Celiac Disease and Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a common, but treatable, mental illness that can cause changes in mood, thought and behavior. Depression causes continuous or long-lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness and lack of interest, and these feelings can interfere with everyday life. Depression can run in families, and a person can experience depression at any age. Depression is also twice as common in women as in men. Common signs and symptoms of depression include sadness, anxiety, irritability, decreased energy, trouble concentrating, abnormal sleep habits, change in appetite and more. This condition is often successfully treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy, however many individuals with depression do not seek treatment due to judgment and stigma. Depression is not a character flaw or sign of weakness.
If you or someone you know with celiac disease is experiencing depression, we encourage seeking support and help from a medical provider.
What is the Connection between Celiac Disease and Depression?
- According to various studies, there is a possible link between brain functions and malabsorption, which is the inability to properly absorb nutrients from food
- When the intestines are damaged, more substances are able to pass through the gut and into the bloodstream. It has been found that some substances have an impact on brain function
- The risk for developing depression is 1.8 times more likely for people with celiac disease in comparison to the general population
- Adopting the gluten-free diet can help alleviate depression symptoms for people with celiac disease
- Depression can occur in people after diagnosis because of the significant impact on daily life and the challenges and stress that can come with managing a chronic condition and the gluten-free diet
- Depression has also been linked to non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Where Can I Learn More?
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
- National Institutes of Health
- Mayo Clinic
Do you or a family member suffer from depression? You may have celiac disease. Find out now. Take our Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist.