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Depression/anxiety/brain Fog

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I went gluten free in May of this year and before that I had major depression/anxiety/brain fog. I had many other symptoms but those seemed to settle down after going gluten free. The mental symptoms have gotten a bit better but I still feel far from normal. Anyone have similar mental symptoms and how long did it take for those symptoms to go away?

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I have no personal experience I can help you with, but until those who do come back on the boards, I can tell you from what I have read from others, that these three symptoms are some of the most common from celiac, and that they also take the longest to resolve on a gluten free diet. Most folks who have had the symptoms for several/many years can look to a 2-3 year period for complete resolution of symptoms. That's how insidious this disease is, so I hope you are in it for the long haul :rolleyes:

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I have no personal experience I can help you with, but until those who do come back on the boards, I can tell you from what I have read from others, that these three symptoms are some of the most common from celiac, and that they also take the longest to resolve on a gluten free diet. Most folks who have had the symptoms for several/many years can look to a 2-3 year period for complete resolution of symptoms. That's how insidious this disease is, so I hope you are in it for the long haul :rolleyes:

You might want to provide our forum gurus with details of your diet and medications. Diet and medications seem to be most important in getting a response from the members with similar circumstances as yours especially what made a positive difference.

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I went gluten free in May of this year and before that I had major depression/anxiety/brain fog. I had many other symptoms but those seemed to settle down after going gluten free. The mental symptoms have gotten a bit better but I still feel far from normal. Anyone have similar mental symptoms and how long did it take for those symptoms to go away?

Are you still coming into contact with gluten? It takes awhile being totally and completely gluten-free for these symptoms to go away. I have been on a gluten-free diet since April, made lots of mistakes and kept finding myself yoyoing.....it felt like I was taking 2 steps fwd and 1 step back for along time. Along with the exposure to gluten I was having troubles like you have described. Have your vit levels been checked? My vits were real low and I think the lack of energy was contributing to my depressed feelings. My vit D is going thru trials to see what I need to be taking, doc just recently backed me off as my body was actually starting to take it and now I am wondering if it is too low again, have little energy again. Perhaps not the same going on with you, some things to think about though.

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I DO have depression, anxiety, and brain fog, most of which I attribute to gluten. The anxiety and brain fog especially for me, but I'll explain a little bit more.

My anxiety and brain fog are resolving on the gluten free diet. It is, as mushroom said, a slow process. I've been gluten free since September, and I usually know if I've been glutened or had a cross contamination incident. My anxiety and paranoia become off the charts, and I have days where it feels like I can't think or focus at all.

I've recently started playing the flute again- something I haven't done for years. I realize now, I didn't have the focus, mental clarity, creativity, and simple passion for music that I once had. I understand now it was because I was getting progressively sicker over the years.

I'm afraid it's a long building process to put your life back together after a Celiac diagnosis. There's a lot of clawing things back that you thought were well and truly lost, repairing damaged relationships, that kind of thing. It's extremely rewarding, but it's hard.

I'm still nominally on prozac and topamax, but I forget to take them a lot of the time, because I feel fantastic simply being off gluten. My wires were so crossed internally, I was crying for no reason whatsoever. That was why I finally relented and went on prozac.

I recommend over supplementing with B vitamins and D,for a short time. That helped tremendously with the mental symptoms.

However, I give myself a little slack on the depression front. I've had, no lie or exaggeration, a tough life. If I have sad days where I NEED to be sad, to feel those things, that's a completely valid emotion, and I let myself feel it.

Too much of modern society is focused on closing yourself off from negative emotions. I believe it's necessary to experience sadness, frustration, anger-- and then move on from them, learn to live with them and the associated experiences instead of walling pieces of yourself off. They're completely natural, healthy emotions, as long as you're not wallowing.

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Brain fog was the worst. It got to the point where I was afraid to speak, because nothing would come out of my mouth the way I wanted it to, and I sounded like an idiot.....fumbling for words, confusion, slurred speech.Self-esteem was at an all-time low.

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Alright so here is my diet and medication history:

I started gluten free in May of this year. I seemed to be improving slowly with physical symptoms but not too much with mental symptoms. I wasnt having panic attacks or deep depression anymore so I was making progress. In early July my gluten-free broke up with me so I was desperate to get better. I immediately started an elimination diet along with 50 mcg of levothyroxine(for hashimotos...although I am a 23 year old male and have pretty normal thyroid labs) I did the elimination diet for 2 weeks then decided to continue on a more strict diet that had no gluten,diary,soy,and kind of corn. When August came around I was actually starting to get a glimpse of what normal felt like again. But then...I had a colonoscopy in late august and about 5 days after I became VERY depressed and had major brain fog(I dont know if it was due to the colonoscopy or the thyroid medication or just a random incident but I hadnt had any major depression since going gluten free) So I stopped taking the thyroid medication and slowly got a bit better but I still felt worse than before.

Fast Foward to now: I have started the thyroid medication again(2 months ago) to try to get back to normal without any luck which is making me think maybe I was feeling better due to the diet? It confuses me though because I have been gluten/soy/dairy free and not getting better. The only thing I can think of is after that colonoscopy and feeling awful I basically stopped cooking and depended on my mother and processed "gluten free" foods. Now that I look back it seems that some of those foods maybe have CC issues. Could this be causing the setback? 4 Days ago I started another elimination diet hoping that I will cut out ALL traces of possible gluten as well as other possible allergies. Its so difficult to function with these mental issues and nobody takes me seriously! I want so badly to live a normal life on my own but Im stuck at home wondering when I will ever get better.

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Alright so here is my diet and medication history:

I started gluten free in May of this year. I seemed to be improving slowly with physical symptoms but not too much with mental symptoms. I wasnt having panic attacks or deep depression anymore so I was making progress. In early July my gluten-free broke up with me so I was desperate to get better. I immediately started an elimination diet along with 50 mcg of levothyroxine(for hashimotos...although I am a 23 year old male and have pretty normal thyroid labs) I did the elimination diet for 2 weeks then decided to continue on a more strict diet that had no gluten,diary,soy,and kind of corn. When August came around I was actually starting to get a glimpse of what normal felt like again. But then...I had a colonoscopy in late august and about 5 days after I became VERY depressed and had major brain fog(I dont know if it was due to the colonoscopy or the thyroid medication or just a random incident but I hadnt had any major depression since going gluten free) So I stopped taking the thyroid medication and slowly got a bit better but I still felt worse than before.

Fast Foward to now: I have started the thyroid medication again(2 months ago) to try to get back to normal without any luck which is making me think maybe I was feeling better due to the diet? It confuses me though because I have been gluten/soy/dairy free and not getting better. The only thing I can think of is after that colonoscopy and feeling awful I basically stopped cooking and depended on my mother and processed "gluten free" foods. Now that I look back it seems that some of those foods maybe have CC issues. Could this be causing the setback? 4 Days ago I started another elimination diet hoping that I will cut out ALL traces of possible gluten as well as other possible allergies. Its so difficult to function with these mental issues and nobody takes me seriously! I want so badly to live a normal life on my own but Im stuck at home wondering when I will ever get better.

You may have just nailed it......if your momn was doing the cooking and she was not aware of how careful she needed to be she could have easily CC the food or even put something in that she wasn't aware wasn't good for you.

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The only thing I can think of is after that colonoscopy and feeling awful I basically stopped cooking and depended on my mother and processed "gluten free" foods. Now that I look back it seems that some of those foods maybe have CC issues. Could this be causing the setback? .

Yes, yes, yes. This is a HUGE change. I don't know how much your mother knows about cross-contamination, and I don't know how much processed "gluten-free" foods you are eating, but that could well be at the root of your problems. Gluten-free processed foods often still contain up to 20 ppm of gluten, and if you eat a lot of them you will get quite a bit of gluten. And cross-contamination from other foods (especially if they are prepared by a non-celliac) is a very high risk. Do go back to what you were doing before that worked for you.

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Thanks everyone! My mom does a good job at preparing foods and tryin not to CC but there were probably plenty of times that I was too exhausted and ate food that I probably shouldnt have(nuts from health food stores, spices, etc.) When I first started I wouldnt eat anything unless I checked online and made sure it was ok...I gave that up for a while because I was feeling so off but Im going to return to it and make sure I stick to it this time!

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Not sure why you keep taking yourself off and on thyroid medicine, but that may be the problem.

Did an endocrinologist prescribe this for medicine for you? Are you, in fact, hypothyroid?

If so, why do you keep messing with the dosage, hon?

Either you need it or you do not, but it is not advisable to go off it randomly without supervision.

After you have been gluten free for a while, your thyroid function MAY normalize and you MAY not need meds (this happened to me) but until then, I do not think it wise for you to keep going off and on it. That does not keep the thyroid stimulating hormone levels even in your system and could very well cause depression and anxiety.

In answer to your original question, it may take some time for the neurological symptoms to clear. Healing time varies from person to person. Mine took many months and I still have some to resolve, but I went long UnDXed. Try to be patient. ;)

Best wishes!

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Hey Irishheart...I know I sound crazy going on and off the thyroid medication but here is whats happened. In May I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease with an APO count of 200. My TSH and FT3 and FT4 have all been in the "normal" ranges and the Endo said here is a prescription for hashis but I doubt it will help any of your symptoms so I did not take it. Fast Foward to July I was desperate to get better so I tryed starting the medication...but I also started an elimination diet. After about a month I started feeling better and felt ok for a couple of weeks until I had that deep depression and brain fog. It scared me so much because I hadnt had that happen since going gluten free so I thought that it must be because of the thyroid medication. So after I stopped the depression lessened over the next couple weeks but I didnt feel good still. So after a month of being of the medication and still feeling bad I Decided to go back on it(I thought that must have been the reason I was feeling better)

But now I have been on the medication for 2 months and dont feel any better so I starting to think that maybe I dont need to be on the thyroid medication and just need to focus on my diet to get better.

Im also starting to wonder if the antibodies are caused by celiac? I heard that having APO present doesnt neccessarily mean you have hashimotos. Like I said im a 23 year old male and my thyroid function seems normal and I have no swelling or nodules or things like that. So anyways I hope that explains why I have been starting/stopping the medication

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Hey Irishheart...I know I sound crazy going on and off the thyroid medication but here is whats happened. In May I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease with an APO count of 200. My TSH and FT3 and FT4 have all been in the "normal" ranges and the Endo said here is a prescription for hashis but I doubt it will help any of your symptoms so I did not take it. Fast Foward to July I was desperate to get better so I tryed starting the medication...but I also started an elimination diet. After about a month I started feeling better and felt ok for a couple of weeks until I had that deep depression and brain fog. It scared me so much because I hadnt had that happen since going gluten free so I thought that it must be because of the thyroid medication. So after I stopped the depression lessened over the next couple weeks but I didnt feel good still. So after a month of being of the medication and still feeling bad I Decided to go back on it(I thought that must have been the reason I was feeling better)

But now I have been on the medication for 2 months and dont feel any better so I starting to think that maybe I dont need to be on the thyroid medication and just need to focus on my diet to get better.

Im also starting to wonder if the antibodies are caused by celiac? I heard that having APO present doesnt neccessarily mean you have hashimotos. Like I said im a 23 year old male and my thyroid function seems normal and I have no swelling or nodules or things like that. So anyways I hope that explains why I have been starting/stopping the medication

No, it doesn't sound crazy to me. :) I took myself off the meds after I asked another doctor about my results and lack of thyroid antibodies and he told me he did not know why I was on it in the first place. I had asked the endo's NP repeatedly--for 2 years-- if I needed to be on this med and he said yes. :rolleyes:

Well, kiddo, it could be that you do not need the med, and I am surprised a doctor would give it to you with the statement, "it won't help your symptoms" :blink: I mean, why give it to you then? Ugh...doctors and drugs--don't get me started!! <_<

All I know is, I was slightly hypo for years before my DX (and I was overweight but my weight plunged when the celiac triggered and I lost almost 95 lbs. in a short time) and going on the meds made me worse. After my DX, I still had what are considered" hypothyroid symptoms" but really, they were just celiac symptoms. My thyroid stabilized and instead of fluctuating from hypo to hyper, they remain normal, in optimal range and I have no symptoms. :) It was the same thing for my blood sugar, liver, hormones, vitamin levels, blood pressure, body temp, and everything else. All wonky from celiac and malabsorption--now, stable.

The depression and anxiety and brain fog can be caused by things other than your thyroid. Deficiencies in vitamins, seratonin, amino acids and other neurotransmitters, for example. (Or plain old trace gluten CC. )

Perhaps you just need more healing time??

I would check with your endo and make sure she hasn't missed anything if you are worried and that will put your mind at ease.

Best wishes.

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I have to reiterate that many if not all cellars are deficient in vitamins B and D as well as the trace mineral magnesium. If you are not supplementing these, it's unlikely you'll see improvement in your mental health as all of these are critical for proper brain and gut function. D regulates mood, B vitins are precursors to serotonin and mg is a cofactor in a multitude of enzymatic processes.

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I agree with SAINTMAYBE---

as I said, all those neurotransmitters and vitamins/minerals/amino acids are impacted because the gut is impacted. My B-12, D, Folate (B9), cal and mag, potassium and K deficiencies certainly added to my anxiety, brain fog and depression. Once properly supplemented, the brain fog and anxiety disappeared (gradually) and they ONLY reappear if accidentally glutened. That's my gluten "tell"--the scary brain stuff. (I call it "Gluten head" :blink: ) I still have some lingering depression & fatigue (I am 11 months gluten-free) and it is hard for me--- as it is soooo NOT my personality AT ALL. But I know that @ 95% of seratonin is made in the gut, so I figure, it will correct in time. I also have major chronic pain issues from celiac and my body gets tired dealing with that and that depletes my seratonin storage as well. I remain patient because I know it takes time.

Have you had your vitamin levels checked???

You may want to supplement properly with the right vitamins/minerals.

I also HIGHLY recommend probiotics-- if you are not already on them. Helps restore the gut flora balance. Celiacs definitely need them.

okay, that's all the advice I've got :lol:

Let us know how you make out!

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Thanks for the feedback! I have had my vitamin B12 and D checked. vitamin B12 was 200 and vitamin D was 30. I have been taking sublingual vitamin B12(2000 per day) and around 3000 D a day(Since may). I havent been taking probiotics though...I will try and start taking those ASAP. Any suggestions for a good probiotic brand?

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Thanks for the feedback! I have had my vitamin B12 and D checked. vitamin B12 was 200 and vitamin D was 30. I have been taking sublingual vitamin B12(2000 per day) and around 3000 D a day(Since may). I havent been taking probiotics though...I will try and start taking those ASAP. Any suggestions for a good probiotic brand?

What were the ranges for your vitamin tests?

The B-12 is about what I take sublingually, but I also go out of my way to drink B supplement drinks. There's one at GNC called FRS that was originally specifically designed as an energy supplement for cancer patients. I find it works tremendously well, even if it is a little pricey.

The D you may still be low on. Maybe. I take 10,000 IU per day without ill effect. I think celiacs may have particular trouble absorbing D.

You should consider Mg supplementation. Research has shown it has profound effects on the brain, and it's lack in the diet can be quite damaging. Most celiacs are deficient in this, by the way, according to some fairly recent research (late 90's, early 2000's).

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I believe the range for the vitamin D was 30-90. I was never given the range for the B12 but I believe the ranges I saw on the internet were around 400-800. My doctor says he wants it to be at least 400 so ill see later today what the test results are.

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Thanks for the feedback! I have had my vitamin B12 and D checked. vitamin B12 was 200 and vitamin D was 30. I have been taking sublingual vitamin B12(2000 per day) and around 3000 D a day(Since may). I havent been taking probiotics though...I will try and start taking those ASAP. Any suggestions for a good probiotic brand?

I have tried a few but my doc recently suggested Culturelle (the gluten-free, dairy free one) as it was studied by researchers at Tufts Univ. A few others I suggested it to felt it "did the job" as well. ;)

Your B-12 and D were low, it seems, but that's not unusual for us. :rolleyes:

My B-12 and Folate levels came up within a few months with supps (the folic acid was prescription) and gut healing. In fact, I was VERY HIGH in those 2 and the doc told me to back off because it can cause toxicity. I know everyone says "you just pee it out", but that's not exactly true because of malabsorption and high levels of any vitamin are not necessarily good either. That's why having levels checked is a good thing.

The Vit D is stubborn. I was @ 19 and it took a while to get it to 58. My doc says let's aim for 80.

See what your next test results say. Give it some time, hon. Make sure you're not getting CCed anywhere and hang in there. You're on the road!!

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Alright so here is my diet and medication history:

I started gluten free in May of this year. I seemed to be improving slowly with physical symptoms but not too much with mental symptoms. I wasnt having panic attacks or deep depression anymore so I was making progress. In early July my gluten-free broke up with me so I was desperate to get better. I immediately started an elimination diet along with 50 mcg of levothyroxine(for hashimotos...although I am a 23 year old male and have pretty normal thyroid labs) I did the elimination diet for 2 weeks then decided to continue on a more strict diet that had no gluten,diary,soy,and kind of corn. When August came around I was actually starting to get a glimpse of what normal felt like again. But then...I had a colonoscopy in late august and about 5 days after I became VERY depressed and had major brain fog(I dont know if it was due to the colonoscopy or the thyroid medication or just a random incident but I hadnt had any major depression since going gluten free) So I stopped taking the thyroid medication and slowly got a bit better but I still felt worse than before.

Fast Foward to now: I have started the thyroid medication again(2 months ago) to try to get back to normal without any luck which is making me think maybe I was feeling better due to the diet? It confuses me though because I have been gluten/soy/dairy free and not getting better. The only thing I can think of is after that colonoscopy and feeling awful I basically stopped cooking and depended on my mother and processed "gluten free" foods. Now that I look back it seems that some of those foods maybe have CC issues. Could this be causing the setback? 4 Days ago I started another elimination diet hoping that I will cut out ALL traces of possible gluten as well as other possible allergies. Its so difficult to function with these mental issues and nobody takes me seriously! I want so badly to live a normal life on my own but Im stuck at home wondering when I will ever get better.

I can relate to what your saying a lot. I'm also a 23 year old wanting to live a normal life on my own stuck at home wanting to get better.

I haven't been diagnosed with gluten intolerance b/c i havent gone to the doctor yet b/c my symptoms are mostly mental like yours. I had random bouts of severe depression over the last few years and it took me a while to discover the cause. I finally learned it was a reaction to pesticides in citrus fruits. I tested it over and over and the severe depression set in shortly after consuming oranges, lemons, or grapefruits. I also ate plenty of organic oranges and lemons without any reaction. Maybe your depression is a reaction to pesticides just like mine? surely your eating fruit while going gluten free.

Now don't quote me on this but... A lot of people have mental symptoms from being a celiac and it is thought to be from the malnourishment of the brain. But in my case i think it's gluten entering the blood via leaky gut and reeking havoc on my brain/nervous system. I'm not sure if i have celiac and who knows. However im pretty sure im gluten intolerant and thats where my mental symptoms are coming from. i've gone gluten free and pretty much just got worse. I was eating mostly rice and beans though. I bought TriEnza with DPP IV Activity it's an enzyme that can digest gluten extremely well. It'll arrive at my house tomorrow. i'll let you know how to goes!

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I'm not sure if i have celiac and who knows. However im pretty sure im gluten intolerant and thats where my mental symptoms are coming from. i've gone gluten free and pretty much just got worse. I was eating mostly rice and beans though. I bought TriEnza with DPP IV Activity it's an enzyme that can digest gluten extremely well. It'll arrive at my house tomorrow. i'll let you know how to goes!

I have read about this TriEnza. He suggests it can be used so "your children on a gluten-free/DF diet can have gluten and be like everyone else". :huh: ??? Meaning, sure go ahead and eat gluten-filled products, but take this pill with it and it will counter-act the gluten destruction? hmm...

Not sure exactly how it can "digest gluten", but they have put a warning statement on the website that says "NOT FOR CELIAC DISEASE." It's actually buried in the text, but I saw it there.

If you have gotten worse since going gluten-free , you may be just withdrawing a bit and hopefully, it will pass.

Honestly, I am not sure you will get any benefit from it, hon. We have all seen/heard of many "Magic Potions" for diluting gluten symptoms, but the truth is, once gluten is ingested, there's no was to actually reverse it.

If you are gluten free, why would you need it anyway? Save your $$$.

If you require digestive enzymes because of gastrointestinal issues, that's a different story.

Just my humble opinion. Best wishes!

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