Digestive Health recently posted an article revealing that several studies have shown a connection between celiac disease and depression. Living with any chronic disease can take an emotional toll, and a large 2007 study found that people with celiac disease were 80 percent more likely to also experience depression.
For people who have celiac disease, eating gluten – a protein found in barley, wheat and rye, can set off a reaction in the intestines that decreases the body’s ability to absorb food nutrients. Symptoms of the disease include bloating, weight loss, diarrhea, anemia and vitamin deficiencies. There are several factors that may contribute to depression with celiac disease. One may be the inability of the person to adequately absorb some critical nutrients. Tryptophan, an amino acid is often deficient in people with celiac disease. It is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to regulate anxiety and mood. Gluten sensitivity may also directly affect the nervous system. And, if you are living with a chronic disease, as well as having to stick to a strict diet, you may feel depressed. So, if you have celiac disease, adhering to a gluten-free diet can help your body absorb the nutrients it needs, and improve your overall health. It may also help reduce your risk of depression. If you feel that you are depressed, talk to your doctor about ways to deal with it, including psychotherapy, exercise and medication……. Johns Hopkins Medicine 12/16/12