxiety.

                  Also, I used to work in Mental Health a long time ago. I'm not an expert or a doctor but we did have to know a little bit about medications. Apparently a lot of psychoactive drugs have what they call paradoxical effects in children, which is where it causes the opposite reaction to what is expected. I believe Xanax is a benzodiazapene and a paradoxical effect of it would be anxiety.
                  Paradoxical reaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    Not about diet, but bullying - and based only on my own experience, which is going to be very different since I was at an all-girls school (which I also liked)...

                    1) Being bullied may have changed how he feels about groups of people in general. It did for me - 20+ years after it stopped, I'd still really rather not be the centre of a group's attention, even if the group only has the kindest of intentions. Nothing dramatic, nothing life-destroying, just some differences I can trace back to the experience.
                    2) That change in response may make him more likely to be bullied again - I sometimes felt as if I was wearing a brightly-painted target. Maybe it's called by an alternative name, like 'just having a bit of a laugh' or 'encouraging team spirit'. Could be completely different for boys, though.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Willow16 View Post
                      Has anyone found a link between eating wheat and anxiety? My son is in such a state of anxiety right now and we're trying to find ways to help him. He doesn't eat any wheat at home but does eat it when out with his friends - probably 10-20%. He has suffered from anxiety since middle school where he would have stomach pains and wouldn't want to go to school. It has progressed since he has been in high school - last year, after having surgery on both knees, he started throwing up for the two weeks before swim team season started. It was so bad his doctor did give him Xanax which didn't help at all. Then in January he fractured his lower back during swim practice so that was very stressful.

                      We've had him to doctors, therapists, etc. He hasn't been doing too well in school and now has developed pain in his abdomen in the gall bladder area. We've had him to the doctor and last night the emergency room after he said he threw up after coming home from his high school's college rep night. All the tests were negative including his abdominal ultra sound. We have started some amino acids that help with anxiety (NAC, l-theanine and gaba) so we'll see how that goes. Also, magnesium. Our next step is a gastroenterologist but I truly feel it is all from anxiety.

                      If anyone has any insight I would be truly grateful. It is so difficult watching your child go through something like this.
                      There is a correlation between gluten and anxiety. If you google it there's quite a bit of information about it. Also what could be happening is that he could be very low in omega 3 fatty acids so I would suggest you look into a fish oil supplement and take a lot. Like 20-30 grams a day.

                      Also how did he fracture his lower back in swimming? That's insane!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Iron Will View Post
                        There is a correlation between gluten and anxiety. If you google it there's quite a bit of information about it. Also what could be happening is that he could be very low in omega 3 fatty acids so I would suggest you look into a fish oil supplement and take a lot. Like 20-30 grams a day.

                        Also how did he fracture his lower back in swimming? That's insane!
                        I have been giving him some fish oil supplements but not that much. I'll give it a try.

                        In May 2012 he hurt his lower back while picking up his backpack and it was diagnosed as muscle spasms but, in retrospect, it was probably a fracture that wasn't picked up on an xray and he reinjured it in January 2013. The thought is that he grew too fast for the muscles to support the bones (he grew like crazy last year). This seems to be common in 15 to 16 y.o. athletes although everyone was perplexed that he did it while swimming. He did a flip turn, pushed off the wall, did a few butterfly kicks and felt a snap in his lower back. It started radiating down his leg so my husband took him directly to the ER. After an MRI didn't find anything they discharged him and gave us names of neurologists. Unfortunately, the trend in neurology now seems to be that they don't accept insurance, at least in my area. Can you imagine going to a neurologist not knowing what insurance would cover or if you have a plan where they won't pay out of network? We finally found an orthopedist spine specialist. He diagnosed him right away from symptoms and put him in a back brace for 4 months.

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                        • #13
                          yup!
                          Last edited by vaness425; 09-09-2015, 12:53 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Maybe look into testing for the MTHFR gene mutation. Especially if its something that seems to run in the family.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Willow16 View Post
                              Has anyone found a link between eating wheat and anxiety? My son is in such a state of anxiety right now and we're trying to find ways to help him. He doesn't eat any wheat at home but does eat it when out with his friends - probably 10-20%. He has suffered from anxiety since middle school where he would have stomach pains and wouldn't want to go to school. It has progressed since he has been in high school - last year, after having surgery on both knees, he started throwing up for the two weeks before swim team season started. It was so bad his doctor did give him Xanax which didn't help at all. Then in January he fractured his lower back during swim practice so that was very stressful.

                              We've had him to doctors, therapists, etc. He hasn't been doing too well in school and now has developed pain in his abdomen in the gall bladder area. We've had him to the doctor and last night the emergency room after he said he threw up after coming home from his high school's college rep night. All the tests were negative including his abdominal ultra sound. We have started some amino acids that help with anxiety (NAC, l-theanine and gaba) so we'll see how that goes. Also, magnesium. Our next step is a gastroenterologist but I truly feel it is all from anxiety.

                              If anyone has any insight I would be truly grateful. It is so difficult watching your child go through something like this.
                              Willow,
                              Here is your answer. Spend some quality time at this website. Dr. Davis describes exactly all of the very serious health problems caused by modern wheat. Including depression, anxiety, leaky gut, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, bad cholesterol, much more. Search this site for key words such as anxiety, adhd, depression.
                              Wheat Belly Blog | Lose the Wheat Lose the Weight

                              "John has become a vocal advocate for the wheat- and grain-free lifestyle, having experienced reversals of obesity, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and joint pains. Here’s his terrific story:"
                              No fake foods for Truemarrow | Wheat Belly Blog

                              "How do we KNOW when acid reflux, bowel urgency, depression, anxiety, asthma, joint pain and myriad other health complaints are due to consumption of modern wheat?"
                              Wheat Belliers share their wheat re-exposure experiences | Wheat Belly Blog

                              "Typically, someone will be wheat-free for at least a week. Re-exposure from, say, salad dressing or seasoning mix then triggers wheat re-exposure fireworks. The most common re-exposure phenomena to are:"
                              Deja ewww! | Wheat Belly Blog

                              I suggest reading his book, Wheat Belly.

                              Grizz

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