285.gluten and clinical depression Moderated discussion and help for gluten free, coeliac, celiac, wheat allergies or intolerance, Cookery and recipes

gluten and clinical depression: from on 2002-07-09

Are there any documented links between gluten and clinical depression or other mental illness? My father has severe major depression. He eats according to the macrobiotic diet, which includes lots of whole grains, and is not gluten-free. A friend told me that eliminating gluten would increase his mental clarity. Is there any truth in this?

Also, I told him that oats, wheat, barley, and rye have gluten in them. What else would have that? When foods say they are gluten free, can we trust that?

Thanks

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Peter on 2002-07-11

Gluten can have a direct effect on the brain and brain function.
Depression is a common symptom of adverse reaction to gluten.
The worst reaction to gluten can include damage to nerves and progressive blindness.

Where depression is the result of gluten, improvement may take several weeks on a gluten-free diet as the process is one of healing the damage, not just removing the gluten.

Eating a gluten-free diet is safe, provided it is well balanced, but it may hinder proper medical diagnosis.
Such changes should only be made in consultation with a properly qualified doctor of medicine who has specialised in the celiac condition.

Peter

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Lyn on 2003-01-15

See;http://coeliac.info/suppboard/viewforum.php?f=3
Depression
CD & psychiatric problems

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from lark on 2007-02-27

I have celiac disease (diagnosed 4 years ago) and have not been perfect with the gluten free diet. I have suffered from depression for over 17 years and have now been pharmaceutically treated for 5 years. Does anyone else out there have major problems with sleep? I seem to have an unusual body clock. I need to sleep at least 10 hours, if not 12 or more, just to function. However then I'm up forever. It's as though I'm on a 36 hour cycle rather than a 24 hour cycle. This is driving both me and my husband nuts, not to mention it's rather anti-social. Any suggestions or similiar problems?

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Andyi on 2007-03-29

Your sleep pattern sounds familiar to me, yes. Maybe to do with a thyroid problems - that can be connected with celiac, it seems. What are you like when you do wake up? I'm really s-l-o-w -- it takes me at least a couple of hours to really feel awake, but often I don't really feel awake until the afternoon or evening.



I'm not yet confirmed with celiac but my son (3) has just been diagnosed so I've been spending a lot of time researching the topic and realised that this would explain a huge number of my own health issues. I was diagnosed with IBS some seventeen years ago, but celiac now seems to me to be far more likely cause - I have all the right symptoms including occasional skin rashes and itchiness. This would explain why none of the medication I was given for IBS ever seemed to do anything at all. In the end I gave up with any kind of treatment and have lived for all these years with stomach pains and bowel problems. I realise now that I can't actually remember what it's like to have no stomach pain at all - I have it all the time at some level or other, and it can be quite severe after eating something as simple as a small sandwich.



Regarding depression - As I understand it there's a confirmed link between celiac and thyroid problems, and there's also a confirmed link between thyroid problems and depression. Also, celiac is known to have negative effeects on the brain and nervous system. All that said, I haven't yet seen anything that directly corelates celiac and depression (at least not with any detail.) For my part, I too have a history of depression over many years, but there are other possible explanations for that including high levels of emotional stress.



Andy

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Peter on 2007-03-29

papers like this are typical of the statistical link between coeliac and fatigue and depression:

Siniscalchi M ; Iovino P ; Tortora R ; Forestiero S ; Somma A ; Capuano L ; Franzese MD ; Sabbatini F ; Ciacci C
Affiliation: Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Federico II University of Naples, Italy.
Title: Fatigue in adult coeliac disease.
Source: Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics (Aliment Pharmacol Ther) 2005 Sep 1; 22(5): 489-94
Additional Info: England
Standard No: ISSN: 0269-2813 (Print); 1365-2036 (Electronic); NLM Unique Journal Identifier: 8707234
Language: English
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Fatigue is reported by many adults at the moment of diagnosis of coeliac disease and during follow-up. AIM: To evaluate the prevalence, characteristics and associations of fatigue in adult coeliac disease patients. METHODS: The investigated sample comprised adults from Campania, Italy. A total of 130 coeliac disease patients were consecutively recruited in both treated (59 on gluten-free diet) and untreated conditions (71 on normal diet). The control group was made up of 80 healthy controls. Coeliac disease patients and healthy controls underwent laboratory tests, a set of questionnaires for studying fatigue: visual analogue scale for fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome questionnaire, fatigue severity scale and a modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale. RESULTS: Coeliac disease patients showed a significantly lower body mass index than controls (P = 0.0001), lower serum iron (P = 0.04). The entire cohort of coeliac disease patients reported greater modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale score (P = 0.001), greater visual analogue scale for fatigue score (P = 0.0001) and greater chronic fatigue syndrome questionnaire score (P = 0.0001) compared with healthy controls. Coeliac disease patients on a gluten-free diet had a significantly higher modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale score than coeliacs on a normal diet (P = 0.001). The prevalence of pathological modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale score was 17\% in all coeliac disease patients and 0\% in healthy controls. A significant correlation was found between modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale score and fatigue scale scores in coeliacs on a normal diet. Presence/absence of gastrointestinal symptoms did not show any significant correlation with modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale score and fatigue scale scores. In coeliacs on a gluten-free diet, modified version of the Zung self-rating depression scale and fatigue scales scores did not significantly differ from coeliacs on a normal diet and were not related to dietetic compliance. CONCLUSION: In coeliacs, fatigue is a common finding, which ameliorates with the gluten-free diet and is strictly correlated to depression although coeliacs on a gluten-free diet showed more frequent and more severe depression symptoms than coeliacs on a normal diet.

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Peter on 2007-03-29

Zung self-rating depression scale

http://healthnet.umassmed.edu/mhealth/ZungSelfRatedDepressionScale.pdf

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from andy i on 2007-03-29

About depression, also tiredness...



Having just made that last post I decided to search for specific information relating Celiac and depression - I was wrong - some detailed research *does* exist.



And, rather surprising amd worrying, here is the conclusion of one formal study:



"CONCLUSION: In coeliacs, fatigue is a common finding, which ameliorates with the gluten-free diet and is strictly correlated to depression although coeliacs on a gluten-free diet showed more frequent and more severe depression symptoms than coeliacs on a normal diet."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=16128688&dopt=Abstract



... so that piece of research is saying that your are actually *more* likely to have frequent and severe depression if you are gluten-free than if you are on a normal diet.



So now, if go on a gluten-free diet I will get more depressed - maybe. Why? This wouldn't seem to make sense - I can only guess that the "stress" of staying on a gh diet actually makes you depressed? Or, does gluten intake somehow combat depression?



Andy

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from Peter on 2007-03-29

I think there are two separate problems here.

1. is depression caused by the untreated coeliac condition. Where the person is depressed without knowing why, and this may result from gluten influencing the brain and nervous system, or through the effects of chronic illness on the person.


2. is depression where the person has not adapted to a gluten-free diet, and is convinced that they are missing out, cannot eat out, cannot eat all the foods constantly advertised and for sale in the supermarkets.

It is my experience that unexplained depression can clear up on the gluten-free diet, and that where a person is well adapted to the gluten-free diet they do not suffer from version 2 depression.

I don't know of any study that separates out these causes of depression.

Re: gluten and clinical depression: from andy i on 2007-03-29

Thaks for the info Peter - as it happens, I found the same information elsewhere before I had seen your reply. Kind of worrying, don't you think? I mean the possibility of actually getting *worse* depression as a result of going onto a gf diet.