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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.

Medications For Depression And Anxiety
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8 posts in this topic

I have just started taking a medication for depression called Sertraline. I just took the first pill a few minutes ago. My doctor thinks that they will help me deal with celiac disease better. He said that celiacs can be depressed because serotonin is produced in the intestines and since ours are horribly damaged, this might help.

I found this online:

Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of animals including humans.

I guess his thinking may be spot on. I am just a little bit ashamed to be taking these. I am not sure why. I just have always considered myself to be a strong person and now I feel like I am not.

Does anyone have experience with these?

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Hi there,

I've been on antidepressants and anxiety meds for about fifteen years. Don't be ashamed. Some people use them short time and some long term. If this one doesn't work for you, there are many different options. I would suggest however that you see a counselor. There is also programs that teach CBT, Cognitive Behavior Therepy. I went through the program and it changed my life.

My issues are a bit different than yours and that is why I still take meds.

Good luck to you.

Colleen

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I take Zoloft which is also sertraline. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my life and I have found Zoloft has really helped me. I was always really against the idea of taking antidepressants (they seemed so scary) and now I only wish I hadn't wasted so many years with that attitude. It is amazing not feeling anxious all the time. I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance and while my anxiety did dissipitate a bit over 2.5 years gluten free, it was only after a month or so on Zoloft that I felt so much better.

Don't feel ashamed to be taking them. I can relate to how you feel and I do keep it a secret from most people, but I would be honest if anyone asked me outright. I see it as a medical treatment for a real condition, depression and anxiety aren't personal failings or weaknesses.

I second the suggestion to see a counsellor. My GP said that treatment of depression with a combination of therapy and medication shows the most success and I see a clinical psychologist weekly and that has really helped too. I tried therapy in the past without medication and that didn't work for me - I think I was so depressed I couldn't take it in. But having the depression lifted by the medication and then starting therapy was a great combo.

It can be hard adjusting to SSRIs initially. In the first week I had insomnia, I kept clenching my jaw and I could not stop jittering. But those passed and googling my symptoms to read about how other people felt the same really helped me. It's also extremely important to wean off them very slowly, if you decide not to take them anymore. Stopping suddenly can (very likely) have severe side effects.

All the best to you. I hope you feel a lot better soon.

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I take sertraline or Zoloft also. It helps with depression. I have been taking it long before i was diagnosed with celiacs but to me it has helped. I hope that you dont feel bad about taking it. I think that was kinda long ago when antidepressents werent commonly used. I mean i think that taking one is a sign that you are taking charge of your disease. Hope it goes well.

Kathi from KC

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I take Rodiola Rosea sometimes. It is a natural herb that helps um, er, things. It makes me feel more like doing things. I took it every day for a while but ended up not being able to sleep well. I recently started taking it again but not every day. Low thyroid can also make people feel tired and depressed. Being sick most of the time can also occasionally make a person a teensy tad depressed. Hard to figure out why. After all, what's depressing about being sick? All those ding bat healthy people all smiling all the time for one thing. :)

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Thanks for responding. It's nice to know that I am not suffering with this anxiety/depression alone. I didn't realize how common it was to take these meds. Hopefully in time, things will straighten out. :)

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I have just started taking a medication for depression called Sertraline. I just took the first pill a few minutes ago. My doctor thinks that they will help me deal with celiac disease better. He said that celiacs can be depressed because serotonin is produced in the intestines and since ours are horribly damaged, this might help.

I found this online:

Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of animals including humans.

I guess his thinking may be spot on. I am just a little bit ashamed to be taking these. I am not sure why. I just have always considered myself to be a strong person and now I feel like I am not.

Does anyone have experience with these?

most likely this is a chemical imbalance problem, would you be ashamed to take insulin? You can not "gut" (pun intended) your way out of either one.
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My first celiac support meeting was enlightening because just about everyone was comparing which ssri they were taking and which ones did not agree with them. That was when it clicked that all us with celiac have a very common challenge with low serotonin levels due to gut damage. It is very likely that many of us require something to increase our serotonin levels

I had a very hard time with most of the newer ssri's but had almost no breaking-in period with prozac. It was a perfect fit for me and much needed relief from the terrible worry/anxiety/depression that I was constantly fighting. I hope that zoloft is that way for you.

FYI, for some of us that cannot tolerate any ssri's, some have found success with the natural supplement 5HTP, which is a serotonin precursor. Vitamin B6 in the form of P5P is also a good one for neurotransmitter health. Taken together improves chances it will have a beneficial effect.

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    • I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue.  I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years.  Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got.   Feed dust everywhere. Total mess.  Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems.  Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough.  His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free.  I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two).   At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!)  But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure.  And doctors state side that are worth seeing?  Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?
    • Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease.  They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD.  You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal".  Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today.  Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free.  It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac.  I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis.  I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows?  Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South.  I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not.  I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!
    • I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass?  But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine.  If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle.   - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue.  Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The  high sugar content of the drink.  I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink?  Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor.  Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?  
    • Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have!  As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already. 
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