Depression and Celiac Disease
Recently, I was reading an article about depression and Celiac disease. It spoke of the high incidence of depression in Celiac patients and the high suicide rate that goes along with it. The way the article was written, it made it seem as though individuals with Celiac are stuck with depression and mood disorders with no way out. Well, I don’t agree, and let me share with you why I think this way.
Usually if Celiac disease is caught in the early stages , and you remain Gluten free life long, the symptoms or side effects you get from gluten exposure should be minimal at that point. However, there is a problem. When the disease, and I’m speaking of Celiac disease , not gluten intolerance now, when it goes undiagnosed long term it presents a whole host of other problems. It’s not uncommon for instance, to end up with several other autoimmune diseases due to the long term damage that’s been done. Let me give you some of the common autoimmune diseases that happen due to long term undiagnostic. For one, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is very common with Celiac disease, a thyroid disease, and it can cause a lot of problems, depression being one and extreme fatigue and weakness. It also effects your digestion! The second common autoimmune disorder is Sjogrens disease which is in the rheumatoid family and tends to be a drying of the mouth and eyes causing problems with your teeth and eyes. It can also be systemic effecting your muscles and causing a lot of inflammation also leading to fatigue and depression. There are other less common autoimmune disorders that are connected to long term undiagnostic effects of Celiac disease , but they are fairly rare. I have ended up with Hashimotos and Sjogrens, and also another one known as Hypokalemic periodic paralysis, related to low potassium levels and the kidneys. Very difficult to treat, but once you do you tend to feel better. I am being treated for all the autoimmune issues and have found the depression has been resolved. I have to be very diligent with the diet, and monitoring of these other autoimmune problems. This way, it keeps the symptoms and suffering to a minimum.
So, if you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease and still suffer from depression, consider tightening up your Gluten exposure first. And if that doesn’t seem to be enough, consider having your physician check you for one or all of these diseases that so commonly go along with undiagnosed long term Celiac disease. By long term I mean, for example, mine went undiagnosed for at least 2 decades. I’m not talking weeks, I’m talking a long time to do that kind of damage. Otherwise, if you are newly diagnosed and haven’t had it that long, the diet should help greatly. But remember, you do have to be quite strict to be successful. Good luck to you! With wisdom and knowledge and a little perseverance, you can thrive instead of survive this disease process. Leave a comment if you like, would love to hear from you! Iris