How long did it take before you started feeling better on the gf diet?

I've been gluten free for two weeks now and do not feel remotely better at all. I wasn't expecting to be completely healthy in such a short amount of time but I was hoping to see slight improvements. I have anaemia and have been taking iron supplements for the past two weeks as well. I'd like to think that I've done plenty of research and am following the diet properly so my main concern is that I have lactose intolerance. I still feel really ill at the moment and wondered if I should go back to my gp or if this is normal at such an early stage.

14 Replies

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  • It takes a while before you start to feel better, as your gut has got to heal.....I started to feel better after the first month, but everybody is different...it can take up to two years before your gut has healed.....

    Sorry I can't be of any help.....

    Janie

  • Lots of us are lactose intolerant while our villi are healing in the early months and year. I reckon it was 2 years before I felt a little better. The trick is to cut out everything and start with only naturally gluten and maybe lactose free foods. Once you feel well on the natural foods introduce one at a time the processed GF foods from the supermarket or chemist. It was only when I did this that I started to feel much better.

  • Hi JellyB. We had a similar Q last year which got 45 responses. You might find these useful. Here's the link:

    glutenfreeguerrillas.health...

  • 1 week great results

  • It took me roughly 6 months but my dietitian says could be up to 2 years before I'm 100% again.

  • took me 18 months to feel better but felt ok after 6months good luck

  • Well done for going GF. In my experience feeling better in two weeks is probably being slightly too optimistic. You have my sympathies though, it is so frustrating when you want to feel better, especially if you are anaemic as well. Stick with it, hopefully you will start to have good days soon.

    I am not too far ahead of you on this GF journey we are all on, being only three months in myself. I needed to ask the doctors four times (including a consultant) before they would treat my low B12 levels with injections. This is also a form of anaemia, so I understand how knackered you can feel (Btw it wasn't the consultant who helped me!). A nurse friend of mine encouraged me to keep trying because CD affects the absorption of nutrients - including those needed to treat anaemia. I now have the occasional days when I feel really quite well compared to before but I am finding it is a slow road and this is not every day. Accidental glutening doesn't help!

    I think in some ways going GF is a bit like playing snakes and ladders - some days you plod along normally, some days you climb an unexpected ladder and feel great, then another day you find a square with the snake on (gluten) and go back to square one...you just have to keep rolling on the dice though!

    Good luck JellyB

    Xx Regalbirdy

  • It took me a month or two before I really started to feel better, my asthma began to improve as did a number of other things. However, you may well find there are other things going on too. It's actually fairly common for the gluten free " high" to nose dive after a while as your body starts to demonstrate a sensitivity to other things.

    Its taken two years to really figure out most of the things that make me worse. Gluten is simply the most problematic of but I've discovered through food diaries that I have big issues with dairy and nightshades ( potatoes, tomatoes, peppers ). Given how prevalent these things are in the modern diet, if you have issues with them, or other ingredients, it may take some time to figure out how to cut them out.

  • i was diagonised with cd in december i was still feeling bad on g/f diet i went g/f w/f three weeks ago and must admit that my stomach cramps have gone but still not feeling perfect maybe it might be worth making sure you have no wheat at all.. even though the coeliac uk say you can torerlate some wheat starch not everybody can, i,ve cut out wheat until i feel better then doc wants me to introduce wheat back and see how i go,if start to feel rough again then will cut it out again

  • I have been doing Gluten and wheat free since September and don't feel any different. However, I wasn't able to eat beans, chick peas etc for years without having severe bloating and crampy pains but now I can...which makes life a little easier as GF DF while trying to lose weight on Slimming World is pretty tough!

  • Hi JellyB,

    I agree with everything said so far and I share your frustration at not feeling better sooner.

    After my own cd diagnosis I went gf last September. I was pretty much asymptomatic so there was nothing obvious for me to improve on and this in itself was frustrating. Now 5 months on I can see small differences in areas I hadn't realised were cd related. e.g.

    Blood tests showed that I was a bit low on B12 (through malabsorption) but after a series of injections I definitely feel "perkier" and my wife says my mood doesn't seem so low.

    I'm still waiting for a dexa scan to check on my bone density but my dietician has recommended I increase my calcium intake (more yoghurt, cheese and rice pudding etc). I'm pretty sure I didn't have a bone problem before but it sure is getting harder to cut my fingernails!

    Just lately I've certainly noticed I feel less bloated generally (not so much noxious wind!) and can also recognise that this condition returns for some types of food. (The old curry effect!).

    And on the theme of spicy foods I no longer seem to need so many trips to the loo next day - certainly bowel habits are are much more stable - I obviously didn't realise that my old habits weren't as "normal" as they could be.

    And finally, blood tests have shown that my antibody count dropped from 56 to 14 after 2 months of the gf diet and that was a real psychological boost.

    So although you're own symptoms are far worse than mine just take heart that things will improve but not necessarily all at once or even suddenly. From my own experiences and from those of others on this site it's evident that we're all in for the "long haul" and results are like eating the elephant - one bite at a time.

    Good luck.

  • Hi jellyb, Could it be possible you are still getting too much hidden wheat or gluten? We have been gf for over a year and a half and are finding out that the nuts and seeds that we thought were gf are processed where wheat is processed on shared equipment. Also lentils and other grains could be contaminated. Some gf products contain many ppm of contamination.Really investigate your foods well, phone calls to companies, etc. We have been glutened many times by unsuspecting foods. Also watch for msg and other food additives, these can be troublesome. High salicylate foods can be bothersomeand cross reactive as can aspirin and nsaid drugs. So much to learn, its an ongoing process.

  • Hi Jellyb

    2 weeks is not that long to be on a GF diet although, with all the extra effort it takes to follow a GF diet it probably seems like an eternity. Having Anaemia can make you feel really wiped out. I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease just under a year ago and had very severe anaemia, it can take a long time with tablets for the iron situation to improve. I went to a Coeliac Support group when i had been following a gluten free diet for about a month and can remember some words of encouragement from that.

    Someone told me not to be hard on myself as it is a lot to take on following a new lifestyle learning and re-learning cooking techniques, finding out what you can and can't eat and generally trying to look after yourself and survive when your body hasn't got enough oxygen or iron and you don't have the energy to be bothered.

    As time moves on the diet will become easier as you get used to it and you will feel better as the iron starts to take effect.

    Good luck and don't expect too much too soon.

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. I've been keeping a food diary, I've been avoiding codex wheat starch, I've checked my toiletries and bought new utensils so couldn't understand where I was going wrong. It's good to know that I'm doing things properly even if it is going to take a while to recover.

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