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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Untreated Celiac Disease Often Comes with Psychological Burden

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Image: CC--noshi

    Celiac.com 10/28/2015 - Image: CC--noshiA team of researchers recently set out to review the medical literature for psychological morbidity associated with celiac disease.

    The team included F. Zingone, G.L. Swift, T.R. Card, D.S. Sanders, J.F. Ludvigsson, and J.C. Bai. They are variously associated with the University of Salerno, Department of Medicine and Surgery in Salerno, Italy, the Department of Gastroenterology at University Hospital Llandough in Cardiff, Wales, UK, the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at The University of Nottingham in Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK, the Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital & the University of Sheffield, UK, the Department of Pediatrics at Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Department of Medicine, "C. Bonorino Udaondo" Gastroenterology Hospital, Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    For their study, the team searched PubMed for all papers on psychological aspects of celiac disease, specifically quality of life, anxiety, depression and fatigue, published between 1900 and June, 2014.

    Their results showed that anxiety, depression and fatigue are common complaints in patients with untreated celiac disease and contribute significantly to lower quality of life. While aspects of these conditions may improve within a few months after starting a gluten-free diet, some patients continue to suffer from significant psychological morbidity.

    These psychological symptoms may have an impact on the quality of life and the dietary adherence for people with celiac disease.

    The team encourages health care professionals to keep in mind any associated psychological burdens when treating patients with celiac disease.

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    I've been working with a lot of doctors and we have found that inflammation in the digestive system causes poor absorption of vitamins, which causes depression and anxiety. I got my neurotransmitter levels tested and found they where really out of balance. Now I take vitamin supplements and get Cocktails to increase vitamin levels. And Yay! It totally works!!!!

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    I have suffered from clinical anxiety, panic attacks and depression since I was 20. Took effexor for over 12 years for it. Those psychological conditions as well as IBS, anemia, irregularity and foggy brain have cleared up entirely since discovering I had gluten enteropathy 5 years ago. I'm now 67. Which basically means I suffered with a lack of self esteem due to those conditions all my life. Even though my sister nearly died of celiac in 1948 as a six-month old, not one doctor, EVER, thought to see if gluten might be at the bottom of everything for me also. I sometimes painfully think on how different my life might have been had some doctor thought to check into this for me!

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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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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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