Celiac is an auto-immune disease because it causes damage to our body’s own immune system. About 3 million Americans are estimated to be suffering from the gluten allergy or celiac disease. Many more suffer from relatively milder gluten sensitivity.
Celiac disease creates problems in your villi (lining of your small intestine) when you consume gluten. Gluten is generally found in wheat, rye, barley. Gluten can be considered as ‘poison’ for the people with celiac disease. Naturally, they have to be on a gluten-free diet for the rest of their life.
Even though celiac patients are on gluten-free diet, they may acquire depression due to their difficulties in adjusting to the disease and the diet followed by them. It’s quite natural that if a person is told not to eat some foods for the rest of his life, he/she gets upset and disturbed even with that idea! And then the changes in his/her diet may cause many nutritional imbalances, leading to depressed state of mind.
One of the wrongly diagnosed symptoms of celiac disease is depression. That happens because celiac disease targets your small intestine where the nutrients of your food are absorbed. If you have celiac disease, gluten from your diet acts as a barrier between your food and your body. It seals the villi on your small intestine which absorbs nutrients. When you do not get essential nutrients required by your body, or your brain, you will gradually begin to exhibit imbalances in mental health. Also, gluten is considered an “excitable amino acid” which can make many people feel anxious or “excited” when gluten gets digested.
The effects of celiac depression are devastating. Starting from problems with your sleep they can go up to thoughts of suicide. And the solution is simple – strict gluten free diet.
Many people with celiac disease are not aware of serious consequences of gluten intake. They try to avoid apparent gluten containing products, but usually caught in cross contamination problems. Many foods available in the supermarket like peanut butter, chicken broth, flavored coffee and similar may contain gluten. Sometimes there is a sudden change in the labels and people are used to accept things on the basis of their previous knowledge. Consumption of these ‘contaminated’ products leads to depression attacks.
What begins in your gut appears to move throughout your body, affecting the functioning of the body and your brain. There are many antidepressants in the market and many therapies are forwarded to wiping out depression. But the first solution for majority of depressed celiacs appears to be strictly gluten-free diet!
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.