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    Willow16's Avatar
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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.

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    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.
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    Quote 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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    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.

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    Is he being bullied? I never wanted to go to school, and it certainly wasn't because of wheat.

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    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.
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    Quote 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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    Quote 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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    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
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    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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