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Guest olenkae

Bipolar Disorder And Gluten Free Diet

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Guest olenkae

Hi everyone,

My name is Alex and I am new to the forum.

I am bipolar and have been on meds (Depakine and Cipralex) for last 2 years. I tried to go off drugs about a month ago (I would like to get pregnant) but I had alsmost an immediate relapse.

Since then I have been back on my meds again.

Two days ago I decided to try a gluten free diet as I was told this might help my bipolar dis.

I must admit I am really reluctant and afraid to stop my meds before I have an absolute certainty that the gluten free diet is a solution to the problem.

Will I be able to tell if it works or now while still on meds?

I will appreciate your thoughts.

Cheers,

Alex

ps. Sorry for my English. It's not my mother tongue.

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It's a possibility that it will help you. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar and had episodes, but since going gluten free I have been very stable. Actually, things improved when I initially went on the Atkins diet. Also, going off of birth control pills made a difference as well.

I made some posts about this recently as my doc was considering this diagnosis again - coincidentally after I got manic on birth control (trying it for the first time in 4 years) and then got pretty depressed after going off of it, for two weeks. But then I was ok again.

I am so amazed to the extent that food and hormones can influence emotion that I would recommend anyone with diagnoses of bipolar, etc, try eliminating birth control pills and gluten from their diet to see if there is improvement. I don't mean to go off meds, but to see if diet helps, and then if there seems to be some improvement, maybe working with your doctor, try reducing meds.

Stephanie

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My dad is bipolar and has lots of issues that I think are related to celiac disease, unfortunately he was tested by a consistently faulty doctor - his tests came back normal, but I still think he has it <_<

Anyway - if you choose to go on the gluten-free diet, give it plenty of time. I've struggled with serious depression throughout my life (started anti-depressants at age 16, after I'd attempted suicide - then took them off and on for about the next 15 years). My depression, anger, and anxiety didn't resolve immediately after going on the diet - it took months of being gluten free before I noticed a significant change. But I *definitely* have noticed a change. And when I am 'glutened' - I go into a manic swing of my own: crying, full of rage, unable to concentrate, and feeling hopeless. It's lots of fun. :rolleyes: (Happened just yesterday - my boyfriend calls me "Pugg" - Psycho Unstable Gluten Girl :P)

If you think you might have celiac disease and want to know for sure, don't go gluten-free before you have the tests, the results will be skewed. If you don't really care about a diagnosis, then definitely try it - just realize that it wont be an instant change.

I really wish you the best. I see how hard it is for my dad to live with a bipolar disorder every day (his case is medication resistant and he's been unable to find anything that really helps him :(

One of the reasons I stay on this diet (*one*) is that I don't want to end up like my dad. I'm terrified that if I started consuming gluten that's where I would be 20 years from now. Not an option for me ;)

Good luck!!

- Michelle :wub:

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Guest olenkae

Thanks, guys, for your answers.

I never attended forums but I have been reading some posts recently and am surprised how helpful it is. It is a great relief to know that I am not the only one...which as a matter of fact used to make me even more depressed.

For years I have been struggling with depression, manic symptoms, social phobia, low self esteem, eating disorder, migraines, teeth problems (no enamel), back pains, acne, constant fatigue, sinuses problems and many others...and I simply thought I am an 'unfortunate freak of nature'. My husband calls me as a hight maintanance case. He is tired of giving me rubs, everlasting talks ebout my emotional imbalance...etc. and I actually do not blame him. Our relationship suffered a lot and we nearly broke up on numerous ocassions.

Now, when on drugs, it's been pretty stable for last 2 years. I have felt happy and fulfillled, or relationship blossomed and is better than ever.

Therefore I am so afraid to stop the drugs. Would never jeopardise what I have achieved.

BUT if I could ttry something else than drugs, i.e. as 'simple' as the gluten- free diet, then why not?

:)

Will keep you informed how it goes.

Cheers,

Alex

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Alex,

My advice is to stay on the drugs until you have a solid 4 (or 6 if you can hold out) months of a gluten-free diet. It took about 5 months before I became more stable.

Recently I read a research document talking about Celiac. It said that those who were "asymptomatic" (no real pronounced gastrointestinal symptoms) were far more likely to have neurological expression of the disease. That made perfect sense to me - because that's exactly how it was for me! (I learned about celiac disease when my doctor and I were trying to figure out why I have osteoporosis. I had *no* GI symptoms!)

I'm so excited for you :) I wish, with all of my heart, that my dad would try this. I'm sure that I got the disease from him (his mother is "allergic" to wheat/rye/oats - but has never been tested and many of his family members also have correlated symptoms but haven't been tested).

Your life will be so much better ;)

Remember that it's really hard at first for everyone, and that you need to be extremely cautious of all foods you ingest. As little as 1/10th of a gram of gluten is enough to activate an autoimmune response (as noted in research available here on celiac.com).

Hang in there!!! We are with you :)

- Michelle :wub:

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Reading this thread with interest, as my middle daughter who was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease is trying to find the right combo of meds for her bipolar, which is also fairly new and SCARY (for her mom anyhow!). She's finding the whole gluten-free lifestyle hard to embrace and I'm so thankful I've been dealing with it long enough to be able to give her answers when she has questions or to direct her to where she can find the answer if I don't know.

I'd love to hear that others feel better with their bipolar issues after being gluten-free for a while. My daughter has more GI symptoms than I did/do, and doesn't feel well much of the time... so feeling physically better AND mentally better can ONLY be a plus!!

All this said... her doctor told her that if a food/medication says simply "modified food starch" that it means it's soy starch and that she can have it. I told her that she can't take the chance. This same doctor told her she also has a "wheat allergy"... but she felt like a croissant this morning so she ate it. "Then we're not talking about the same thing," said my daughter... "because if you have Celiac Disease, eating a croissant is not an option."

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Guest olenkae

Michelle,

I can give it a go...and stay on drugs until my gluten-free diet starts working. On the other hand however, I would like to start trying for a baby...but definitely not while I am on the meds. How can I combine those two?

There are three options - either I take a chance and drop the drugs while trying to fall pregnant, or I stay on drugs while being pregnant...or I wait a few months, then drop the drugs and fall pregnant. Which option is best? Hard to decide.

I have been trying to discuss that with my psychiatrist and he reckons the small dose of Depakine that I am taking is not going to affect my baby. Weird, since wherever I check it out, they say it is super risky.

So I am really freaked out by the idea of taking any risk. If anything happened to my child...I would regret for the rest of my life.

Anyhow, no matter what, I will definitely continue my gluten-free diet. I believe it can only help.

Thanks for your supporting words.

By the way - funny, but I have never been tested for a gluten allergy. Since my early childhood (5 years old) my mum dragged me from one doctor to the other, trying to figure out the reason for my severe migraines and no one even suggested doing the tests. I have also been struggling with yeast infections and acne (I am 28 now) and once again - no doctor even suggested the tests.

We live, we learn. But why do we need to learn from the internet...and not the doctors, that we should be able to trust...?

Cheers,

Alex

Alex,

My advice is to stay on the drugs until you have a solid 4 (or 6 if you can hold out) months of a gluten-free diet. It took about 5 months before I became more stable.

Recently I read a research document talking about Celiac. It said that those who were "asymptomatic" (no real pronounced gastrointestinal symptoms) were far more likely to have neurological expression of the disease. That made perfect sense to me - because that's exactly how it was for me! (I learned about celiac disease when my doctor and I were trying to figure out why I have osteoporosis. I had *no* GI symptoms!)

I'm so excited for you :) I wish, with all of my heart, that my dad would try this. I'm sure that I got the disease from him (his mother is "allergic" to wheat/rye/oats - but has never been tested and many of his family members also have correlated symptoms but haven't been tested).

Your life will be so much better ;)

Remember that it's really hard at first for everyone, and that you need to be extremely cautious of all foods you ingest. As little as 1/10th of a gram of gluten is enough to activate an autoimmune response (as noted in research available here on celiac.com).

Hang in there!!! We are with you :)

- Michelle :wub:

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TO: Alex :)

This was an interesting Post here..... I feel so bad about you being Bipolar and all, and also the fact that you are wanting to have a child... gee, that's a tough "combo" there. I am disabled (on SSD disability) with Bipolar and have it severely. But. The difference is, I've never had a child, so I can't really be of much help to you in this department. Darn!! (I truly wish I could)

I have battled my Bipolar for many years, and have taken every medication known to mankind.... I swear! Everybody is DIFFERENT, with both their body chemistry's and their emotional stability, & also the levels of their illnesses, such as Bipolar, etc; etc; I just recently went on a "gluten-free" Diet, and am still trying to go thru all the changes within my body. I can attest, that I am the type of person, who CANNOT go off my MEDS..... nope!

In your case, I would suggest you really work with your Doctor(s) in regards to your condition, especially where you are wanting to have a child and all. I'm sure there are several "avenues" & "options" for a case like yours. Don't give up hope!!!

Going "gluten-free" is always a good idea, because in our World today, I don't think the half of us stop to think about what we are always putting into our mouths, & also our "guts!" Ya know? (at least I didn't!) It can't hurt us, to truly watch our DIET, and take care of our bodies, that's for sure.

As far as the "Mental" part of your illness goes...... this must be attended to as well. It's vitally important. If one does NOT have "peace of mind," and take care of their "emotions," along with their diets & bodies, they haven't got much....

Trust me, you are NOT "alone" in your dilemma with Bipolar, & wanting to move forward with your Future, & the things you want to do in your Life. I would encourage you to "Be the Best you can Be," and try hard at getting healthy..... take each step as it comes along. Let us hear how you are currently doing, and good luck to you!

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Guest BERNESES

Hi Alex- I just read your post and wanted to tell you I'm glad you came here. You got some solid advice. Going gluten-free could help but if you want to know about Celiac's, don't do it until after the biopsy (my first mistake!).

There is a good chance that the gluten free diet could help you, but as far as reducing/stopping your meds to get pregnant, make sure you work very closely with a GOOD doctor. I'm on meds for depression and anxiety and am going to see a pre-natal psychopharmacologist (how's that for a mouthful?). My sister did it before she had her first baby too and it was the best thing she ever did (she actually found out she could stay on her medication). I don't know where you live but I'm sure that you could find one at a major hospital in any city. You should consult with one before getting pregnant if you can. Keep us posted. B

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Hi Laurie -

Welcome to the board. I just noticed that this is an old thread, but always timely. I don't know if you 've been following this discussion recently, but you can read about many of us who've really struggled and found relief (mostly) from removing gluten. It's truly been a miracle in my life, anyway, this six months gluten-free. Here's the link to the thread:

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=20118

Blessings -

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