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Nantzie

My Psychologist Is Interested In Celiac Connection

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I have a new counselor I'm seeing, and was telling her about celiac and how much better my depression/anxiety/insomnia/nightmares/brain fog had gotten after going gluten-free. I told her that if she has any other patients who have psych problems along with IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc., that she may want to address the possibility. Then she said as I was talking she could think of three or four people off the top of her head that she wanted to talk to about it.

I told her I'm going to get her some information on celiac when I see her again on Friday, but I also thought it might be good for her to hear some personal experiences as well.

So any experiences, minor or major, would be helpful.

Nancy

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My son grew up with ADHD, anger issues, just off the wall mental outbursts that really didn't seem consistent with any outside issues. He is 23 now, and realized he had celiac disease about 3 years ago (mainly due to skin rashes and the fact that his brother had it, he agreed to try it) He will not touch gluten and has actually had some serious problems due to accidental ingestion while drinking. He describes that it makes him feel angry and his brain feels "fuzzy". From my stand point, he seems very irritable and impulsive when he deviates. (He accidentally ate a cereal for a week not knowing it had gluten and he was a different person.) Anyway, I've since wondered if his problems growing up were caused by celiacs. He swears by staying off of it and seems much more stable at this time in his life than he ever has.

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Guest nini

I struggled with depression and anxiety from the time I was a pre teen... I attempted suicide when I was in high school, I drank in excess and abused drugs in my early twenties. After the birth of my daughter I was prescribed anti depressants and anti anxiety meds...

after going gluten-free, I was able to wean off the meds after about 6 months or so... The depression and anxiety are completey completely gone... it's like a cloud has been lifted off my head.

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Ughh, I wish that was the case for me. Instead, all my problems started AFTER going gluten-free. It has nothing to do with the gluten-free diet, it's just that when you tell someone with a type A personality like me that she can't eat something, I can get a little psychotic about it (anxiety, paranoia, etc. about making sure I follow the diet to a tee...)

Glad to hear the change helped some people though!

- Lauren

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I was actually diagnosed with severe depression, borderline anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, and attention defecit disorder. After a year on the gluten free diet, I have virtually no symptoms of ANY of these disorders, though I do suspect that I may have Asperger's syndrome, but that's a different story completely, and certainly not gluten related. There are SO many psychological symptoms that can arise from celiac disease, it's truly scary... I hope that she's able to help many people to find the root of their problems.

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I definitely saw a decrease in anxiety attacks after going wheat free (hadn't yet been dx'd celiac). I'm not sure I noticed right away...but one day I thought, wow, I haven't had an anxiety attack in six months.

It was a dramatic change.

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I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia), and moodiness that goes along with eating gluten. The symptoms are better now but haven't be gluten-free long enough.

I ate a bite of graham cracker after doctor told me to eat gluten for 3 weeks for making blood test accurate...5 hours later had very bad brain fog.

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When my son ingests any of his "bad" foods, he becomes moody, throws major tantrums for no apparent reason, clings, and becomes easily over stimulated. It usually does not begin until the next day after ingestion and lasts up to five days.

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I have a new counselor I'm seeing, and was telling her about celiac and how much better my depression/anxiety/insomnia/nightmares/brain fog had gotten after going gluten-free. I told her that if she has any other patients who have psych problems along with IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc., that she may want to address the possibility. Then she said as I was talking she could think of three or four people off the top of her head that she wanted to talk to about it.

I told her I'm going to get her some information on celiac when I see her again on Friday, but I also thought it might be good for her to hear some personal experiences as well.

So any experiences, minor or major, would be helpful.

Nancy

My dr. suggested food intolerences after I went in to complain about chronic D and how I always felt so "off". No energy, achey... always feeling like I was coming down with the flu. I went gluten-free and dairy free in August and felt amazing... until the holidays. I had a bunch of stresses (big project at work, daughter was ill, the holidays, etc.) and wham just total anxiety and depression (although I didn't realize the depression bit). I went back to my dr. who put me on Lexapro... and tada.... :D I feel great. It also helped clear up the IBS too. When I compare me to six months ago and the me today... wow. I have so much energy, taking chances I never would have (like sliding my business card to a cute guy the other day - hope he calls!!), etc.

Hope this helps.

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I'm still on Lexapro for a chemical disorder, but now that I am off gluten, I do not get suicidally depressed, my mood swings have leveled out, and I can think clearly!

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I am hoping by relating my families experience that your doctor will not just test the people with 'tummy problems'. Our family all manifested first with depression long before GI troubles became anything more than annoyances. I have been celiac since childhood. The first symptom I suffered was DH that covered almost my entire legs, arms and face and was misdiagnosed as poison ivy. The doc told my Mom I had it in my bloodstream. Soon after that the depression hit. At age 11 I took every pill in the house and had to be 'revived' in the ER. The doctors told my parents if I came out of my coma that I would have brain damage. After this I was of course sent to my first psychiatrist. Over the next 30 years I would suffer from bouts of extreme depression and the meds they gave me just made me worse. I was eventually diagnosed with a sub-illeal seizure disorder and put on an anticonvulsant at almost toxic levels. It should be noted that my only GI symptoms were a very loud rumbling tummy, lots of gas and constipation. I ate like a horse and never gained weight. GI symptoms only became a problem after my 2nd child was born. My first born DS was born in the 65th% and by age 1 was in the -10%. He was a difficult but very intelligent child who put together his first 3 word sentence at 11 months. He however had no social skills and a great deal of difficulty with his writing skills. We always figured the social problems were because he essentially conversed at an adult level and we later came to realize he actually has Aspergers. He suffered bouts of depression begining in 4th grade. He would later display strong episodes of manic behavior along with the depression. Medication made him psychotic. I dealt with phone calls from him for a while that would go into great detail about how he was going to kill himself and at times his torture plans for others. This went on until the meds were stopped a couple weeks after he started them. At least his doctor was smart enough to do that. My DD also suffered from depression and great fatigue when she hit her teen years. She had her heart tested, and started a succession of meds when they decided that it was 'stress'. By this time I was very ill and the doctors attributed it to that and reasoned that also caused her GERD. At this time she began to think I was poisoning her, in reality I was by giving her gluten. She would also hallucinate and suffered from night terrors. It was not unusual to find her crouching in the hallway shaking in fear at night. She was very good at hiding her pain and while on Prozac she began cutting. It was winter and she always wore long sleeves and it wasn't until she threated suicide and was hospitalized that we knew she was doing it. It was not long after this that I was finally diagnosed.

NOT ONE OF US has ANY depression or other psych problems off gluten. I hope the day will soon come when instead of a script for a psychotropic drug doctors will first reach for a lab slip for a celiac panel. Waiting until we show GI symptoms is much too late for many of us. I ofter wonder what we would find if we blanket tested all prison inmates and psych ward patient. I think it would be a real eye opener.

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After begin gluten-free for about a year, I was able to wean myself off of medications for generalized anxiety disorder......Might be totally unrelated to gluten.....other aspects of my life changed drastically as well.......but might be a gluten tie-in.

Find myself MUCH less irritable since going gluten-free. My temper has also lessened and is MUCH easier to control, now.

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My husband, soon to be ex, was diagnosed with celiac this year. He is 44 years old. I love him but the damage he has done to us is still here. It saddens and angers me to read about the psychological effects of celiac disease gone wild.

I don't know if I have celiac or not but I know I have at least one gene for gluten sensitivity because our daughter has two copies of that gene. Besides that, wheat has caused me a problem long before I ever heard of celiac so I have avoided it.

When I think of how much I love him and all the pain that is attached to that love it is hard to not cry. I feel a lot of anger, even at the thought of him maybe being okay off of gluten, because it will never matter for us. Please don't get me wrong. I want very much for him to be okay but I will never really know if he is because him seeming okay is the one thing I can never trust again. I know I will get past all of this eventually. Life will go on and I will not always feel like I do right now. But right now I do. I miss him. I miss his gentle moments and his tender care and his presence. I miss my fingers in his hair when he is asleep. I miss what might have been had we both been more okay. I miss that most of what I miss has been covered and hidden by abuse and dysfunction. And I'm angry because the best way for our baby to have her father is as little as possible. I may have shared to much, If I did I am sorry.

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Sue,

It sounds like you really love this man. Why not hold off on the verdict. Watch him from afar for a year or two, listen to what people say who spend time with him to see if he has changed. I really do believe that the disease messes with a person's head. I definately agree you shouldn't trust words or promises though.

Sorry for your pain,

Lori

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Well, I'm not sure.

I've always had serious attention problems..I can't focus on anything. I also have some anxiety issues.

It hasn't gotten better since I've been gluten-free.

I'm also still tired quite a bit.

My doctor is trying to figure out what else is wrong with me. I did one sleep test that said I had sleep apnea, and I'm doing another next week to check up on that. She wanted to test me for narcolepsy, but my insurance won't cover it.

I'm wondering if it's another food allergy. I had an allergy test last year which told me I'm allergic to lactose, oats and pecans. I've started eating lactose again, so maybe that's what's making me tired. I've been really careful about gluten lately.

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My brain fog would get so bad that I just worth a damn at doing anything. This was causing my life to disintegrate which would obviously lead to depression. No matter how hard I tried I would fail at everything. It wasn't until the gluten was gone that things changed for the better.

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I miss that most of what I miss has been covered and hidden by abuse and dysfunction. And I'm angry because the best way for our baby to have her father is as little as possible. I may have shared to much, If I did I am sorry.

Please don't be sorry for trusting yourself to speak. I really admire your honesty.

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Thanks everyone for your stories. I'm hoping to put celiac and food intolerances in the front of her mind, as well as hypoglycemia, which my stepmother has. Thanks ravenwood for reminding me that GI symptoms aren't always present.

Sillyactsue, I just want to give you a hug. You've been through so much. It must have been a hard decision, and a long time coming. I went through something similar in my 20's. But in my case, it was his choice to use drugs and alcohol that caused the abuse. It's just maddening to see a perfectly nice man turn into an abuser when you know what's under all the mess, whatever that is. I got to the same point you got to. It just got to the point where even if he stopped drinking and using, found Jesus and solved world hunger, it wouldn't matter. I'd never be able to trust him again. It's hard to know where life is going to take you, so maybe keeping an eye on him from a distance will show such a change that you'll be able to repair things. For me it would take a long time to trust any change, if at all, but that's just me.

Keep your chin up. It does get easier.

{{Hugs}}

Nancy

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My husband, soon to be ex, was diagnosed with celiac this year. He is 44 years old. I love him but the damage he has done to us is still here. It saddens and angers me to read about the psychological effects of celiac disease gone wild.

I don't know if I have celiac or not but I know I have at least one gene for gluten sensitivity because our daughter has two copies of that gene. Besides that, wheat has caused me a problem long before I ever heard of celiac so I have avoided it.

When I think of how much I love him and all the pain that is attached to that love it is hard to not cry. I feel a lot of anger, even at the thought of him maybe being okay off of gluten, because it will never matter for us. Please don't get me wrong. I want very much for him to be okay but I will never really know if he is because him seeming okay is the one thing I can never trust again. I know I will get past all of this eventually. Life will go on and I will not always feel like I do right now. But right now I do. I miss him. I miss his gentle moments and his tender care and his presence. I miss my fingers in his hair when he is asleep. I miss what might have been had we both been more okay. I miss that most of what I miss has been covered and hidden by abuse and dysfunction. And I'm angry because the best way for our baby to have her father is as little as possible. I may have shared to much, If I did I am sorry.

Oh silyactyuse -- you didn't share too much. I've been grieving the recent loss of my 5.5 year boyfriend -- to whom I was about to get engaged. Part of our problem -- my part (he had some of his own) -- had to do with my psychological celiac symptoms, which I've misunderstood for a long time because my mother had been diagnosed bipolar (now I wonder whether she actually was). He's moving out of town and we're both too hurt to even talk to each other because of an array of other issues, but the thing that's been hardest for me to swallow has been the fact that our rift came right at the time of my diagnosis -- for a while, I was hoping that he'd be able to spend some time with me gluten-free and feel encouraged that I was doing a lot better, but I think that's not to be. This has something to do with circumstance and also something to do with his own issues with anxiety/anger/etc.... -- it is incredibly hard. I can't even begin to imagine how much harder it would be if we'd been married with a child.

Remember that a lot of what makes a relationship work is trust -- and if that trust has been broken, it might not be worth the pain and struggle of building it up again. Also remember that psychological celiac symptoms aren't necessarily the going to be the only problem in a situation where there's abuse and dysfunction -- there are longstanding habits and ways of being and communicating that aren't solved by a gluten-free diet.

It's very strong of you to post this -- my heart goes out to you.

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Sue,

It sounds like you really love this man. Why not hold off on the verdict. Watch him from afar for a year or two, listen to what people say who spend time with him to see if he has changed. I really do believe that the disease messes with a person's head. I definately agree you shouldn't trust words or promises though.

Sorry for your pain,

Lori

Sue, I agree with Lori ... maybe its meant to be and maybe it isn't but you both obviously love each other and life without gluten can be a different life for those who's moods are controlled by it.

You sound like you have invested so much and if he truly is a different person then perhaps there is still hope.

I had severe communications problems with gluten ... introverted and unable to talk and share problems and that is 90% gone now... and my new girlfriend is benefiting from it but then I didn't have any kids, perhaps thanks to my mother always telling my ex what I was like as a kid! In some ways I feel bad that she had to go through my moody swings and non communication but that is done and dusted now.

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I started with depression and anxiety in my teens and through my 20's was medicated for a bunch of things - was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 with psychotic episodes, spent some nights in a "special" hospital for being suicidal, and was on social security disability for a few years. All of that is completely gone now that I am gluten free. All of it - except for when I have gluten, then I do get some fits of depression, tearfulness, and occasional anxiety. Very extremely rare and while I can remember how bad it all was (and the fact the meds caused me to gain 70 pounds) I don't ever get that feeling that way now.

Stephanie

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I started with depression and anxiety in my teens and through my 20's was medicated for a bunch of things - was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 with psychotic episodes, spent some nights in a "special" hospital for being suicidal, and was on social security disability for a few years. All of that is completely gone now that I am gluten free. All of it - except for when I have gluten, then I do get some fits of depression, tearfulness, and occasional anxiety. Very extremely rare and while I can remember how bad it all was (and the fact the meds caused me to gain 70 pounds) I don't ever get that feeling that way now.

Stephanie

Thanks everybody, the tears are streaming now. It is good to talk to people who understand. Thanks,

Sillyactsue

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Thanks everybody, the tears are streaming now. It is good to talk to people who understand. Thanks,

Sillyactsue

Sometimes that can help more than anything else. Both the tears and the talking about it. ((((((hugs))))))

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