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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.

Brain Issues
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17 posts in this topic

Hello Peeps,

One of my most noticeable symptoms during my time with undiagnosed celiac was memory loss. It was mostly an issue with remembering faces. I am happy to say that being gluten free has restored my memory, and removed the social anxiety that comes with not remembering people you've know for years. I'm wondering what is the root cause of the neuro issues with celiac...Is it the auto-immune response attacking the brain or is it malnutrition from malabsorption that leads to the brain issues. Anyone know?

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At the conferences I've attended, it's been pointed out that the blood flow to the frontal lobes is reduced in celiacs who eat gluten. Also, plaques can form throughout the brain. Take a look in the articles section of this site, because there are some interesting articles on neurological damage to the brain.

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I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have spent many years working with people with special needs and am continually finding links with gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease. For example many people with Down Syndrome have Celiac Disease. I also read recently that women with Celiac Disease are more likely to have children with Autism.

I just finished reading a book, "Pretending to be Normal", about a woman who has Asperger's Syndrome but did not find out until she was an adult. It got me thinking about "weird quirks" I've had throughout my life. When I was a kid I hated wearing socks because "the seams hurt my feet" and to this day I literally can not stand the sound of people rubbing their feet on the carpet. These could be linked to Sensory Perception Disorder. My mother told me that when I was young I would throw the worst tantrums for hours over what seemed like absolutely nothing and that she could not get me to stop. It makes me wonder what link is here that we are missing, and if we could figure it out we might really be onto something. Also, a little off subject but what about scoliosis? Could this be due to celiac disease and malnourishment?

I know that is a whole lot of slightly disconnected thoughts, but it's just really been on my mind lately.

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I think that it is auto immune and not malabsorption since the symptoms come on quickly upon accidental ingestion of gluten.

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For me gluten ( and soy) has caused "brain" issues. My neurologist stopped short of diagnosing ataxia mainly because she could not believe my issues were caused by soy ( I had only been gluten free for about 8 months at the time) :rolleyes: .

All I know is when I am glutened or ingest soy I have memory/ataxia/ brain issues .

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I think that it is auto immune and not malabsorption since the symptoms come on quickly upon accidental ingestion of gluten.

That is the case for me also. I also have what are called UBO's, or Unidentified Bright Objects which are lesions that are diagnostic of the autoimmune attack on the brain.

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I've been wondering about this too. My son has pretty bad motor delays and I've always been very clumsy, in addition to forgetful and flaky before my diagnosis. I know in young children fat is essential to the developing brain. So I do think the malabsorption of fats could play into it. I think the brain needs fats on an ongoing basis, so it might just shut some wings off, the way you would close rooms in a big house if you only had so much wood to burn.

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My son has ADHD and scored "lower" on long term memory 92 even though his full scale IQ is 118. The doctor believes that his celiac was triggered two to three years ago which was exactly when we noticed a huge drop in reading scores and reading comprehension. Math no problems at all. All other scores at or above grade level. Reading/ memory in the second to early third grade range. He is in the fourth grade. So I definitely think celiac plays a huge role in all of this( oh and I must say that the testing was done 2 weeks prior to his official celiac diagnosis.

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Hi

A bit late coming to this, I know, but with gluten I used to have balance issues. Only a little but enough to be a nuisance and make me self conscious - comparable to getting up after a large glass of wine! Also slightly clumsy, knocking myself on things. I also do one morning a week requiring mental arithmatic and with gluten the numbers are in a thick soup in my brain. Happy to say without gluten my balance is fine and my brain agile.

I have taken this as a warning of what could happen in the future without being gluten free - gluten directly affects my brain!

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There are many articles about neurological impairment, gluten ataxia and celiac.

I think it may be both ---autoimmunity and the complications of long term UnDXed celiac disease and malabsorption.

Many vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies can cause memory issues..

I had so many of them myself for 3 horrible years and suffered what I call "gluten head" (and they come back if glutened accidentally)

One says:

"patients who develop neurological dysfunction should be carefully screened for these. However, malabsorption does not satisfactorily explain the pathophysiology and clinical course of many of the associated neurological disorders. Other mechanisms proposed include altered autoimmunity, heredity, and gluten toxicity"

That citation is found here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12151653

Here are some other articles:

http://www.livingwithout.com/issues/4_12/ataxia-2366-1.html

http://www.livingwithout.com/issues/1_11/untreated_gluten_sensitivity-1800-1.html

and

https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/theneurologicalmanifestationsofgluten

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I have been thinking when my body picks up gluten, or something else it doesn't like, it just shuts off getting nutrients.

Diana

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"Gluten Head" - that's what it is !!! New medical term, I think :P .

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"Gluten Head" - that's what it is !!! New medical term, I think :P .

Copyrighted by IrishHeart 2011

first used in a conversation with EatMeat4Good.

(she'll vouch for me) :D

I call what I lived in Gluten Head Hell

(will probably be the title of my book.)

Cracked up my GI doc with that one. He asked if he "could use it". I said "Go for it dude"

but give me props when you do.

.

(not really funny back then "during it" --not funny at all)

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The Op hasn't been back since "he" posted this. Wonder if the "gluten head" caused him to forget his password? :)

This happened to me. I made a Facebook page and promptly forgot the password. Then realized I had entered the email wrong, too!

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Another aspect of Gluten Head - when glutened on waking in morning I have to go through the days of the week to work out what day it is! Had no idea this was caused by gluten until gluten free!

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I'd have conversations with my colleague, turn to my computer to start working on whatever we'd discussed (literally seconds late), and then have to ask her what we were talking about. Happily, 2 + years gluten free and I am now *much* better at remembering.

Hi

A bit late coming to this, I know, but with gluten I used to have balance issues. Only a little but enough to be a nuisance and make me self conscious - comparable to getting up after a large glass of wine! Also slightly clumsy, knocking myself on things. I also do one morning a week requiring mental arithmatic and with gluten the numbers are in a thick soup in my brain. Happy to say without gluten my balance is fine and my brain agile.

I have taken this as a warning of what could happen in the future without being gluten free - gluten directly affects my brain!

Me too. I used to crash into everything, I couldn't handle walking in crowds because I had so much trouble not walking into people who were walking towards me. It was really scary reading about gluten ataxia and how bad some people had it and it was what made me so dedicated to going strictly gluten free even without a diagnosis. It took about 6 months to resolve. Scary how it can affect the brain.

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My motor issues have improved a lot in just a few weeks. The other day I was wearing shorts and I asked my husband if he noticed anything different. He looked down and immediately said, "There aren't any bruises on your legs"!

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