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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Do People with Celiac Disease Take More Psychotropic Drugs Than Other Gastrointestinal Patients?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Celiacs can sometimes develop psychiatric disorders. Does that mean that celiac disease patients are more likely to take psychotropic drugs than other gastrointestinal patients?


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    Celiac.com 04/10/2018 - Celiac disease is a multi-system disorder with manifestations that may result in psychiatric disorders. Does that mean that celiac disease patients are more likely to take psychotropic drugs than other gastrointestinal patients? A team of researchers recently set out to assess the prevalence of medication use to treat psychiatric disorders in celiac disease patients compared to other gastrointestinal patients.

    The research team included Haley M. Zylberberg, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Peter H. R. Green, and Benjamin Lebwohl. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Pediatrics, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden; the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA; and with the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York, NY, USA.

    For their cross-sectional study, the team compiled data on patients undergoing esophago-gastroduodenoscopy over 9-years at a celiac disease referral center. They then compared rates of psychotropic medication use among 1,293 celiac disease patients to a control group of 1,401 patients with abdominal pain or reflux.

    Average patient age was 48.4 years, nearly 70% were female, and 22.7% used some sort of psychotropic medication. Overall, the team found no difference between rates of psychotropic medication use among celiac disease patients compared to control subjects.

    However, they did find that people with celiac disease were more likely to use antidepressants. This was confirmed using both univariate and multivariate analysis. Psychotropic medication use was not connected with either the duration or mode of presentation of celiac disease.

    So, even though the data show that celiac disease patients may use more antidepressants, they use psychotropic medications at similar rates as those with other gastrointestinal diseases. 

    From these data, the study team suggests that researchers should try to assess whether people with celiac disease suffer from mood disorders that are not treated with medications.

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    From these data, the study team suggests that researchers should try to assess whether people with celiac disease suffer from mood disorders that are not treated with medications. I think this is a great idea!  I absolutely believe this to be true. If you are like me, you don't take medications or let on to family and friends just how shaky your emotions are. 

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    I cant even properly express myself with these doctors, they read the same info posted online and give you antidepressants to cope with "your mental instability". 4 differnt medications and several foul reations including constant thoughts of suicide and increased anger while already dealing with anger management. 2 years on the gluten free diet, started low fodmop 3 months ago as well to no comfort. Now doing cog. Behavioral therapy and handling the anxiety and weight loss without medications other them medical marijuana and am still feeling the nausea and bloating. Doctors are quick to combine the pain with use of Cbd and low thc product use though i never started smoking/using until i was diagnosed with Ibs but then requested the colonoscopy to be done and confirmed celiac though it is "so hard" to diagnose. Am i crazy could this truely be a problem with my mind? Or can lack of proper nutritional food truely not be the cause of this and if so why not make more resources available? Im glad i found a site where people who know what you are going through. I cant talk well with others but written words help me to express my frustrations.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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