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Is Gluten The Reason For Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue And Panic Attacks
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In 2009 I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease and have been on a gluten free diet ever since. Right after the first few months, I saw considerable improvement. All of my health issues went away, and for the most part I felt like a brand new person. But in the past year, something has gone wrong. I have always dealt with anxiety issues, but in the past year it feels like I have suffered anxiety worse than ever before. along with this I have experienced alot of depression, extreme fatigue, brain fog, being unable to focus, struggles in social situations and struggles to have fun, and even panic attacks. For some reason, all of these things came onto me like a tidal wave, and beat me down to a point of feeling like I have no hope, where I hate myself, making me feel so depressed a lot of the time. Sometimes I would cry uncontrollably, I would feel like I couldn't breathe, and I was so scared of almost every situation in my life. I hated myself because I felt like I could not "come alive" to say, meaning I felt like I could never be energetic or happy enough to have fun, thrive in relationships, or accomplish what I wanted in life. I felt stuck in a fog, lost from reality. I felt mentally insane, and anxiety hit me from every direction. I was a train wreck at the end of high school; it was a total bummer :( These types of things mostly happen when I am under stress or in social situations, where I am with a lot of people for a long amount of time, like school.

After reading all of the posts on this forum, I can relate to so many of what you guys deal with in regards to behavioral issues and gluten. It has caused me to pay extreme attention to what I eat, because if gluten has caused me to become this much of a miserable wreck, I want to stay as far away as possible (or light every molecule of it on fire). It has caused me to think maybe i haven't been as careful as I should be. But is gluten the reason for all of my problems? Why am I suffering from them if I am already on a gluten free diet? How careful can I be when it comes to being in contact with this "poison?" What do I do to never feel like this again?

I am going to college soon. I can't feel like I did in high school, I just won't be able to handle it. Some one please help me figure out how to be happy again, how to come alive and not be stuck in a fog, stop the panic attacks, how to have mental and physical energy again, and how to be able to love myself and thrive in the body God gave me!

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I could not have written a better description of what I experienced internally most of my life. I have been gluten free for almost 2 years. I don't have those episodes, thoughts, or feelings at all anymore...unless...I have gotten traces of gluten. If what you are experiencing is related to gluten, you will have to become extremely careful about cross-contamination and trace gluten. It happens to me every time I get gluten. I'm not sure why some people get the emotional and mental symptoms more than others, but Celiac can effect you with gastrointestinal, dermatological or neurological symptoms. You described my symptoms so well that I would say this could be a neurological manifestation of Celiac. The only way to deal with it if it is gluten related is to get rid of the gluten. You have to be hypervigilant about everything you eat or put on your body or come into contact with. Read, read, read about where gluten can hide and read all labels. Be sure you take vitamins that are gluten free. Many of the B vitamin deficiencies can cause severe depression and anxiety so you must supplement if you are not absorbing properly. If you are going to college, will you be staying in a dorm? Will you be able to prepare your own food or have a fridge in your room? Will you live with gluten eaters? All of these things will be obstacles to overcome so you can stay healthy. It is possible to love yourself and thrive in the body God gave you. You just have to learn what your body needs and then the struggle is to provide it. In my opinion your symptoms are consistent with ongoing cross contamination. Sometimes medications can help. But not if you are not absorbing properly. I was put on massive doses of depression and anxiety medication to help deal with the depression. It didn't help at all because I was not absorbing, but they just kept increasing the doses. Years later I realized I had Celiac and was able to come off all medication. I have only been clean of gluten 2 years but it has been amazing and all those awful feelings are gone. I hope they will be for you too.

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EatMeat4good has said it all so beautifully, so I cannot add much more.

I had all of these symptoms you describe develop in me, too --a few years ago when I became very ill from celiac and the malabsorption, but after 18 months gluten-free, they have vanished and only reappear when glutened by even trace CC. I hate these feelings more than the other awful symptoms I have.

I was never shy or anxious in my entire life, and not given to depressive moods (except for the time I had miscarriages), so I was very confused as to why I was in such a state. I worried I would go mad and I worked hard to stay sane. It was frightening sometimes. My brain was deeply affected by gluten and I used to say to the doctors and my poor husband and family all the time "something is very wrong with me. I do not feel like me at all". I lived in what I call "gluten head hell". It was a nightmare.

It was the gluten.

There is a clear link between depression, anxiety, panic disorder and other neuropsychiatric symptoms and gluten/celiac and the malabsorption it creates.

We lose essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and we cannot function at top speed.

Look here:

https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/depression%2Canxiety%2Cpanic

Honey, if you still feel this way, I have to agree with EatMeat4Good---are you getting glutened somehow??

I hope you feel better soon.

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I was so deficient from years of celiac malabsorption that I had to take a really high-powered "includes everything" supplement to get my mental health to improve. I take EMPowerPlus from http://www.truehope.com and some fish oil.

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Great point, Sky!!

I forgot to mention that I take supps that include these ingredients, too and EFAs. I also take amino acids. Works well to help replenish!

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I've been gluten-free for over a year and having major issues with mood swings and fatigue, depression, anxiety, etc. I also keep wondering if it's accidental ingestion of gluten or something else. (Vitamin deficiency, hormones, etc.)

Just wanted to tell you that you're not alone! Keep coming back to this forum, that's what I do. You will get a lot of support and help here. Hang in there!

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In 2009 I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease and have been on a gluten free diet ever since. Right after the first few months, I saw considerable improvement. All of my health issues went away, and for the most part I felt like a brand new person. But in the past year, something has gone wrong. I have always dealt with anxiety issues, but in the past year it feels like I have suffered anxiety worse than ever before. along with this I have experienced alot of depression, extreme fatigue, brain fog, being unable to focus, struggles in social situations and struggles to have fun, and even panic attacks. For some reason, all of these things came onto me like a tidal wave, and beat me down to a point of feeling like I have no hope, where I hate myself, making me feel so depressed a lot of the time. Sometimes I would cry uncontrollably, I would feel like I couldn't breathe, and I was so scared of almost every situation in my life. I hated myself because I felt like I could not "come alive" to say, meaning I felt like I could never be energetic or happy enough to have fun, thrive in relationships, or accomplish what I wanted in life. I felt stuck in a fog, lost from reality. I felt mentally insane, and anxiety hit me from every direction. I was a train wreck at the end of high school; it was a total bummer :( These types of things mostly happen when I am under stress or in social situations, where I am with a lot of people for a long amount of time, like school.

After reading all of the posts on this forum, I can relate to so many of what you guys deal with in regards to behavioral issues and gluten. It has caused me to pay extreme attention to what I eat, because if gluten has caused me to become this much of a miserable wreck, I want to stay as far away as possible (or light every molecule of it on fire). It has caused me to think maybe i haven't been as careful as I should be. But is gluten the reason for all of my problems? Why am I suffering from them if I am already on a gluten free diet? How careful can I be when it comes to being in contact with this "poison?" What do I do to never feel like this again?

I am going to college soon. I can't feel like I did in high school, I just won't be able to handle it. Some one please help me figure out how to be happy again, how to come alive and not be stuck in a fog, stop the panic attacks, how to have mental and physical energy again, and how to be able to love myself and thrive in the body God gave me!

Have you had your thyroid tested recently? Sometimes people with celiac also have thyroid problems that come and go. My first dance with thyroid issues was around the time I was 20. A lot of your issues go along with thyroid problems. I highly recommend looking into that soon. If it is thyroid, you'll want to get that settled down before starting college!

Are you attending a college near your home? Or are you traveling to a school more distant?

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The way I understand it, our noodles( brains) are mostly made of fatty tissue and nerves. So ifn' that be true, it makes sense that if you can't absorb fats correctly, or at all, that your noodle might be affected. So, it seems like celiac could definitely cause mental symptoms. Not to mention there is a lot of research showing it does. Try a saerach on celiac and pschisophrenia or something spelled similar to that, and celiac and gluten ataxia or celiac and depression. There are lots of articles about how gluten can affect the brain and personality.

There is a possibility you are reacting to another food also. It is not unusual for celiacs to develop additional food intolerances beyond gluten IMHO. Check out some of the member signatures to see what I mean. If it is another food intoelrance (check for gluten first of course) then an eliminaiton diet is a good way to proceed.

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The way I understand it, our noodles( brains) are mostly made of fatty tissue and nerves. So ifn' that be true, it makes sense that if you can't absorb fats correctly, or at all, that your noodle might be affected. So, it seems like celiac could definitely cause mental symptoms. Not to mention there is a lot of research showing it does. Try a saerach on celiac and pschisophrenia or something spelled similar to that, and celiac and gluten ataxia or celiac and depression. There are lots of articles about how gluten can affect the brain and personality.

There is a possibility you are reacting to another food also. It is not unusual for celiacs to develop additional food intolerances beyond gluten IMHO. Check out some of the member signatures to see what I mean. If it is another food intoelrance (check for gluten first of course) then an eliminaiton diet is a good way to proceed.

Yes it could be dairy products. The casein can be a big problem for a lot of people plus there is a ton of hormones in dairy.

Here is a list of the bad things in commercial milk.

http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/health/messages/milk/milk.html

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EatMeat4good has said it all so beautifully, so I cannot add much more.

I had all of these symptoms you describe develop in me, too --a few years ago when I became very ill from celiac and the malabsorption, but after 18 months gluten-free, they have vanished and only reappear when glutened by even trace CC. I hate these feelings more than the other awful symptoms I have.

I was never shy or anxious in my entire life, and not given to depressive moods (except for the time I had miscarriages), so I was very confused as to why I was in such a state. I worried I would go mad and I worked hard to stay sane. It was frightening sometimes. My brain was deeply affected by gluten and I used to say to the doctors and my poor husband and family all the time "something is very wrong with me. I do not feel like me at all". I lived in what I call "gluten head hell". It was a nightmare.

It was the gluten.

There is a clear link between depression, anxiety, panic disorder and other neuropsychiatric symptoms and gluten/celiac and the malabsorption it creates.

We lose essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and we cannot function at top speed.

Look here:

https://sites.google...n,anxiety,panic

Honey, if you still feel this way, I have to agree with EatMeat4Good---are you getting glutened somehow??

I hope you feel better soon.

I have felt like this for SO long.... I only get bad anxiety, depression, etc. when I have been glutenized. It is so nice to not be alone :)

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I feel fatigue and fogginess if I don't get enough Vitamin B 12.

Di

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i was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. But ive suffered from it since i was a little girl.Growin up i could never understand why i would get so depressed at the drop of a dime. Even as im typing this, im having an episode of depression but when i was diagnosed i was never informed that Celiac could effect me neurologically, i was just told about the stomach pain. Reading these forums have help me realize that i need to truly stick to a gluten free diet. im newly engaged to a wonderful man who is currently in Afghanistan. He doesnt know how severe my depression and mood swings are but he has gotten a taste of my anxiety but i dont want to start a new life with him feeling the way that ive felt my whole life. sometimes i really think that its getting worse as the years go on. im not sure i even know where to start with changing my diet around but somethings gotta happen.

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i was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. But ive suffered from it since i was a little girl.Growin up i could never understand why i would get so depressed at the drop of a dime. Even as im typing this, im having an episode of depression but when i was diagnosed i was never informed that Celiac could effect me neurologically, i was just told about the stomach pain. Reading these forums have help me realize that i need to truly stick to a gluten free diet. im newly engaged to a wonderful man who is currently in Afghanistan. He doesnt know how severe my depression and mood swings are but he has gotten a taste of my anxiety but i dont want to start a new life with him feeling the way that ive felt my whole life. sometimes i really think that its getting worse as the years go on. im not sure i even know where to start with changing my diet around but somethings gotta happen.

Hi alexzandryamcnea,

Welcome to the forum! You are right, sticking to the gluten-free diet 100% of the time is very important. The immune system reaction lasts for 10 days or more when triggered by gluten, and that is all time your body is being damaged. So if you are eating gluten or getting cross-contaminated twice a monthj, you are never really past the damage. Over time that continuing inflammation and damage can cause other symptoms to develop, or even other auto-immune diseases. So staying 100% gluten-free is very important to prevent that from happening. In some rare cases peoepl develop cancer even.

Some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months:

Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.

Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.

Don't eat in restaurants

Eat only whole foods not processed foods.

Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.

Take probiotics.

Take gluten-free vitamins.

Take digestive enzymes.

Avoid dairy.

Avoid sugars and starchy foods.

Avoid alcohol.

Helpful threads:

FAQ Celiac com

http://www.celiac.co...celiac-disease/

Newbie Info 101

http://www.celiac.co...ewbie-info-101/

What's For Breakfast Today?

http://www.celiac.co...reakfast-today/

What Did You Have For Lunch Today?

http://www.celiac.co...or-lunch-today/

What Are You Cooking Tonight?

http://www.celiac.co...ooking-tonight/

Dessert thread

http://www.celiac.co...399#entry802399

Easy yummy bread in minutes

http://www.celiac.co...ead-in-minutes/

How bad is cheating?

http://www.celiac.co...t-periodically/

Short temper thread

http://www.celiac.co...per-depression/

Non-celiac wheat sensitivity article

http://www.celiac.co...ists/Page1.html

Thread For gluten-free, Dairy, Soy, Corn And Nightshade Free Recipes

http://www.celiac.co...e-free-recipes/

Super Easy Meal Ideas Anyone?

http://www.celiac.co...l-ideas-anyone/

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One thing I can add is that it's very important to have a positive support system for you. I have been struggling with what you have, as well but have found that a combination of suppliments, gluten-free diet and transformative psychological work has really helped. More importantly though, who you surround yourself with is almost just as important. I've had people I've thought were my friends doubt that my severe anxiety was linked to diet and I've had to muster the strength to no longer surround myself with them. I hope you have people you can rely on in your truth and that you are seeking councelling.

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One thing I can add is that it's very important to have a positive support system for you.

I've had people I've thought were my friends doubt that my severe anxiety was linked to diet and I've had to muster the strength to no longer surround myself with them.

I agree, As we heal from the damage from celiac, a positive attitude is essential.

No "Debbie Downers", doubters or angry/negative people allowed around me anymore. Works for me! :)

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I am sorry Ì don`t have much to offer, as I am so new to this ... but May I suggest that along with the great advice i have read, you may be stressing?

From what I read, you may be (only speculating here) working yourself up a bit over the possibilities of problems, nervousness about starting college (and all that goes with it), fear of being sick again, fear that you will hav esetbacks by cross contamination... etc... all this could be combining so that you feel overwhelmed by it all. See, your brain and body are intricately linked.

I suggest you take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and try to first get in the right frame of mind.

Our thoughts and feelings work with or against our bodies. Problems with one lead to problems with the other and so on. In my experience, the best place to start is with our heart. Take a breath. Relax.

Exodus 33;14

First, work on letting go of the stress and the fears; then work on the body.

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    • Thank you everyone! Good to know I am not alone with this. I am asking for a referral to a new cardio. Hopefully it will all go away the longer I am gluten-free. It started up in February/March after a gluten challenge and mostly vanished until July when I had a lot of shortness of breath. It absolutely was CRAZY just a few days after the glutening. I was gasping for breath and the beats were all over the place just walking through a parking garage and I was only mildy anemic at the time.   But it seems to "quiver" and do funny things for a bit still. I sort of theorized maybe it was inflammation in the heart because after this last glutening, my head felt like it was in a vice and my eyes would sting or get stabbing pain hurt (that is finally going away thankfully...knock on wood).  The head/eye pressure I learned also happens to my sibling who has celiac and his naturopath told him that sometimes the brain gets inflamed. Hopefully I can meet the new cardio soon and feel confident that he is taking me seriously. It is sort of difficult to feel confident in the opinion of a doctor that your ticker is ok when they are not really listening and end up making you cry. LOL. A friend of mine in the mental health field recently listened to my story of doc after doc and test after test and said that it was akin to the folk story of blind men describing an elephant. A group of blind men all feel one part of an elephant (tusk, tail, ear, tail) and then compare notes only to find they all disagree.  In some  versions they argue intensely. In other versions they have to collaborate and listen to each other in order to "describe" an elephant.    
    • Good afternoon! I am new to this board and fairly new to researching Celiac Disease, although I had a general idea what it was. My health has become a huge mystery to me, and it's one that I am desperate to solve. The biggest issue right now is horrible, life affecting fatigue. I have been dealing with it for several years now- as many as 5 to 6. It has gotten progressively worse, and nothing at all helps. Sleep apnea has been ruled out. Intestinal issues are something I have dealt with for almost two decades. I'm 45, but I've already had two colonoscopies as well as two endoscopies. My first endoscopy was as a child for persistent, severe stomach pain. My last colonoscopy and endoscopy was two years ago. The only thing that has come from those is an Irritable Bowel type condition and GERD, which is pretty bad. My bowel movements have always been crazy. They can be very normal and healthy to completely crazy. I've had periods of persistent diarrhea to occasional constipation, which is a fairly new thing within the last year. Last week, I went from having diarrhea that morning to hard, round balls of stool by that evening. My most common stools here lately, though, are not quite diarrhea, but more fluffy, large piles. Gas is an ongoing, daily issue for me. I have copious amounts of gas every day no matter what I eat or drink. Most of the gas in non-odorous but it can be very loud. I am currently on a total of 60 mg of Ritalin per day just to function. I often add energy pills, purchased from places such as GNC, because the Ritalin isn't working. Yesterday, I took both doses of Ritalin and two energy pills, and I passed out on the couch after work. I work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, and my work day is nothing too crazy. I try to keep very consistent sleep hours and could easily sleep to 1:00pm or longer if I don't have to get up for something. I sometimes have short periods of energy in the mornings, but that is usually over by noon. The quality of my life is greatly affected. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything because I am way too tired. I'm trying to keep up with my exercising, but that is also a struggle.  I have a history of clinical depression for practically all my adulthood, but it has been very well managed for the last four years. The fatigue is currently causing a great deal of depression, but it is very different from the clinical depression that I use to deal with. When I don't feel sleepy and tired, I don't feel depressed. When the fatigue sets in, I feel very irritable and sad. I realize that the stimulants can cause irritability, but I don't feel irritable or sad when I'm not feeling fatigued.  I've only recently began to explore that the fatigue and the intestinal issues could be related. I have always accepted that I have a sensitive, cooky digestive track. The increasing, unrelenting fatigue is what has lead me to exploring the possibility that everything could be related. I did have blood work last November. My doctor did not test for anything Celiac Disease specific, but she did do a Vitamin D, ferritin level and overall metabolic panel. All of that is normal. My thyroid level is also normal, and I do take thyroid hormone because I had half of my thyroid removed 11 years ago due to what turned out to be a benign thyroid tumor.  I just saw my doctor two weeks ago, and she increased the dosage of my Ritalin. That has not helped at all. She has never mentioned Celiac Disease to me before. I made an appointment for this Friday afternoon to talk about it, but I keep wondering if I'm even heading in a direction that makes sense. I decided to post here for some guidance. I'm sorry this has been so long. I'm not really into cutting something totally out of my diet just to see what happens. I also feel like that if I have something that is poisoning my system, I need a real clinical diagnosis of that. I feel like maybe I'm grasping at straws now and imagining a correlation that isn't there. I am not looking for a quick fix, but right now I have no idea what needs to be fixed. I am open to any information and/or suggestions. Thanks so much!   Jennifer
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    • I too have heart palps, flutters, skips whatever you want to call them. Ecg shows nothing. I was told by my doctor it is due to my low iron which is due to celiac. They pretty much went away after being gluten-free. But occasionally do come back. I've actually been having them for the past 3 days. But I was glutened with really severe reaction about a week ago so not sure if its due to that. Or if iron is low right now. I am on supplements but it still goes up and down. I hear you about doctors. It seems if you don't do research yourself or ask questions they don't say or do or test for anything. 
    • For a number of years pre diagnosis I had irregular heartbeats - anything from a fluttering type thing to seemingly skipping one or more beats to rapid beats to something like a short drum riff. I had multiple ECG's which didn't find anything odd. It never did it when I was at the doctors or getting the ECG's. Sometimes it seemed to pound very hard & rapid, at these times I discovered if I just laid down flat on my back, it would restore normal rhythm almost instantly. These things happened at random whether I was at rest, sitting, standing, running or working hard. It was always short lived -- lasting only 1 to several seconds, perhaps the longest was close to a minute. I too have little faith in docs as I've had my share of being blown off, to misdiagnoses. The whole heart thing quit after I had been gluten-free for a while but if I get glutened, it returns.
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