Celiac and depression

Celiac and depression

Depression may often precede or follow a celiac disease diagnosis. Pre-diagnosis, the depression may be brought on by your symptoms. You’re getting sick and you don’t know what’s causing it.

Perhaps, you’ve seen numerous doctors and none has thought of testing you for celiac. Your discomfort and the lack of accurate diagnosis - and thus the appropriate treatment - may well lead to depression. Once diagnosed with celiac and following a strict gluten free diet, all your symptoms should dissipate and so should your depression. 

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However, in some cases, depression may actually follow or continue when diagnosed with celiac disease. Newly-diagnosed celiacs often struggle with the gluten free diet. You may feel like you can’t eat anything anymore. Doctors’ offices rarely provide education related to the gluten free diet.

Trying to figure it out on your own, may be even more detrimental; as there’s so much confusing and contradicting information online. If you’re lucky, your doctor will refer you to a Registered Dietitian who is qualified to provide education on the gluten free diet.

The sooner you see someone who’s qualified to provide a thorough education related to the gluten free diet, the easier your transition should be. You’ll learn that there’re many foods that you can still eat. Some food groups are naturally gluten free, like

  • all unprocessed proteins,
  • fresh vegetables,
  • fresh fruits,
  • and most minimally processed dairy.

Of course all gluten-containing grains like

  • wheat,
  • barley,
  • and rye

have to be substituted with naturally gluten free grains.

Processed foods are tricky, as they may contain hidden sources of gluten. Purchase only gluten free certified products.

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You’ll be able to navigate your way around the gluten free diet with time. These days, there’re many gluten free products that taste just like the food you used to eat before your celiac diagnosis.

For example, the goal of Schär is to make gluten free products that taste just like “regular” food. More restaurants also offer gluten free choices and are better at preventing gluten cross-contamination. All these efforts help celiacs to have a full and enjoyable life on the gluten free diet!