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Guest kim07

Depression And Anxiety

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Guest kim07

IS THERE REALLY A CONNECTION BETWEEN SERIOUS DEPRESSION AND CELIAC DISEASE??

I wrote this post yesterday, but I think it accidently got erased. I'm still gettting used to using this forum, so if this topic is getting boring, please bare with me! :)

I have had depression most of my life, in fact my Father had depression (Bi-polar), as well as me. I am on a TON of medications to treat my depression! I'll be honest, even though I am new to this board, and not proud at all of how many medications I currently take for my depression, I trust (you), the people on this board, since we all share the same disease (Celiac), so I will tell you in hopes for some friendly advice, the drugs I currently take for my depression.

Right now I'm taking, Lexapro, Klonopin (for anxiety), Seroquel, Zonnegran, Adderall XR, and Trileptal.

I do love my psychiatrist (the one I have now), who also believes as well as I do, that we should start cutting back on some of these anti-depressants. But the time is not now.

About a year ago I was tried weaning or getting off of the Klonopin (Clonazepam) first, over one month, that was funny (sarcastic), even though I gave myself a month to get off of the drug, it was litterally impossible to get off of, my body was so used to taking it, I honestly don't know if I can ever get off of this drug, without some kind of hospital stay with (medicine type) help, in order to get through the horrendous withdrawl symptoms to help me successfully get off of this drug.

I want off of it so bad mentally, I mean its not even helping me anymore for anxiety, I've been on it about 4-5 years now, and the effects of the drug, have diminished greatly, but my body is "physiologically", or physically addicted to it.

When that failed, of course, I was, to say the least really upset. I did it really slowly, I cut it down very slowly over a month, but it didn't matter how slow I went, I just couldn't get off of it, I had really miserable withdrawl symptoms.

I realize Klonopin or Clonazapam (same drug) benzodiazapine, is a drug I might have to be on the rest of my life, and that really, really makes me :angry: , angry, to say the least. For its what you call a (benzo), and I hear sometimes its harder than any street drug to get off of, that scares me to death, I don't want to be on it forever.

The doctor I received that drug from, didn't tell me, "Oh Kim, by the way you might be on this for the rest of your life!". That would have given me an option, a choice, to say "NO"! I wouldn't have taken it, if I knew I would have been hooked for the rest of my life. He was a horrible psychiatrist, and in my opinion for many reasons an unethical one as well.

Anyways to make a long story short-- about 1 1/2 years ago, I had a nervous break- down due to problems in my marriage. Now I can say with much happiness and relief, that my marriage is truly in wonderful shape, and we are the happiest I think we have ever been.

But during that time of my emotional breakdown, I went through several psychiatrists, and not always good ones. They tried me on several different drugs, one was Verapamil, the other is Lithium, might be helpful for some, but really bad for me. They seemed only to make my moods worse.

Unfortunately, at around the same time, I was also diagnosed with "manic-depression", and I have to say I was having pretty bad manic episodes. I think that's why the previous psychiatrists prescribed lithium. I never had manic depression till my thirties, or manic episodes till my thirties, just plain old depression.

The manic episodes are what almost ended my marriage.

Long story short, (I think I already said that!) sorry... I finally met my previous psychiatrist! I do believe she is an excellent, excellent doctor! Finally I feel I found someone who can help me, and who cares. But she sort of got me at a horrible time, a time in which, I was in a major breakdown, my marriage was close to ruin, and we tried several, several drugs before finding anything that worked.

She realized right off the bat that the previous medicines prescribed to me (Verapamil and Lithium) weren't working, and took me off. However I was soooooooo sick at that time, and depressed, it did take a lot of medications to get me out of my manic spot, and out of my super low depression.

Now fast forward 2 years. During that manic stage also, was about the time I realized I had Celiac Sprue. I got it as a result from a fairly routine stomach opperation "hietal hernia" to stop extreme gerd, or acid reflux, that would wake me up in the middle of the night, coughing, and burning the heck out of my esophogus". It was truly horrible.

It would wake up not only me, but my poor husband! Almost every single night. Anyway, they did a series of tests and both told me, got 2 opinions, and was told, I really didn't have a choice but to have this "hietal hernia" operation. Pretty simple operation, no big deal.

A couple of months later is when the symptoms of sprue started, and I was told surgery could trigger the sprue to occur. Of course, at this time I had no idea what was happening to me just that I was having annoying gastro-related symptoms.

The first symptoms were: that I bloated up like a huge "balloon", I had cramping, bathroom issues, constipation, etc. I saw my first gastroenterologist. She felt my stomach, ordered a promethius test, did a biopsy and "WA LA" , I think its Celiac Sprue!

I had never heard of such a condition, thought the lady was freakin crazy! When she told me about my "new life of restrictions, on what I had to eat, and what I couldn't", I left and said, hmmmm, no thanks!

Denial set in, then some research on the web when I was board, then the questions, how much is too much gluten?, really, is this so bad?, I mean gluten never bothered me before?? Why now, all of those familiar questions.... we all know so well, from here.

I tried experimenting with the diet for about 4 months, not knowing how to read labels at all, just trying my best, but not having the proper knowledge or skills. I went to one Celiac Meeting. They only have 4 a year where I live, its kind of depressing how few they have. Got a few books, that sadly ended up getting dusty on my bookshelf.

I wasn't following the diet , I know that now, because now I actually am following the diet, actually to a "T", and I see all the mistakes I was making over the last 2 years.

Today- things are quite different. Let's just say, I can't eat gluten anymore at all. And it took a Huge wake up call for me to realize and except it. 4 weeks ago, I had a very miserable reaction that has changed my whole outlook on celiac disease!

I went to my favorite Chinese place for dinner, PH CHANGS, I never had a problem eating from their gluten free menu before, I ordered the same dish I always do. I ordered that dish with gluten free soy sauce. The sauce didn't taste like the same sauce they usually give me. But I didn't notice enough to realize it was real soy sauce. I ate the whole dish, because it was so good! And I finished all my sauce. Thinking gosh, it was really good tonight, I usually have left-overs the next day. I must have been really hungry.

The next day I broke out in hives all over my body! I itched so terribly, I've never itched so intensly like this before, I was crying, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't wear clothes, I had this one throw that didn't irritate my skin so I didn't have to walk around totally in the nude all the time, water just "killed" my skin, I couldn't take baths like I used to, I bathed maybe twice a week, because everytime I got in the water my skin would immediately start flushing and breaking out in these little bumps and start itching insanely again. Even my husband's touch "irritated" my skin so much it would break me out in hives. It was miserable!

I knew right away that it was probably the soy sauce. And I remembered how it tasted differently than ususal. And Finally This Was My Eye Opener To Accepting My Celiac Disease, and having to finally face it and start taking care of myself!

Now I'm on a fairly high dose of Prednisone to keep the hives under control, and am on 2 antihistamines as well to also help. I'm getting off of the prednisone soon, and am praying the itching and hives will have stopped by then. Both my allergist and dermotologist say Hives have there own way of thinking, or working, they stop when they want too. So I'm hoping they've run their course.

I have changed my whole outlook on my disease, as well as my health. I feel like this was a sign (from somewhere, from me I call it above), saying TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF ), so I actually am now, I don't eat anything that doesn't actually state it is gluten free on the package or box, or listed on one of the delphi lists, or all call the company and ask for a list of the gluten-free items, I never ever ever will eat out again in a restaurant, I don't want to now, I'm utterally petrified! For thanksgiving my family and my husband are eating out at an old restaurant I used to love, for me, only Iced Tea please, and that is just fine with me. I don't trust anybody or anything that I have not thouroughly checked inside out out. I've changed all of my beauty products to Gluten free, make up, laundry soap, and I have noticed a huge difference in my showers! Water doesn't make me break out as bad as it used too.

Believe it or not I'm so grateful for this experience, because I do want to get healthier, and I don't want to one day have a deadly consequence of ignoring my Celiac Disease like Lymphoma, or whatever.

I just wanted to ask mainly to anyone on the board interested: Do people on this board, actually do believe in the connection between Celiac disease and Depression? I am brand new on an all Gluten free diet, (only 2 weeks successfully)!! But now I want to do this, where as before I didn't. That is a huge difference!

I haven't been severely depressed I would say for about 3 to 4 months, of course "everyday depression" at least for me, is an every day problem, but its been getting better. However my depression getting bettter I contribute mostly to my marriage being stronger, and to a wonderful patient husband.

I know its too soon to expect to feel better (depression wise), Way Too Soon,

But do you think someone like me who has had a lifetime struggle with depression will feel better after let's say 6 months on a totally gluten free diet?? I have never been on this many drugs, and I just hope being totally gluten free will help me with my mood. So eventually I can get off of some.

I really wondering just what the scientific correlation is between gluten, the brain, and serotonin,

Sorry I wrote a book, :unsure:

gosh, now you know all about me

Now you all know all (I feel so vulnerable)! Just Kidding.

kim

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Hi Kim, Wow--you've been though a lot. Since you were diagnosed with Celiac, I'm glad that you're following a gluten free lifestyle. 100% from now on--whats past is past--you can take control of your health from now on. I can't speak to the medicines you are on now, I have no experience there, but to answer your question about the celiac disease-depression link--there is one, absolutely. Your issues are more complicated than mine--I suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of my Celiac. 3-4 months gluten-free and vitamins especially B6 helped me greatly. Since you are currently working with a Psychiatrist that you trust, hopefully he/she can help you adjust as the gluten-free diet takes hold, especially regarding the meds. Please keep in touch--there's a lot of good info. here :)

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You definitely are a survivor kid!!! And the world of celiac disease isn't all that bad. And I've always believed things happen for a reason - that last glutening you got was a real wake up (ooh, is there a pun in there-hives keeping you awake..sorry) so now you can start on your new life of becoming healthier than you've been in a long time. And yes, celiac disease and depression are linked. Or at least untreated celiac disease. I don't know which is worse when I'm accidentally glutened - the physical (extreme fatigue, tummy issues) or the depression. I'm on zoloft permanently as it is (dysthymia) but the depression is so much more than what my meds can handle - there's nothing to do but let it run its course. And I had my depressive episodes years before I developed celiac disease. I've tried getting off of zoloft since I've become completely gluten-free in the past two months (I had been giving myself a low-level glutening for years by eating cold cereal flavored w/malt. Must thank this forum for finally opening my eyes to that). But I can't. That old black nothingness comes back around the edges creeping up on my psyche - just can't take that. So zoloft for me for the rest of my life. Can think of worse things I suppose.

So, just take one day at a time, I'm happy that your relationship is stable and nurturing. That makes a world of difference. I had three emotionally abusive husbands (not all at the same time) but finally got a good therapist and now have the most wonderful supportive man (who's in the kitchen making the stuffing for tomorrow - a trained chef no less. He understands my celiac disease and gluten-free diet, I just didn't want any stuffing this year so he's making it for everyone else).

Get your celiac disease under control first, then start thinking about your meds. Don't expect too much too soon. A lot has happened, but you are on your way! And, yes, it would be wonderful to at least cut back on meds, I know how you feel about that. Do what you can and still keep your mental health. That is definitely just as important as physical health.

Happy T-Day and let us know how you get on.

Annette

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But do you think someone like me who has had a lifetime struggle with depression will feel better after let's say 6 months on a totally gluten free diet?? I have never been on this many drugs, and I just hope being totally gluten free will help me with my mood. So eventually I can get off of some.

I really wondering just what the scientific correlation is between gluten, the brain, and serotonin,

YES, there is a definate connection, for some of us the depression is the only symptom for years. I have a history similar to yours. So do both of my children. For our family depression is one of the first signs we have been glutened. Our psychiatric symptoms go beyond that though. I was diagnosed bi-polar and epileptic at one point also. We are perfectly normal without gluten. It took only about 3 weeks gluten-free for me to see a real difference, my DS took longer to be totally depression free because of lots of accidental poisonings but he now has no symptoms either. Unless glutened.

Talk to you doctor when you have been gluten-free for a while and get a plan for weaning off the drugs if needed. Also make very certain by asking your pharmacist that all your meds are gluten-free. If they are not you are trying to withdraw from both the gluten and the drug which would make it doubly difficult. You already know that it is dangerous to just stop suddenly but once you have stabalized your system through diet you should be able to succeed in stoping these. Under your doctors care of course. Check out the following link for a good article on depression and Celiac.

http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3042

Best Wishes

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Hello,

I was reading your post and it shows the negligence in conventional medicine. Those drugs merely attempt to mask symptoms and don't get to the root of your depression. Tryptophan is the only amino acid that actually makes serotonin. If you don't have a pro-serotonin diet you're fighting a losing battle. My advice to you is to stay completely gluten free and take some L-tryptohan.. It's safe and effective and just like an anti-depressant it may take 1-2 months to kick in. If you have no energy and L-tyrosine to the mix. I would get the book the "The Mood Cure" since it explains that depressed people don't have a prozac deficiency...Most of us are brainwashed into thinking drugs are the answer and they do more harm then good...Once you build up your depleted serotonin/dopamine/norepinephrine levels, the depression will lift, the anxiety will subside and your sleep will normalize. I'm here to help if you need me, so ask any questions you like!!! I would stop wasting your money on shrinks also since your not truly mentally ill....It's amazing what gluten can do to your state of well-being..God Bless

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You are certainly in the right place - lots of us have experienced severe depression and anxiety that was called a whole bunch of things that were actually celiac related. I developed epilepsy as a result of untreated celiac and have been to all the big epilepsy centers in the US. Not one doc mentioned the connection between celiac and epilepsy. I was having so much depression and anxiety and they all said I just have to expect that due to the anxiety. The depression would come on all of a sudden and I'd be suicidal even though the day before I felt fine and not depressed. It would last for several days and leave as mysteriously as it came. In addition to feeling depressed I felt crazy. I think now that it probably came as a result of ingesting gluten. Anyway, I have been gluten free for seven months and the anxiety and depression are gone. It took a few months before they went away. I still get run of the mill down about life but it is so manageable and it is not depression like before. I had so many med reactions that I couldn't take any meds and just had to gut through the depression and anxiety. I feel no need for any meds for depression and anxiety. Hang in there and it will get better for you as well. We all have degrees of difficulty due to all our individual factors, it mostly takes time and discipline to stay gluten-free. And that gets easier. Dpression can also be caused by yeast infections which many celiacs have. I know in my case taking care of the yeast infection has been as important as going gluten-free. A great site to learn about yeast infections is candidafree.com. Good luck. you deserve it~!!

fritzicurls

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