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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Celiac And Depression [?]
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21 posts in this topic

Hi,

Can someone point me to the reputable research linking celiac with depression?

I have depression and, very likely, celiac as well and need to understand how much of the depression part can be attributed to gluten. My psychiatrist does not think much about it but she may be just ignorant in this particular area.

TIA, Eugene

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Thank you very much for the reference.

Eugene,

Before jumping to conclusions, I think you need to get a firm yes or no on a Celiac diagnosis. I have read that irritability is one symptom experienced by some Celiacs and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that depression is more common in those with the disease as in both cases we are talking about mood issues.

Let me caution you on something else, as well. While it is true that Celiac disease has been linked to many other disorders, there is a human tendancy to see Celiac disease under every bush. It is not to blame for everything that goes wrong with us.

Steve

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:rolleyes:

Eugene,

Before jumping to conclusions, I think you need to get a firm yes or no on a Celiac diagnosis. I have read that irritability is one symptom experienced by some Celiacs and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that depression is more common in those with the disease as in both cases we are talking about mood issues.

Let me caution you on something else, as well. While it is true that Celiac disease has been linked to many other disorders, there is a human tendancy to see Celiac disease under every bush. It is not to blame for everything that goes wrong with us.

Steve

Steve is correct. However, I know from personal experience that I was very depressed when the doctor told me that my symptoms were in my mind and there was nothing more she could do for me. I was dying. I know how I felt and I was depressed. Sooooo, maybe in some cases it is related. Still I would check out the Celiac first. The depression improves on a gluten free diet.

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Hi,

Can someone point me to the reputable research linking celiac with depression?

I have depression and, very likely, celiac as well and need to understand how much of the depression part can be attributed to gluten. My psychiatrist does not think much about it but she may be just ignorant in this particular area.

TIA, Eugene

There is a section in the book Dangerous Grains about depression. Maybe you could check it out at the bookstore and see if there is something you could use. It is only a couple of pages...but it is good info, and I am seriously thinking about making a photocopy of that info and giving it to my old psychiatrist.

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In my case, celiac causes anemia, which causes depression. Treating just the anemia only helps temporarily. I have to treat the cause of the anemia (celiac) to really stop the depression.

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Hi,

Can someone point me to the reputable research linking celiac with depression?

I have depression and, very likely, celiac as well and need to understand how much of the depression part can be attributed to gluten. My psychiatrist does not think much about it but she may be just ignorant in this particular area.

TIA, Eugene

I can attest to the depressive effects of gluten/wheat.

This is my first post here, but I read this thread and had to reply. I've been gluten-free for 11 months now--after having no help from doctors to treat my weird symptoms and head stuff/anxiety, even when I told them it appeared to be food related. They ran many tests, except for allergies, and always sent me home w/ a prescription for anti-anxiety/depression meds. I knew that wasn't my problem, and never took the drugs. I went off wheat on my own, realizing that every time I ate bread or pasta I was a wreck (bloating, icky stomach, palor, purple extremities, exhaustion, total feeling of unreality, etc). Then I started searching the web, and learned about Celiac Disease, found I fit so many of the weird, nebulous symptoms...and things started getting better...

Any time I accidently ingest gluten now, I get slammed with a depression out of the blue...it seems to follow a pattern of irritation, aggitation and negative thoughts that then quickly swells into a full-blown, pointless, bleak depression. And for me, tears. The brink of tears at the slightest thing. It's like taking a drug. I feel the negative head come on, and it's amazing to watch. The brain fog always comes with it. Knowing now where it comes from, it's a little easier to detach, and not respond to. But that doesn't mean it goes away. I just have to ride it out. Depending on what and how much gluten I've eaten, it can last from one or two days to a week. I try to explain this to people around me, but they don't seem to really get it. I know it's real. It's such an extreme shift. Total Jeckell (sp?)and Hyde.

I told an acupuncturist about this once, sort of sheepishly, thinking that she would just nod like others do and look at me strange, but her response was validating. She said that she sometimes prescribes Chinese herbs with a wheat base, that are supposed to be calming, and that she's seen them make some people "almost hysterical".

I realize this isn't the sort of science you were looking for, but I see that others have provided links to articles (I too have read many about depression and Celiac's, just on random searches), so I thought I'd offer this...

Good luck.

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Prior to his celiac diagnosis in 2003 my husband was suicidally depressed. How much of this depression was due to feeling that getting his health back was hopeless and his situation being hopeless vs. the depression that naturally comes chemically with celiac, I do not know. All I do know is that when he went gluten free, from that point on, the depression lifted gradually. I no longer have to worry about him doing himself in. He was misdiagnosed for 27 years and had all classic symptoms of celiac - severe symptoms of celiac (extremely underweight, gas, bloating, weak, fatigued, etc.)

So for us, there is depression attached to celiac disease; perhaps not in all celiacs and probably not as severe as his.

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I've read a lot of things linking celiac and depression. Maybe quickest and easiest, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green and Rory Jones has a checklist to help figure out if you should be tested. There are 3 categories, and one includes "psychiatric disorders or depression." So if you've had that plus any of the things in either of the other two checklists, they think you should be tested.

Anecdotally, I was always depressive until I went gluten-free. Nobody told me that depression was linked to celiac, so imagine my surprise when a few months later I realized that I was just bizarrely happy all the time.

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I can't point to any research but it my family it was one of the first symptoms for 2 of us. It is also the first indication that we have been glutened. It is overwhelming and accompanied by some irritalbility but of short duration. We are "normal" and easy to get along with gluten free though.

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Depression + Celiac's

I think one thing that has been over looked here, is that with Celiac's, it affects the body's ability to absorb nutrients from our food. So when gluten is ingested and we end with irratability and then depression, I think it results from a chemical imbalance due to the lack of nutrients.

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Well, I get a product from Youngevity.com that helps with everything. Cherry Flavored Plant Derived Minerals.

Also I take lots of B complex vitamins. It is great to be glutton free...but replacing all the minerals is so important.

I also love the enzymes in the probiotic formulas Daily Essence and Nightly Essence. They were developed to help with Candida..yeast infection...but they left me right out of a depressed funk too.

I started doing a lot of the right things by accident...but still would get cravings for bread sometimes. I would notice not feeling well and being down in the dumps the day after eating Pizza or bread.

Now all the puzzel pieces are fitting.

It also explains my need for caffein...I am so sluggish that it makes me feel normal.

But coffe can leach out minerals too. I am going to swich to something else.

Any suggestions for really good teas?

Nancy

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hi,

before I gave up gluten this winter I was horribly depressed. I was about to go get drugs(I NEVER take drugs because I am so paranoid). I was thinking I did not want to live like that anymore. Went gluten free and I don't think like that at all.

I have those horrible crying depressed spells that I know will pass. Thankfully they are very very rare now that I am off gluten.

I hope you find your answers. take care

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Yes, I also found going gluten-free to be a real plus for my mood. However, what really helped afterward was a sublingual methylcobalamin (B12) supplement, and also magnesium. I can't say enough positive things about these two nutrients.

I think it is obvious that the body and mind cannot function properly when it lacks the nutrients it needs.

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Feeling depressed is one of my symptoms. I can tell when I've been accidentally glutenated because I start to despair that my life will never get better, and then I can't stop crying. One day it was so bad I couldn't get off the couch the whole day - just laid there in a daze, trying to pull myself out of the funk but not being able to.

This is a big surprise to my friends because I'm usually extremely cheerful and friendly (the words "exuberant" and "too much" have been used here as well...) so even they can tell when I've got gluten.

Hopefully most of your feelings are from gluten!

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I also have this Jekyll-Hyde type of depression when I am glutenized. And it clears away if I pay attention to my diet. Strange. But doctors are not interested, probably because ifI am on a diet strictly their drugs are of no use. (And I dont use them anyway because they dont help me.)

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Oh dear. I'm not finding any of the articles I've read over the years, but they are out there. Celiacs have poor absorption and the lack of nutrients interferes with proper synthesis of neurotransmitters, which affects mood. Intestinal damage lowers levels of vitamins B and D which are important to mood and healthy brain function. My naturopath told me that serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, is mainly synthesized by your intestines so celiacs have that problem as well.

Those are the actual chemical reasons. Being mysteriously sick or incontinent or in pain for umpteen years doesn't do much for one's mood either! Celiacs are a perfect storm of causes of anxiety or depression.

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I was on Paxil for 13yr's. I weaned myself off very slowly. Had alot of nero problems that led me to become gluten free. lo & behold my anxiety & depression completely disappeared. I swear by this. I'm sure there are many people suffering as i did. I really believe your diet is so important to your mental health as much as your physical health. People just refuse to believe that wheat can do this.

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I have been gluten free for over 5 years and still have bouts of anxiety, irritability. I just recently met with a Psychologist for the first time ever and she said she thinks I have some sort of chemical imbalance. She suggested I see a Psychiatrist. I would really hate to start taking any prescription drugs. I just feel so alienated a lot of the time even though I have been on a gluten free diet for so long. I never cheat and rarely ever get glutened so I really don't know what is causing this. It is so frustrating. I do take Viactiv which is a calcium and Vitamin D supplement but maybe I should try the B12?

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i was treated for two years with all kinds of antidepressants, non of which worked. I finally switched GP and after ordering blood work she discovered my vitamin B levels were very low. After being loaded up with vitamin B shots my depression lifted. Now I have a b12 shot each month and it takes care of it. I am not a diagnosed celiac. I have had a biopsy and two blood tests which came back normal, however, my dad is celiac and I seem to have all the symptoms. I am about to embark on a gluten free diet to see what the effects on my body are.

wish me luck

:) Robyn

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