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Nan2N

Depression And Celiac?

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Hi all

I'm new here. This is a great place for information and I was hoping someone could help me out. Last fall, after a big meal I had a very bad panic attack that lingered on for days. The doc gave me meds and more meds because I was hyper sensitive to everything and nothing worked. After a traumatic few months of no relief my hair started falling out by the fistfuls. Now the docs take me seriously that something is physically wrong. I'm not just anxious and by now depressed. I've only had minimal problems with anxiety and no previous depression in my life. When the hair started falling the doc ran an ana test which came back positive but the only thing that showed was possibly celiac. I've had no other symptoms, like stomach, intestinal issues before. No problem eating anything. Can celiac present itself with mental symptoms and hair loss? Up until that point I was very healthy now I can barely move.

Not sure if celiac is the only thing going on because I still have other specialists to see but I was wondering if anyone experienced anything like this with celiac. Waiting around for someone to find out what is going on is torture.

Thanks

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No hair loss here, but certainly a heavy load of anxiety & depression WELL before GI symptoms & all the other subsequent physical & mental horrors.

Have you thought of just trying the gluten-free diet?

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Guest hightop girl

I actually had alopecia and very definitie anxiety before many of the other symptoms. I have multiple autoimmune problems, so I just chalked the alopecia up to that and the anxiety up to my normal way of being. Good luck!

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Crippling anxiety attacks and depression, wild mood swings and social anxiety were my first and only symptoms for a long time (at least 2 years, likely much longer) before I discovered that gluten was a problem for me. Be sure to have the full celiac blood panel run so you can move toward a definitive diagnosis of your issues - gluten-related or not.

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Depression and anxiety have definitely been symptoms for me, but not just of coeliacs - underactive thyroid too. I think you should definitely have your thyroid checked if you haven't already, especially as hair loss is a major symptom there.

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Hi all

I'm new here. This is a great place for information and I was hoping someone could help me out. Last fall, after a big meal I had a very bad panic attack that lingered on for days. The doc gave me meds and more meds because I was hyper sensitive to everything and nothing worked. After a traumatic few months of no relief my hair started falling out by the fistfuls. Now the docs take me seriously that something is physically wrong. I'm not just anxious and by now depressed. I've only had minimal problems with anxiety and no previous depression in my life. When the hair started falling the doc ran an ana test which came back positive but the only thing that showed was possibly celiac. I've had no other symptoms, like stomach, intestinal issues before. No problem eating anything. Can celiac present itself with mental symptoms and hair loss? Up until that point I was very healthy now I can barely move.

Not sure if celiac is the only thing going on because I still have other specialists to see but I was wondering if anyone experienced anything like this with celiac. Waiting around for someone to find out what is going on is torture.

Thanks

I experienced hair loss as well. I didn't really notice it because I have thick hair, but my hair dresser pointed it out because she noticed that I had a lot of new hair growing in (this was after I started the gluten free diet). Then I thought about how much hair was coming out in the shower and realized that it was more than it used to be. I also experienced depression and was very easily agitated. I had never experienced depression before in my life either. If I were you I would ask to have an endoscopy done so that they can tell you for sure if you have celiac. For me, there is no way I could stay on this diet (and be so strict about checking everything) if I didn't know for sure that I have celiac disease. I wish you the best of luck. I know how hard this is to go through and how frustrating it can be to wait for doctors to crack your case. I am about 10 months out from diagnosis and feeling much better. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

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I also experienced quite extreme hair loss prior to going gluten-free. I have not experienced the anxiety or depression as I do not appear to have a genetic weakness for that, but I know a lot of people do. You can be Celiac without having any digestive problems at all which is why it is often so hard to pick up. Apparently, digestive issues only occur in about 30% of cases.

My daughter has had bad anxiety and depression, similar to my father who, knowing what I now know, I believe was very gluten intolerant. I am also sure that my mother was Celiac so we obviously have inherited gluten issues within the family.

My blood test was negative, but they are notoriously unreliable anyway and I could not wait for the biopsy as I was in so much pain with my stomach. Within 5 hours of stopping gluten, the pain went, never to return.

When my hair was falling out, I started to take Milk Thistle capsules along with some good multivit and mineral support, as I know hair loss can be linked to a sluggish liver. Within a few weeks my hair had stopped falling out and was looking a lot better. I took the MT for about 6 weeks. When my digestion collapsed, although my gall-bladder was sore, the Ultrasound found nothing there - not one gall-stone! I am now wondering if the Milk Thistle cleared out my GB as I did notice something in the toilet that I think now might have been some stones. Shortly after, my liver also had a clear-out. It's amazing stuff that Milk Thistle.

I have now been gluten-free and dairy-free for 2 months and am also following a low-carb diet and am beginning to see good benefits. And my hair is still looking good!

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No hair loss here, but certainly a heavy load of anxiety & depression WELL before GI symptoms & all the other subsequent physical & mental horrors.

Have you thought of just trying the gluten-free diet?

Can't go gluten free til my biopsy this week. If you don't mind me asking how bad did the mental horrors get for you? I've been going on 7 months and it seems no relief in sight. And how long til that went away after going gluten free? I'm at my wits end!!

Thanks

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Crippling anxiety attacks and depression, wild mood swings and social anxiety were my first and only symptoms for a long time (at least 2 years, likely much longer) before I discovered that gluten was a problem for me. Be sure to have the full celiac blood panel run so you can move toward a definitive diagnosis of your issues - gluten-related or not.

I am having all the tests run so I know for sure. Doctors think my problem is coming from something physical. Did your problems clear up after going gluten free? I'm wondering if it will take a long time to recover and I'll have to be on meds. Which aren't helping any.

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I also experienced quite extreme hair loss prior to going gluten-free. I have not experienced the anxiety or depression as I do not appear to have a genetic weakness for that, but I know a lot of people do. You can be Celiac without having any digestive problems at all which is why it is often so hard to pick up. Apparently, digestive issues only occur in about 30% of cases.

My daughter has had bad anxiety and depression, similar to my father who, knowing what I now know, I believe was very gluten intolerant. I am also sure that my mother was Celiac so we obviously have inherited gluten issues within the family.

My blood test was negative, but they are notoriously unreliable anyway and I could not wait for the biopsy as I was in so much pain with my stomach. Within 5 hours of stopping gluten, the pain went, never to return.

When my hair was falling out, I started to take Milk Thistle capsules along with some good multivit and mineral support, as I know hair loss can be linked to a sluggish liver. Within a few weeks my hair had stopped falling out and was looking a lot better. I took the MT for about 6 weeks. When my digestion collapsed, although my gall-bladder was sore, the Ultrasound found nothing there - not one gall-stone! I am now wondering if the Milk Thistle cleared out my GB as I did notice something in the toilet that I think now might have been some stones. Shortly after, my liver also had a clear-out. It's amazing stuff that Milk Thistle.

I have now been gluten-free and dairy-free for 2 months and am also following a low-carb diet and am beginning to see good benefits. And my hair is still looking good!

Just wondering about what you mean when you say your digestion collapsed. What happened? I sent you a question earlier about the milk thistle. I'm going to ask my new doc about that one. I've lost so much hair though I hope it recovers somehow.

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My anxiety and depression went away immediately after dropping gluten. It's sad to think of how many times I felt horrible, ate comfort (i.e. gluteny) food as they were the only foods I could get down, and continued the evil cycle. Bread or cereal > anxiety attack > Xanax > sleep > repeat. My hair was falling out more than normal, but that ceased after about three months gluten-free.

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I am having all the tests run so I know for sure. Doctors think my problem is coming from something physical. Did your problems clear up after going gluten free? I'm wondering if it will take a long time to recover and I'll have to be on meds. Which aren't helping any.

I also suffered for many, many years. Depression and ataxia were my first symptoms at around age 5. For me the depression cleared within 3 weeks, although part of those three weeks the depression may have been also from withdrawl. The only time I get depressed now is when glutened or going through something that it is normal to be depressed about. When glutened the depression is so short lived now that I chose not to medicate.

Be very careful with any antidepressant of mood elevating type drug if you are not sure whether you are celiac or not. They can have some odd effects. Many do find them useful though, when they really need it and it is the right drug, just want you to use caution and to be on the safe side make sure the med (and any other you are on) is gluten-free.

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I also suffered for many, many years. Depression and ataxia were my first symptoms at around age 5. For me the depression cleared within 3 weeks, although part of those three weeks the depression may have been also from withdrawl. The only time I get depressed now is when glutened or going through something that it is normal to be depressed about. When glutened the depression is so short lived now that I chose not to medicate.

Be very careful with any antidepressant of mood elevating type drug if you are not sure whether you are celiac or not. They can have some odd effects. Many do find them useful though, when they really need it and it is the right drug, just want you to use caution and to be on the safe side make sure the med (and any other you are on) is gluten-free.

I have experienced odd effects with these drugs and i've tried many. What do you mean exactly about what they could do to me? Is it just because in the end I might not need them and now have been putting them into my brain? The one I'm on is gluten free I checked. I'm just having so much trouble thinking clearly, feels like there's a band around my head. Almost feel like I'm on drugs. My thinking is shot. Didn't know if it's from the celiac or the drug. It's been the same no matter what I've taken. I'm worried about what celiac may be doing to my brain. And hope this isn't permanent. Thanks for any info!

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I have experienced odd effects with these drugs and i've tried many. What do you mean exactly about what they could do to me? Is it just because in the end I might not need them and now have been putting them into my brain? The one I'm on is gluten free I checked. I'm just having so much trouble thinking clearly, feels like there's a band around my head. Almost feel like I'm on drugs. My thinking is shot. Didn't know if it's from the celiac or the drug. It's been the same no matter what I've taken. I'm worried about what celiac may be doing to my brain. And hope this isn't permanent. Thanks for any info!

One thing that you may find helpful is getting some sublingual B12. The foggy drugged feeling could be a side effect of the drug but it may also be from your bodies inability to process B12. B12 is needed for proper nerve function and may help you a great deal.

Once you go gluten free you may want to talk to your doctor, after your depression issues have resolved and see about tapering off your med. Do not stop taking any psychotropic med all at once or without talking to your doctor. You would risk siezures and other withdrawl issues with some of them.

Once you are gluten free and have healed chances are your brain will heal also. I was in the end stages and was to a point where I was not far from dementia and could barely walk. It took a while but if I could come back anyone can. My depression lifted quickly and so did the fog though once gluten free. If you have other issues like ataxia those do usually take a bit longer to heal.

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When my doctor changed me from insulin to Byetta in July, I started to get bad stomach problems, very bloated and painful. I had suffered with IBS for some years, but some months prior to the Byetta I had followed the alkalizing diet for a short while and the IBS had settled down a bit.

Because my stomach problems were so bad and because the Byetta was not lowering my blood sugar levels the doctor took me off it and put me back on to insulin after 3 months at the beginning of October. I hoped that having stopped the Byetta, my stomach would settle down but it didn't and just got progressively worse.

By the end of the year I had ended up in hospital twice because I was in so much pain when I ate and for hours after. I was only getting maybe two hours sleep a night and was just a physical wreck and just frightened to eat anything.

I had been given Omeprazole which eased it a little for a while but you're not supposed to be on that long-term, and it obviously wasn't getting to the root of the problem. Suddenly, around the beginning of January, my stools changed to what I now know to be a common symptom of Celiac, fatty and floaty, which was pretty worrying. I went to the doc straight away and he applied for an appointment for an Ultrasound as he thought it might be my gallbladder. Within 2 days though, it had changed again, to continuous running diarrhea and the pain was so dreadful my husband took me into the hospital again. This time they did an Ultrasound, but could find nothing wrong - not even one gallstone! (It was that that made me think that the Milk Thistle had cleared it out!)

I went home and went back to the drawing board. If the docs couldn't deal with it I had to do it myself, so I sat down in front of the computer and just searched. Eventually I picked up on the Celiac link, remembered that my Mum had been put on a gluten-free diet in the hospital just a few weeks before she died as the doctor obviously thought she was Celiac and realised that this was very likely my problem - either Celiac or extreme gluten intolerance.

I took myself back to the docs first thing on the Monday morning. Had blood taken for the Celiac test and went straight to the town and bought gluten-free supplies. I dropped both gluten, dairy, as I know I am lactose intolerant but have just ignored it for years and most carbs and sugar as I know I am also carb intolerant. Within 5 hours the pain had gone, never to return and within a week most of the residual discomfort and bloating had gone. After 2 months I am now just starting to feel better, and get some energy back and other problems are also beginning to sort themselves out.

Celiac, whilst often sitting undetected in the background in a 'silent' form, just quietly causing a certain amount of damage and malabsorption issues, can often be triggered into major action by a trauma or stress to the body. In my case I believe that the trigger was the Byetta. It is annoying that it has happened, but in some ways it is good as it has jogged me into recognising it and dealing with it rather than carrying on oblivious until the damage caused something far more insidious.

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When my doctor changed me from insulin to Byetta in July, I started to get bad stomach problems, very bloated and painful. I had suffered with IBS for some years, but some months prior to the Byetta I had followed the alkalizing diet for a short while and the IBS had settled down a bit.

Because my stomach problems were so bad and because the Byetta was not lowering my blood sugar levels the doctor took me off it and put me back on to insulin after 3 months at the beginning of October. I hoped that having stopped the Byetta, my stomach would settle down but it didn't and just got progressively worse.

By the end of the year I had ended up in hospital twice because I was in so much pain when I ate and for hours after. I was only getting maybe two hours sleep a night and was just a physical wreck and just frightened to eat anything.

I had been given Omeprazole which eased it a little for a while but you're not supposed to be on that long-term, and it obviously wasn't getting to the root of the problem. Suddenly, around the beginning of January, my stools changed to what I now know to be a common symptom of Celiac, fatty and floaty, which was pretty worrying. I went to the doc straight away and he applied for an appointment for an Ultrasound as he thought it might be my gallbladder. Within 2 days though, it had changed again, to continuous running diarrhea and the pain was so dreadful my husband took me into the hospital again. This time they did an Ultrasound, but could find nothing wrong - not even one gallstone! (It was that that made me think that the Milk Thistle had cleared it out!)

I went home and went back to the drawing board. If the docs couldn't deal with it I had to do it myself, so I sat down in front of the computer and just searched. Eventually I picked up on the Celiac link, remembered that my Mum had been put on a gluten-free diet in the hospital just a few weeks before she died as the doctor obviously thought she was Celiac and realised that this was very likely my problem - either Celiac or extreme gluten intolerance.

I took myself back to the docs first thing on the Monday morning. Had blood taken for the Celiac test and went straight to the town and bought gluten-free supplies. I dropped both gluten, dairy, as I know I am lactose intolerant but have just ignored it for years and most carbs and sugar as I know I am also carb intolerant. Within 5 hours the pain had gone, never to return and within a week most of the residual discomfort and bloating had gone. After 2 months I am now just starting to feel better, and get some energy back and other problems are also beginning to sort themselves out.

Celiac, whilst often sitting undetected in the background in a 'silent' form, just quietly causing a certain amount of damage and malabsorption issues, can often be triggered into major action by a trauma or stress to the body. In my case I believe that the trigger was the Byetta. It is annoying that it has happened, but in some ways it is good as it has jogged me into recognising it and dealing with it rather than carrying on oblivious until the damage caused something far more insidious.

Thank you so much for answering!! Everyone here is so helpful! So glad to have found this site!

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One thing that you may find helpful is getting some sublingual B12. The foggy drugged feeling could be a side effect of the drug but it may also be from your bodies inability to process B12. B12 is needed for proper nerve function and may help you a great deal.

Once you go gluten free you may want to talk to your doctor, after your depression issues have resolved and see about tapering off your med. Do not stop taking any psychotropic med all at once or without talking to your doctor. You would risk siezures and other withdrawl issues with some of them.

Once you are gluten free and have healed chances are your brain will heal also. I was in the end stages and was to a point where I was not far from dementia and could barely walk. It took a while but if I could come back anyone can. My depression lifted quickly and so did the fog though once gluten free. If you have other issues like ataxia those do usually take a bit longer to heal.

Thank you so much for the info. Fortunately I don't have ataxia just the fog. Amongst other things.

I wouldn't stop taking the med all at once, but fortunately my PDr. thinks my problems are health related and says I may not even need them once we figure this out. I'll look into the B12. Can you take that as a supplement or does it have to be the shot? I've been taking a lot of vitamins lately and one is the B Stress Complex. Would that cover it? How much do you need? My regular doc doesn't think too much of my symptoms and says I'm a mystery. Yeah right. I see a new doc who does regular and holistic medicine on Mon. so hopefully he can help me with the nutrition part. It's hard to know what's best to do at this point. As I waste away my doctor has no answers. Ticks me off. Thanks for your help!

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The doc is right in a way, eventually once it is sorted out you may well not need any supplements as your body will be able to absorb far more effectively. However, whilst it can't, it needs all the help it can get. Doctors seem, for some unfathomable reason to have an almost pathological hatred of vitamins and minerals - as if they are poison! That's large, considering that most of the drugs they dish out by far have the edge on being poison to the body!!!

The Medical Profession just does not get it. Any malabsorption will cause deficiency. Any deficiency will impact on the cells' ability to function properly. If cells can't work effectively then disease is the next step. When will they ever figure that one out?! If they ever are prompted to look for deficiencies, they only ever pick them up when the deficiency has reached a very low level and when the individual is getting very obvious symptoms.

At the end of the day, NO ONE is perfect. How then can they have an accurate benchmark by which to gauge where 'normal' levels should actually be? What if all their seemingly healthy control subjects are actually displaying low levels of nutrients due to (as yet) undiscovered malabsorption issues? The only way they might find better control subjects is to take the levels from very healthy communities who do not get the diseases we do, and do not eat the high-carb, high-sugar, gluten-riddled diet that we constantly consume. They might be amazed at the level a lot of these nutrients ought to be at!

My take on it is that even if someone's nutrient level is on the low side of what the Medical Profession considers to be 'normal', then they probably are actually deficient as the control is probably set lower than it should be.

Back to the B12. It is suggested that 'sub-lingual' B12 is better as it dissolves under the tongue straight into the bloodstream. Tablet forms go through the digestive tract and are prey to any malabsorption issues. However, I would suggest you get your doc to just check the levels first. If it is very low he probably would suggest shots, but if only on the low side of 'normal' then that is when the sub B12 might be the best option.

I thought my problem was B12 but my level was fine. After research I saw that the symptoms I had could also be thyroid so I took some kelp tablets for a while. After a few days it settled down. It may have been thyroid, but it might just have been withdrawal/detox symptoms.

What did your new doctor say?

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Can't go gluten free til my biopsy this week. If you don't mind me asking how bad did the mental horrors get for you? I've been going on 7 months and it seems no relief in sight. And how long til that went away after going gluten free? I'm at my wits end!!

Thanks

Hi Nan,

You've come to the right place. :) Glad you found us.

I have suffered with the mental ills of Celiac for my lifetime, and I am 46. Had a stomach of steel all my life, until the last 4 to 5 years prior to diagnosis. Since the age of about 21, I have been on every psychotropic drug known to man. :( I became very severely bipolar in my twenties....it was hell. I could write a book.

the most amazing and miraculous change in my lifetime has been the discovery of celiac, necessitating the gluten-free diet that changed my brain, adn my life. It happened very quickly, by the way.....within six days of eating a VERY pure (i.e., little to no processed foods) diet, I emerged from a deep and paralyzing fog. I was severely anemic - ferritin level was less than 3 - and my hair was falling out in handfuls.

I went into some deep valleys during the first year of recovery....but my condition was more severe, I think, and certainly more prolonged than yours. My hair has grown back and stopped falling out completely, it's now thicker than ever. (biotin also really helps with this - I took that for about 6 to 8 months.)

I have never felt better, adn you will too. Gluten is the cause of terrible mental ills for much of the population.....they just don't know it yet - it's very sad as so much of this could be completely reversed.

I still take a maintenance dose of an antidepressant......this will go on indefinitely. But - my desperate wish for death adn suicide started at a very early age (6? 7?) so - those neuropathways of panic and angst are deeply rutted into my brain.

I think you'll see great improvements, and rather quickly, on a gluten-free diet.

Let us know how you do. :)

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