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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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Could This be Insidious Neuro-Celiac?

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Greetings, everyone!

My name is David. I have dealt with high-functioning autism since I was a little kid. I had a healthy childhood, and then, in the summer of 2012, back when I was fifteen and a half years old, I began experiencing a weird combination of semi-mania, occasional and inexplicable brain fog, and an overall state of high energy and very strong self-confidence. However, a few months later, in September and early October of 2012, I rather abruptly stopped feeling so great, and the brain fog hit me even worse,  Anhedonia and a pervasive sense of depersonalization also began. During this short span, I began to fear that my Asperger's (which I still highly valued at the time) was somehow fading away and that I would turn into a neurotypical. But mysteriously enough, after three weeks of being in this lull, I quickly returned to a state of inner peace, good well-being, relatively high energy, and renewed ambition. Moving ahead to the spring of 2013, I made new friendships and was again in a state of near-euphoria, strength, and persistent joy. 

And then, in the early summer of 2013, the fatigue began, and the elation faded away. Initially, this fatigue was physical in nature and limited to a mild loss of endurance while going out on jogs, but eventually, by February of 2014, I was also beginning to experience mental fatigue, occasional-yet-intense depression, and a stubborn and new OCD-like anxiety about losing my own thoughts and emotions of value. As the months went by, my performance in both academics and track and field began to decline, subtly but surely. and the depression worsened. Thinking at the time that my dopamine system was underactive, I began taking the NDRI, Wellbutrin, in 2014's summer, and ultimately, my anxieties, fatigue, and depression only worsened. In the fall of 2014, I ended the Wellbutrin treatment and began taking Risperidone, which, thankfully, did quickly relieve my OCD-like anxiety and eventually my depressed mood as well. For the most part, I consistently have been on antipsychotics since then, which have kept me calm, polite, and sleeping well at night.

Nevertheless, by now, I am now twenty years old, and I now take Abilify everyday. I continue to deal with treatment-resistant anhedonia, which seems to grow a bit each day and effects me at all points in the day and night. Even my dreams seem to be devoid of much happiness (although, luckily for me, I at least rarely have nightmares). Also, for whatever little emotions I still have, I am detached from them to the point that it almost seems as if someone else inside my head is experiencing the pleasure or pain, not "me." And, finally, the chronic fatigue also continues to get a bit worse every week, more or less.

I have not dealt with any gastrointestinal issues that I am aware of, and to be fair, I also have NOT had to experience any headaches or pains from anywhere on my body, so I am not overly-convinced that I actually have gluten intolerance of any kind. HOWEVER, we have definitely ruled out Neuro-Lyme, chronic fatigue syndrome, or any real neurodegenerative disease. I will again say and add that SSRI's, SNRI's, and pro-dopamine medications either failed to help me or even made things worse. I consider myself to have some peculiar form of depression, but, as I have mentioned before, it doesn't really manifest like standard (or atypical, for the matter) depression, because low mood and anxiety were never the initial or primary symptoms to begin with. The emotional detachment, in my opinion, probably goes beyond a simple case of depression, because there are no negative emotions in my mind anymore that would be a likely cause of it. Even for depression, my anhedonia seems extremely stubborn and severe, almost as if a neurological hiccup of some kind if occurring in my frontal lobes.

Traditionally speaking, I have always been a lover and heavy consumer of bread and carbs. In your opinion, could my depression-like disorder, in fact, be a rare and extremely insidious manifestation of Celiac Disease, or at the very least, bad gluten intolerance? OR, on the other hand, am I just suffering from unusually pervasive depression? I plan on getting tested within a few months, but I am very curious as to what you all have to say about my own experience in the meanwhile. Any thoughts, comments, or insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. :) 

 

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That is a crazy thing about celiac.  There are several hundred different symptoms and everyone seems to have a different combination.  It could be celiac.  Good for you for thinking of it!  Now get tested so you won't be left wondering......

Make sure to keep eating gluten while you are waiting for the testing. About the equivalent of 1 piece of bread per day.  

And, just curious, why do you have to wait several months to get tested? the preliminary testing is a blood test (but you do need to be eating gluten for 8-12 weeks prior)

let us know how it goes!

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Hi David,

Welcome to the forum! :)

Here is a study link looking at neurological effects associated with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.  There are many symptoms of celiac disease, and also a higher chance of schizophrenia and other conditions like T-1 diabetes. rhuematoid arthritis etc.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641836/

Here is a link to a thread about some mental symptoms people have suffered.  There are more threads on the subject on the forum.

Anger, Quick Temper, Depression

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/34917-anger-quick-temper-depression/

There is a condition called gluten ataxia that affects some people with celiac disease where the antibodies attack cells in the brain.  It can cause difficulty walking and coordinating muscle movements.  So there is definitely a link between gluten ingestion and possible brain affects.

I am currently taking the NAMI family to family class so have a vague understanding of some condition symptoms.  It sounds like you are describing bipolar disorder?  It's good you are getting treatment for it.  I was depressed for a time before going gluten-free myself.

https://www.drugs.com/risperidone.html

Common risperidone side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness, drowsiness, feeling tired;

  • tremors, twitching or uncontrollable muscle movements;

  • agitation, anxiety, restless feeling;

  • depressed mood;

  • dry mouth, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation;

  • weight gain; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

Here is an article about wheat and schizophrenia.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201103/wheat-and-schizophrenia

If you want to try the gluten-free diet,we can help with pointers on getting started.  But the best thing to do is stay on a regular gluten eating diet until all celiac testing is completed.  The testing involves taking blood samples to check for gluten antibodies, and usually an endoscopy later to check for intestinal damage.  There is no testing for GS (gluten sensitivity) yet.  Sometimes we call that NCGS, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

I suggest staying on your regular medication until your doctor says anything different.

Edited by GFinDC
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Welcome

I can get a whole basket of symptoms with my gluten and other food intolerances in addition to gi, cognitive, nerve, mood.

As a woman somehow my autoimmune and nerve issues if I'm not fully in remission  is tied to flares and hormones of my cycle.

I lose my balance easily after consumption of cc and regularly spent years catching my wrist watch on walls and door  frames.

So yes this can be worth investigating for you. Gluten and other foods etc can inflame the brain in my opinion.

Good luck on your journey.

 

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......de-ja vu sorry for the amusement. I find it very enlightening to find someone else with Asperger here. And yes it is possible for the neuro symptoms to cause depression, for me it was a combination of depression, anxiety, fog, etc. It got worse right up before my dia. thought I was dying. I also get gluten ataxia issues with it where it caused me brain damage and loss of feeling in my hands and feet.

Gastro wise I never really noticed it much as I thought only having a bowl movement every 3-11 days was normal. I also thought puking a bit of your food up every other meal was normal. I assumed most of the issues  I had were "normal" as I had them most of my life and they slowly progressed.
 

Many of the issues with the brain, neuro side of it can be a combination of antibody reactions and nutrient deficiency caused by damaged intestines. I can give you a few supplements I swear by that work wonders with them. Look up these and perhaps invest in them along with getting tested for celiac like ther others have mentioned
Liquid Health Stress & Energy 1tbsp 3 times a day
Liquid Health Neurological Support 1 tbsp 3 times a day
Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium start with 1/4 tsp a day and slowly over the period of a week ramp it up to the full dose. This can cause some gastric issues if you take the full dose straight

Love to chat more but I am a bit preoccupied thought wise with some things.

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Thanks for your input, everyone! :) I will get tested soon enough for this condition, and I will definitely update you all when the results finally come in.

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