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kathleenp

Gluten Intolerance And Bipolar II?

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Hi, I was diagnosed bipolar II almost 2 years ago. I have had pretty severe depression most of my life, and it has only gotten worse. None of the meds really worked for me. Cymbalta finally worked, but stopped working at about the 6 month mark. I am trying Wellbutrin right now, have only been on it a few days and it does seem to be working. But never have I been able to take a med for longer than 6 months. The few mood stabilizers I have taken were horrific. One didn't do anything at all. Anxiety is bad.

Anyway, I kept thinking there has got to be another answer other than going back to a pdoc for more meds that would make my life hell, like the other meds have. I'm not even sure why I did it, but I searched gluten free diet and bipolar together and I was floored by the links that came up. Could it really be possible that this mess has been caused by gluten intolerance? I have no idea if it's true or not, but never have I heard there could be a link. It honestly seems too good to be true. That I might be able to change all this by eliminating gluten? I know doing that would be hard, but honestly, this nightmare I have been living with is harder.

I'm not sure that I have many stomach issues-I tend towards loose stools, not constipation (TMI), and it can be a real problem if I get upset. That really has an effect on them, and I usually end up taking imodium to keep it under control. Some acid reflux. I ate a lot of wheat foods yesterday and had a nightmare last night and a stomach ache when I woke up. Probably has nothing to do with anything...

If anyone has been diagnosed bipolar and has cured it with a gluten free diet, I would love to hear about it. How long does it take to see an improvement? Any help would be appreciated.

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Hi Kathleenp, welcome to the forums.

I had clinical depression and social anxiety disorder since I was 8. None of the meds helped after a certain period of time for me. It wasn't until I went gluten, dairy and soy free that all that went away.

There is a member on here named Skylark who had bipolar which went away after being gluten free even able to stop the meds. Look Skylark up and send a pm.

Good luck and keep researching.

Txplowgirl

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it can most definitely cause mental illness- its definitely worth u looking into. ive been depressed most of my life.. also had an eating disorder.. and semi-suicidal fantasies. later in my 20's and 30's i suffered from panic attacks.

i was on Paxil in my 20s for a year- and it really helped me, but wanted to get off. took it again in my 30s- but this time it turned me into a walking zombie.

when i first went on the Atkins/Bloodtype O diet at age 28- i felt pretty balanced and happy, and not so depressed. some of my panic episodes went away too. but kept cheating on the wheat, and going thru binges and depression.

went 100% gluten free last July- felt better- but still had some depression, paranoia, and STILL Shortness of Breath- almost around the clock.

last fall: got dx with Hashimoto's Hypothryoid, & in Jan- with Grave's (Both of these conditions can be triggered & aggravated by gluten). and OMG- let me tell u- getting on thyroid meds made me MORE HAPPY than any physciatric meds did- even xanax. and my shortness of breath has improved about 75%.

thyroid disorders & gluten intolerance go hand in hand more times than not- and you should explore this as much as you explore celiac blood tests & the diet-> i seriously read that Undiagnosed Hashimoto's often gets mislabeled as "Bipolar"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that struck a cord so much... i was never ever diagnosed with bipolar- but let me tell u what- i often felt like i might be

good luck with your research & tests & diet- i hope u find relief- i hope the gluten connection will really give u answers- cause many times those meds are only a temporary bandaid

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I dont know if you are completely off dairy but I know for myself that it really messes with me. Dairy makes me intolerant, over emotional and angry. This combined with gluten really screws up my moods. Write down everything you eat and the moods that you associate with when eating them.. hopefully you can find a correlation. Good luck!

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http://www.healthrecovery.com/HRC_2006/Depression_06/D_Hide_In_Closet.htm

http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=Pyroluria

I was just reading about this condition last night.

It strikes me that you said you do not respond very well to long term anti-depressant therapy and that very thing is mentioned in regards to Pyroluria. It is a vitamin deficiency condition.

I'm considering it myself.

I thought gluten was the sole culprit in my depression and anxiety but it isn't.

I'm considering dairy and this condition now. Before I try another round of anti-depressants that I won't respond to.

This condition is easily treated with B6 and Zinc and there is a urine test for it.

See what you think.

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I am on day 15 of being gluten-free. Withdrawals were kind of bad. Hopefully that part is all over. I have had good days followed by bad days, but overall, I think I am improving. I still have a long way to go though. I have considered that I may have to give up dairy, but I am not going to attempt it just yet.

I looked at the links you put up eatmeat-lots of information and it will take me a bit to read it all. I do have to say the Pyroluria sounds a lot like me. Over the years I have really distanced myself from people and try and protect myself from as much stress as possible. I use to have friends and would go and do things with them, but the thought of going out and doing anything with a friend does not appeal to me at all. I have lost some friends because of my behavior, and I honestly do not want to make the effort to make new ones. It's just too hard and anxiety provoking, to be honest. I took the pyroluria test and scored fairly high. I'm going to continue reading and will get the supplements suggested. Thanks for posting this info, I appreciate it!

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I definitely had some mental related issues. I had mood swings that were really severe (will still get them if I get glutened), and was angry a lot of the time, which is NOT AT ALL like me. I was also having nocturnal panic attacks, which would put me out of commission for most of the next day.

I would say try going gluten free, even if you're just having minor gastro symptoms. It won't hurt you to try it, and worst case, not much changes. Best case, your bipolar symptoms improve!

There's a history of bipolar in my family, so I feel where you are coming from. Don't give up!!!! Keep trying different things, whether it's meds, diet changes, whatever. Just keep trying to move forward. :)

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I was diagnosed depressive bipolar about 14 years ago. I have read a lot about depression/bipolar being linked to celiac and wondered if it was possible with me. I gave myself 1 year of being gluten free before I tried messing with my meds. I have been gluten-free now for 13 months and have been very slowly decreasing one of my meds and so far so good. I am on 3 different meds so the end result remains to be seen... but I am so very hopeful that I can decrease the amount that I take. If less meds is a side effect of being gluten-free then I am a happy camper!

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I've never been diagnosed with anything, but i've pretty much been depressed, and had panic/ anxiety episodes a lot my whole life. crying spells a daily thing for long stretches of my life. it's been hard for me to get along with people, and even hold a job for long.

it's like now i realize i never knew what it was like to be comfortable in my own skin. maybe social anxiety disorder, i don't know, my nervous system has always been rattled, and it's really held me back in my life, thats' for sure.

being gluten free now for @16 months, and being as strict as i possibly can about eliminating any and all gluten even in trace amounts from my life ( not even eating out), as well as dairy, I can notice a great difference. I've had ah'ha moments where i just thought "this is what normal ppl must feel like'

it's been really exciting, and i'm really convinced that it is the gluten, i have no doubts about it.

I got super-glutened @3-4 weeks ago, and not only did i get a return of all the symptoms like my hip aching, my arm tingling, getting dizzy, DH lesions, i could go on, but I'm back in my old "mind' thats racing around, and getting mad, and worked up about things i can't change, and all the bad cycles that i felt like i was breaking out of. I feel like i just want to avoid everyone, and even going to the store makes me irritable to be around people.

I was definatly doing much better before.

anyways, its pretty obvious whats going on after a while when you get glutened like that and the physical pain, and the depression, and anxiety problems come back as a package. if anything, the irritability was one of the first things i noticed, and losing my balance.

like i said, i don't have an official diagnosis for depression or such, but i'm just telling you my experience, and how the constant feelings of negativity and hopelessness that have been a fixture for me seem to have lifted there for a while, and it seems very very worthwhile ,all the pains ive had to go through to really be gluten free, and the sacrifices i've had to make. i couldn't imagine not being gluten free for the rest of my life to the best of my ability. I wish i never had had gluten, and i wish i never get exposed to it again.

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I got told i had bi polar from the age of about 7, yeah i know so young. My mum refused to put me on medication and put it down to me being emotionally intelligant for my age. She started to worry when i was about 14, i got told over and over again i had bi polar or depression. My mum again didn't want to put me on drugs, which i thank her for, she didn't want me 'labeled', so i had counseling, and figured how to control myself... But it never went away. Also if your Anemic (like me) it can play a huge part in your mood.

Its practically gone now, why? Because I have Coeliac Disease and went gluten-free... I am more than convinced that my 'Bi-Polar and Depression' was due to Gluten. When im accidentally glutened i get irritable, cry for no reason and sometimes even get really angry which is completely not my nature, it scares my partner how quickly my mood flips, always because of evil gluten!

Get tested for it along with hormone levels, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid, it can't do any harm.

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KATHLEEN - I have been told i have ADD and Bi polar... I started following this lady last year on facebook...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maria-Mind-Body-Health/337393421445

I hired her last month and she told me what supplements to take that are NATURAL! Cause I too have been put on like 4 different meds and all went suicidal and that is totally not me! But it has to be followed with GLUTEN FREE diets because it DOES effect moods....i bought her books and learned that... She is awesome support.... and her books will truely help you and someone she is close to has bi polar also so she totally knows what she is talking about...

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Hi

:)

I too am Bipolar and have been for the past 8 1/2 yrs. I have been on sooooo many meds during this time. I am currently on Lithium, Abilify & Zoloft. My meds are working fine for me for now but I know it is only a matter of time before I start cycling again. :(

I have not yet been formally diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am currently waiting for my Celiac Panel resluts. I had my blood drawn & sent off 2 weeks ago today so I am hoping to hear any day now! :unsure:

I am so anxious to get my results so I can get started on my gluten free life! I never thought living gluten free may end up helping me mentally as well as physically!! B)

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My depression and anxiety started over a decade ago,then I had overweight and thyroid issues. I've had an on/off earting disorder most my school years and was always skinny until the present. Years and years of therapists proved useless and three doctors said I'm bipolar and possibly OCD but the last therapist didn't see it. Not on any depression meds now and my current doctor wants me back in therapy. Like I haven't had enough, right? Doctors are a joke.

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Thanks so much everyone, for all of the support and info. I really do appreciate it! I thought I'd update-I am now two days shy of being gluten-free for 5 weeks. I cannot believe the change in me! Depression, anxiety, and mood swings are 90% gone. Seriously! I never thought it would happen this quickly. Never. The first 1 1/2 weeks were kind of rough, but the last couple of weeks have more than made up for it. I went off my antidepressant last Friday and my mood stabilizer this past Monday. I had no withdrawals at all from them.

I do realize that there may be more mood shifts to come as I heal, but I feel so good right now, I can not imagine ever not continuing with being gluten-free. I keep having to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.

I am having gastrointestinal problems now, that I never had before going gluten-free. I am hoping these straighten out as time goes on. Those of you that are considering doing this to see if your depression/anxiety/bipolar issues are caused by gluten-I say go for it. You have nothing to lose.

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Congrats on your recovery!

Bipolar I here. I believe most of my mood problems have been caused by thyroid disease and gluten intolerance. I have to take a lot of supplements and fish oil, and had five years of normal mood. Unfortunately, recently my thyroid autoimmunity ramped up and I'm having problems again. (ugh)

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I have gluten and casein intolerance and cross reactivity issues with yeast and buckwheat. I was diagnosed with bipolar and add/adhd. Going off gluten and hence giving my immune system a break helped clear up my infections, which seemed to be triggering manic episodes. I have not been manic since I found out about the gluten issue and stopped eating it. I am still having issues with feeling down but since my body is still trying to heal and gluten intolerance is tough I think that is to be expected for awhile. I am still having memory and concentration problems - still looking for a doctor who will take it serious and not just prescribe a pill, which is not going to fix the root issue of what suddenly after 20 some years made my concentration and memory go out the window. Best wishes to you and I am glad to hear going gluten-free is helping you.

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Hi!

My first post here on celiac.com!

I am in my early 20s, and I was diagnosed with Bipolar II in my late teens.

Since that diagnosis, I've added on ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Disabling Insomnia (that's not a disease, but that's what I had), and about six bottles of prescription pills.

Things were okay - I had my spells of freedom from these symptoms. But, fun fact - in retrospect, these times where times when I was eating very little food! (One of my meds messed with my appetite).

My symptoms got worse and worse and worse. I started to feel disassotive, and suicidal.

I was having trouble getting out of bed, and even completing basic tasks. I was failing courses at school (which... never happened. I was a 90% student!).

On the advice of a (now) fellow Celiac, I went gluten-free five weeks ago.

Guess what? I can concentrate. I can sleep. I am happy. I am stable. I have energy. And, I feel 100% here. "Wow. This is what normal people feel like!"

I've talked to my doctor, and she also is now questioning my diagnoses, and she's helping me go off my meds as a trial.

I can't say if it "cured" bipolar, or if I even had bipolar to start with. But, I can say that...wow. I feel so much better.

If you've stumbled across this post wondering if gluten could be an issue for you (in addition to/instead of your mood disorder), I STRONGLY SUGGEST trying to cut it out completely for two full weeks. See how you feel. You've got nothing to lose. And, for me, if cutting out wheat were to get rid of just the insomnia alone, it would have been worth it.

There are many, many studies that show links between mental illness and diet.

Oh, I'd also like to add that the GI symptoms I had were mild...and, I gained weight instead of losing it. No doctor picked up on it at first. I needed another girl with Celiac to "diagnosis" me. ("....hun, I don't mean to offend you, but you have huge dark circles under your eyes, feel sick all the time, and have a huge belly sometimes... you really need to try cutting out wheat.")

She saved me from so much, and so many more years of pain.

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UPDATE: I was experiencing anxiety and then depression after posting that I was feeling so good. I am so disappointed that I went off the diet. My moods have gotten very bad and I am back seeing a psychiatrist. My regular doctor did the blood test for Celiac, but I won't know for a month. I really don't want to wait a month, so I think I am going to restart the diet. I figure with all the false negatives, it would be a miracle if I showed that I might have it anyway. And gluten sensitivity will never show up on anything, so why not just do it?

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If your mood deteriorated when you went back on gluten you have your answer anyway. You need the diet.

I'm so sorry to hear you are back to a psychiatrist. I know how painful and awful it is and I hope you feel better again back off gluten.

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I'm a little confused as to why my mood got worse while I was still on the diet, but maybe it was just the healing process? I don't know. But since going off the diet, I have gotten a lot worse.

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I'm a little confused as to why my mood got worse while I was still on the diet, but maybe it was just the healing process? I don't know. But since going off the diet, I have gotten a lot worse.

I went through phases of being better and worse at first. Like any healing process, I don't think coming out of bipolar is an instant thing. I felt better off the gluten, but I hadn't corrected the underlying malnutrition. My mood didn't really stabilize for over a year, until I got off all the toxic psych meds and learned to take fish oil, a great vitamin/mineral/trace supplement (link in my profile), and enough D and B12. If I slack on the supplements, I don't sleep as well and my mood starts to slide.

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Well I am taking the same meds that I was taking when I first started gluten-free, and I feel a whole lot worse than I did then. (After a few weeks I did stop taking the meds and did well until I got depressed/anxious again). So I am thinking that there really is a big difference when I am gluten-free. I need to psych myself up to do ths again.

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I agree that if going gluten free helps it is probably worth sticking to it. The tests have their problems with the false negatives and not having a significant result yet having terrible symptoms and like you said gluten sensitivity would not show up.

I agree I hope you feel better. Hopefully going gluten free again will help.

Sorry that you have to go back to the psychiatrist but hopefully that will offer you some relief while you go gluten free and your body has time to heal.

"Bipolar" tends to have seasonal patterns where people feel worse and have more problems in the spring and summer. I wonder if that has anything to do with why your mood was worse even though you were gluten free.

Skylark also has some good points that it takes time to heal and fix other problems the gluten caused so it can take time to feel better. I also think eliminating gluten fixes some problems but by cutting it out other hidden problems may become evident. The psych meeds made me feel so worse so not taking them is also crucial for my well being - could be the case for you too. Fish oil seems to help with moods, so maybe you are deficient in omega 3s and would also benefit from supplementing omega 3. Vitamin D also seems to be tied into moods, so you might feel better supplementing it too.

Maybe it would help to figure out what the challenges are for you to staying gluten free and to remember the benefits of it. I was so sick and it is so risky for me to have gluten all I have to do is think about that and no matter how much I crave gluten and casein I will not have it.

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Sometimes I just don't think I fit the 'bipolar' mold. I have been sick during every season. I also do not have periods of level, even moods anymore. And of course the drugs don't work for long if they work at all. I've only had one episode of non-med induced hypomania in my life, and it only lasted about 5 days, long enough for a diagnosis, but nothing in comparison to some people. Others seem to go up and down, while I only seem to go down until I get temporary relief with the meds. But then I also have some really classic symptoms of bipolar, too.

I am gearing up to go gluten-free on Monday. i just don't have the energy to start mid-week. At least on the week end I will have the time to think clearly about what I need to buy and what I will make during the week.

I do appreciate everyone's comments-it helps to look at this thing more clearly.

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I didn't really fit the bipolar mold well either. I broke through med after med. My psychiatrist suspected thyroid issues but we could never turn anything up with bloodwork. I suspect now that I had a mix of malabsorption and Hashimoto's flareups. Even now it takes stupid amounts of vitamins and minerals for me to test normal and if I miss taking some EMPowerPlus I find myself craving vitamin B enriched fruit smoothies.

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