Most people assume the symptoms of celiac disease are limited to stomach/digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, abdominal pains, diarrhea, etc. While digestive issues are typically the most common symptoms reported by people with this disease, there’s new evidence linking CD to mental disorders, including depression. So the next time you have a case of the “Monday Blues,” you might want to analyze your diet to ensure you aren’t accidentally consuming gluten.
Researchers at Addolorato et al. conducted a study over the course of a year to determine what, if any, mental disorders are attributed to celiac disease. They found that people with celiac disease were “significantly” more likely to develop depression than people who didn’t have the disease.
Another study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorder, found patients with celiac disease were 1.8 times more likely to develop depression than patients without the disease.
Researchers noted that the link between celiac disease and depression could be attributed to increased medical screening among patients with the disease. Another possible theory is that celiac disease restricts the body’s intake of vitamin B12, which in turn may increase a person’s risk of developing depression. It’s no secret that CD blocks the small intestines from absorbing nutrients, and if beneficial vitamins and nutrients aren’t being absorbed by the body, it could trigger a wide range of adverse reactions.
There’s still more research than needs to be done before doctors can say definitively that celiac disease can cause depression. In the meantime, however, people with the disease should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against the harmful effects of CD.
Studies such as these paint a grim picture of the true impact of celiac disease on the body and mind. Although there’s no known cure for CD (as of yet), there’s a simple way for people to avoid all of the adverse symptoms commonly associated with it: embark on a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease only manifests symptoms when there’s gluten present in the body; therefore, avoiding all forms of gluten should protect a person’s body and mind from the potentially harmful effects of CD.
If you need help eliminating gluten from your diet, be sure to read through some of our previous articles here at QualityGlutenFree.com. We have dozens of helpful articles, guides, and tips on how to embark on a gluten-free diet.