This past week I’ve been helping a friend who wants to rule out the possibility of having celiac disease. A lot of her symptoms could fit into that diagnosis (and others) and the doctors will not prescribe a simple blood work. They “don’t think it’s that”. WTH?
I’ve been so frustrated for her. I know what it’s like to know something is wrong with your body and not have answers. I also know that gluten can impact our body in so many debilitating ways our mental health, through:
Brain Fog: Some individuals experience “brain fog” after consuming gluten, which can lead to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and a sense of mental cloudiness.
Anxiety: Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease may trigger anxiety symptoms, possibly due to the body’s immune response and inflammation.
Depression: Gluten-related disorders have been linked to an increased risk of depression. The exact mechanisms are still being studied, but it’s thought to be related to inflammation and gut-brain connections.
Mood Swings: Gluten consumption may lead to mood swings, irritability, and emotional instability.
Fatigue: Gluten intolerance or celiac disease can cause fatigue, which in turn affects one’s mental well-being by reducing energy and motivation.
Gut-Brain Connection: The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional communication system, and disturbances in the gut due to gluten sensitivity can impact mood and mental health.
Autoimmune Disorders: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. It’s associated with an increased risk of other autoimmune conditions that can affect mental health, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Neurological Conditions: In some cases, gluten sensitivity can lead to neurological symptoms, including headaches, neuropathy, and balance problems, which can impact mental health and overall quality of life.
It’s important to note that these effects can vary from person to person, and not everyone with gluten sensitivity will experience these mental health issues. But if there’s a part of you that feels it may be connected, please make yourself heard. You are the specialist on your own body. Find a doctor who will listen and be your biggest advocate.