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Maureen

Depression

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Hi everyone,

I am new here. My daughter has suffered her whole life from depression. It has gradually gotten worse over the years. She is almost 15 years old. I have her on a vegan diet but have been reading more and more info about celiac disease causing depression. She is a carboholic. She absolutely loves bread, pasta, and any grain. It is normal for her to eat 2-3 PB&J sandwiches each day plus other breads and grains.

She is wonderful about trying anything new to help cure her of this. She so desperately wants to get better. I took her off of gluten 6 days ago. She has had tremendous headaches the last couple of days. I am guessing she is detoxing. I am wondering if anyone has had any success stories that have to do with depression? If so, how long does it take to start feeling better after giving up the wheat/gluten?

Thanks!

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Hi Maureen,

Glad to hear you are on the right track... I have celiac disease/gluten intolerance and used to suffer from depression. I felt better by the day after going gluten-free. If I ever accidentally consume gluten (even a miniscule amount, like licking a stamp! :blink:), I get a week's worth of illness, which for me is mainly neurological - brain fog, irritiability, chronic fatigue and depression. I know now that my 13 years of on-off depression (sometimes merely irritable or down, sometimes full blown what's-the-point) was down to how gluten reacts with my brain. This link is not new, and it infuriates me that my doctors were so quick to stick me on medication rather than find the underlying cause. My hat is off to you for taking action on your daughter's behalf. I think the fact that she is 'detoxing' means you will probably have VERY positive results with the gluten-free diet. Good luck and please let us know how you and her get on.

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading the following book:

Dangerous Grains - James Braly MD, Ron Hoggan MD.

It addresses a lot of the non-classic gluten intolerance symptoms.

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I noticed improvement in some other symptoms after the first few days, but it was probably a couple of weeks before I started having really good - not at all depressed, jump out of bed - kind of days. And it was still sporadic at that time. I'd have a good day, then a few "normal" for me, depressed, days. Then after another couple of weeks I noticed I was having a couple of good days at a time, and fewer bad days in between. It probably took me a good 2 to 2-1/2 months before "good" days were the norm. And if I get glutened, I can slip back. But I recover much faster now. It does get better.

Debbie

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First, kudos for you for recognizing childhood depression. I've suffered since I was 9, was never properly treated and so it eventually developed into dysthymia- I'm on zoloft for life. So anyhow, it may be awhile for your daughter to completely get the gluten out of her system since she was such a carboholic. Is she a caffeine drinker also? Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches.

When I get glutened the depression is much more than my zoloft can handle. I just have to tough it out until it passes. Does you dd think that the gluten-free diet is helping? I sure hope it works for her, since the emotional pain from depression can be so very crippling.

Please let us know how she's doing.

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My depression and anxiety were greatly reduced after a good 3 months gluten free. It happened little by little and by the 4th month, I was waking up in a calm, positive mood almost daily. I would give it a bit more time--best of luck to her and hope she feels better.

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Hi Maureen,

I have 16 year old son whose vegan (I'm vegetarian) who has suffered from sadness most of his life. My hubby and I could never figure it out...we have a good life...vacations...stable home but he always was sad. Now that he is gluten free he has improved immensely!! He's looking forward to university and our trip we have planned for march break He's a totally different kid! What a relief. It did take a while for him to heal. Have your daughter go off wheat and start taking vitamins and probiotics. Vitamin B's are very crucial.

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It varies person to person, but for me, it was several months. What are her other symptoms besides depression?

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Traveljunkie made an excellent suggestion regarding the B vitamins. I posted before, but I wanted you to know that the B's helped me--especially B6. :)

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Thanks for all the replies. She has depression and social anxiety. We had to admit her into a psychiatric hospital (day program) this week because she cuts herself. There is no reason for the depression. My husband and I have a good marriage. Everything in her life is very good and she knows it. She is sad and she can't explain why she is sad. She started high school this year and it was completely overwhelming for her. She has not adjusted well at all and the cutting got worse.

I make vegetable juice every morning for her. She also takes barley grass three times a day. I also give her B-complex vitamins. Last week I took her to Pfeiffer treatment center. They test hair, blood, and urine to determine what kind of deciencies she has. Then she will be put on specific vitamins for her needs. We have to wait a month for the test results.

She used to be ADD but since I have changed her diet the ADD is gone. She just got her report card and got straight A's for the first semester in HS. I was impressed.

She is not a caffeine drinker. The headache was gone today. It could also be from all the stress of what she is going through this week too.

How important is it to be 100% gluten free? She went out with some friends and they had pizza. I hate for her to feel so left out. It is so hard for a 14 year old to give up milk, meat, sweets, and now gluten. There is not much left for her. She feels like such an outsider because of the social anxiety and now this crazy diet. I give her credit for doing as good as she has. She is probably 95% gluten free. I haven't learned everything about where the gluten is hiding either. Things have been very busy with the hospital and Thanksgiving.

She hasn't said whether there is improvement yet. I don't want to ask and bug her. She is going through so much that it would be too hard to judge anyway.

Thanks,

Maureen

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Hi Maureen,

This diet has to be 100% for it to work. Pizza and barley grass juice will not cut it. Sorry, probably not what you want to hear. While she is in for vitamin tests, why not have her tested for celiac as well? Some people who test negative for it do have their health improve while gluten free. For those of us who do test positive, it is absolutely imperitive that we maintain a 100% gluten-free diet, and a positive diagnosis makes the decision to follow the diet that much easier.

Merika

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You're right......not what I want to hear. How accurate are the tests for celiac? Is it a blood test? Who would I go to to have her tested? I have read so much information and I am still not sure what the difference is between celiac and gluten intolerance. Can someone explain in simple terms the difference for me?

Thanks,

Maureen

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Hi Maureen,

So glad you're doing everything to help your daughter. Like I mentioned before my son suffered from sadness. I can't help but think part of the problem is the stress teens have these days. I know with all the media about the state of the world and the issues kids deal with everyday, my son always feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. I know when I was 16, I only cared about music, dating and cars. It seems teens(the ones I know) are so involved with enviromental and political issues(which can be good) that they feel they carry a burden to "fix" the world and it's problem. Then there's high school and it's so different from when I went that I can't even help him with homework!

You're definetely on the right track with eliminating gluten from her diet and yes, she will go through withdrawals.

I 'm not an expert but I believe the difference between Celiac and intolerance is with Celiac you are damaging your small intestine to the point of many other diseases being able to manifest(cancer,malnutrition,diabetes,etc.) and with gluten intolerence it's more of a allergy or irritant to the body. Like being intolerant to dairy, it won't cause damage but has many other uncomfortable side effects.

Good luck with your daughter and keep us posted!

Hi, its me again, about the tests for Celiac, the blood test can be inaccurate. I've had it, showed up negative but was gluten free for months. There are more invasive tests such as a endoscope that will take some tissue samples from her small intestine to look for flattened villi. Then there's a lab called Enterolab that analyzes your poo sample for sensitivity and celiac. they can also do a gene test to see if it celiac is in your family genes.You can find them online just do a seach. I've personally sent for the tests and should recieve soon.

There's a book out there called Dangerous Grains...you should read it! It helped me immensely and it answered alot of questions about some past behaviour in both myself and my son.

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Hi,

My 1 year old son is right in the middle of being tested for celiac disease. We've heard that it's a genetic disorder and so at first I ruled it out totally because I thought for sure we would know if one or both of us had celiac disease. We've only been at the diet for him for a week and the more I read about it, I'm finding a few unlikely coincidences. I have been depressed for a very long time and absolutely no one knows about it, not even my husband. My mom has fibromyalgia, which we've learned has the possibility of being linked to a gluten sensitivity. I'm just so unsure of what to do at this point. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws. I just want my baby to be healthy. I would love some advice on how to make this happen, since his dr has been a little lacking in information.

Thanks a lot,

Slamey

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Wow, do I feel like a bad mom right now. My 4th son, from a small child would throw himself on the floor and say, "No one loves me!" He was angry often and sad a lot too. He had learning disablities in school, ADD and often would just give up on things. I just figured the temper was a part of him, I knew the learning disabilities were a problem and I did everything in my power to help him with this. I really wasn't a bad mom, I am a very caring mom and I did what I could for my kids. I was sick all the time myself and couldn't find out why, I didn't know about celiacs. He had cluster headaches and when they hit, he would cry, sometimes scream--I learned that if I could calm him down and he would relax, he would fall asleep and wake in about 1/2 hour without pain. He has a lot of trouble with relationships and he always goes for women that are very needy with kids. He gets attached to the kids and the women hurt him--it's terrible. The one he is with now and plans to marry, has put him in jail several times, just because, "she can!" and he just doesn't see what she does.

He is 24 now and when Debbie said, "Kudos for recognizing childhood depression!", the light came on for me. I didn't recognize it! I tried everything I could to help him and now--if I ask him to try gluten free and see if it helps, he will laugh at me. It does sound like it is an option he should check into. Thank you, Deb

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Maureen- If your daughter is merely intolerant of gluten, not a Celiac, then having gluten on occasion means she will suffer from any symptoms or discomfort ingesting gluten causes her. If she has Celiac, consuming gluten on occasion will continue to damage her body and put her at an elevated risk of other diseases and cancer. If she is a Celiac, she must be 100% gluten-free. If that is the case, her health will have to take precedent over any feelings of being left out, which I understand is a concern. In time, we adjust, find substitutions and grow accustomed to the new lifestyle.

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Thanks everyone for all the info. I will let you know how she is doing. We slipped up somewhat over thanksgiving but we are back on track now. It is hard to tell if it has made any difference yet. She is going through so much right now and we have not been consistent about staying off of the gluten.

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