How long should it take to stabilise my insides after starting on a GF diet?

I started on a GF diet over three months ago and still go to the loo three or four time in the morning before and after breakfast. I have difficulty keeping my weight above 9 stone. It was around 10 stone for years up to about 18 months ago. Should I ask for an early appointment with the Consultant as it is still two months before my next one. I am 84.

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  • There are some people who cannot tolerate even the tiny amounts of gluten and gluten like substances in any grains at all. So that is all the gluten free products out of the window. It might be worth trying that for a week or so.

    But yes, in your position I would go to the doctor and mention the 'C' word. That should get you seen nice and quickly. Its unlikely, but any significant changes in bowel habits and weight are supposed to be red flags.

    Fingers crossed its not anything that sinister, but it really needs to be sorted out!

  • Thank you for this. I went to the GP before Christmas and i think my (usually marvellous Dr) was having an off-day. She had a student with her. I told her about the weight loss and she said 'what was I afraid of?' and I said 'Bowel cancer'. She just disregarded it and more or less showed me the door after a discussion on sleeping, which is not one of my problems.

  • Are there any others at the surgery you could see? The usual thing is that people present far too late, so they should be pleased to see you.

    There is a blood test which looks for cancer markers. Has that been done?

  • Hi Trenny

    Sorry to hear you're having problems. As Ruthi has suggested, if you are eating supermarket ready made gluten free foods, you may be eating tiny amounts of gluten.

    The ready-made foods, like bread, also contain additives which can upset your stomach. I can't eat any ready-made breads, but make my own occasionally, and make things like pancakes for breakfast. If you have a cup of tea first thing it may be that the milk is upsetting you. It's not uncommon for coeliacs to have problem with dairy.

    You could try just sticking to naturally gluten free foods, veg/fruit/protein, to see if this will help you. But I wonder if you can go back to your doctor again to tell her you are worried. Alternatively, perhaps you could phone your consultant's secretary to see if you can get an earlier appointment.

    Hope you get this sorted out soon.

  • Have you also tried going dairy free? The casein protein in milk is very similar to the gluten protein.

    Celiac is both gluten and casein free. However some think it means a low gluten diet only.

    I also found I had issues with all things soya.

    One thing I did to identify my food issues was to keep a logbook of food and drink. There is a 24 hour delay between eating something and having the symptom appear. I may get a lot of terrible wind at 6 hours and brain fog at 12 hours. Sometimes also get repeat symptoms the following day.

    I now prepare a pot of a rice, meat and vegetables casserole with ingredients that I know are gluten free and make enough for 5-6 meals and then only eat that for lunch and supper for three days supplementing with fruit, salsa, salads that I know are also free from gluten.

    My breakfast is egg and salsa and sausage or bacon. Maybe also gluten free toast or a corn tortilla that I trust.

    By monitoring my symptoms for the three days I can usually pin point a particular item in food.

    If I suspect an ingredient in my preparations, I repeat the process and remove it for two weeks before reintroducing it by itself and monitoring for the next 24 hours.

    I initially found that the offending item was in my favorite food and I was eating lots of small quantities that was establishing a level of tolerance.

    The two week period of abstinence is important to completely get it out of your system, liver and bile.

    Chocolate bars of any sort were the hardest ones for me to figure out.

    I also shared my logbook and discussed my plans with my GP who luckily was supportive. Although he initially treated me like a hypochondriac and tried to treat my B12 deficiency (which was also occurring at the same time ) as anxiety and prescribed two antidepressants before finally seeing the error of his ways. Try to avoid these pitfalls.

  • Some excellent suggestions here, although I am not sure if I can carry them out. I don't know what to eat, as it is. At 84 I have very weak muscles and can't stand up for long (?side effect of prednisolone tabs), so use a lot of convenience foods and gluten-free ready meals (which may not help).

    I'll start a food diary, also.

    I have a blood test on Tuesday and will ask about the test for bowel cancer, although I think that I am being over anxious.

  • If you need ready-made meals, perhaps you could check out if there are any "meals on wheels" in your area, if you are eligible? Commercial "meals on wheels" suppliers of frozen meals (as advertised on TV) also have gluten free options.

    Hope the doctor's appointment goes well.

  • Hi Trenny, may I ask what made you decide to 'start' on a gluten free diet 3 months ago! Are you on Thyroxin for being hypo or hyper Thyroid. It has been known for these conditions to alter in later life, just as body also loses ability to absorb many essential nutrients. Perhaps the gluten was keeping your weight where it was before, now if you are not having it, it's not.

    If you have a drink the night before, alcohol can loosen your bowels. I invariably also within half hour or so of taking my thyroxin can be sitting on the loo.,it's only after that I then have my first cuppa and breakfast, 1 hour after the Thyroxin, which is taken with a large glass of water.

    Are you on meds for any other conditions and are you getting enough Vit C daily?

    A good start to the day is a large slice of lemon in a cup of hot water! So start your day with lemon tea.

    Have you had any blood tests recently, if so what for! Always make sure you are given a copy!

    Also it's winter, you could be lacking in Vit D at present!

    However I think the weight loss could be down to not enough to nutrients from the right foods. So I suggest you pop in and have a chat with the head pharmacist also, not a sales assistant. See what he says, don't just go out and start self medicating without expert advice.

    I am only 68, but have several conditions, also have weight and muscle loss. My arms look like skin and bones. I also have a blood disorder. So I know what the causes of some of my problems are.

    Not looking after my endocrine system with the right nutrients I.e. vitamins and minerals being some of them.

    If you do have any blood test results at home, take them with you to show the pharmacist. I currently have more faith in my pharmacist than my doctor!

    I'm not medically qualified, just Giving you a few suggestions, which at the moment won't cost you to follow up by asking a good expert - your pharmacist!

    I Look forward to hearing from you.

    Shirley.

  • Many thanks, Sambs. The trouble is that I *am* (ie 'was') a Pharmacist! And I do many of the things you suggest eg asking for a copy of blood tests. I have regular thyroid function and liver tests etc. Also take calcichew tablets.

    Press on!

  • Well, trust me to ask questions of a professional!

    I'm glad you are though. As you say, press on - just what I'm doing with my problems :-)

    Hope you find the other answers you need x

  • Yes. As you are in the system, ring and ask the sconsultant's secretary for an early appointment. Good luck.

  • Yes, I have done that, Jacks. They can't manage before early March.

  • Have done. They have brought it forward six weeks to the beginning of March. Better than nothing. I think I am being over-anxious, really, but it is good to share concerns on this wonderful web-site.

  • I spoke to the nurse who did my blood test today and have now been given one for two week's time.

  • Good to hear that. Hope it goes well.

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