Going Gluten-FreeJuly 2, 2013

Gluten and Your Brain

Did you know that gluten can affect your brain? Certain neurological disorders—idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy without a known cause), ataxia (unstable gait, clumsiness), peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbness in the hands or feet), schizophrenia and even recurrent headaches—can be associated with celiac disease. Some syndromes, like epilepsy with calcification in the brain, are definitely linked to celiac disease. In addition, certain psychiatric disturbances--hallucinations, depression, anxiety, suicide ideation—occur more frequently in people with celiac disease than the general population.

Celiac disease can also present as autistic-like behaviors. Although autism and celiac disease are distinct, unrelated entities, some autistic-like behaviors are common in celiac disease, especially in young children. A child with undiagnosed celiac disease may, in fact, appear sad, introverted, unwilling to socialize or communicate even with his or her parents, or the child may be cranky and excessively irritable.

Neurologic, psychiatric, emotional and autistic-like manifestations have been described in celiac patients who show minimal or no GI symptoms and no damage in the small intestine.

Fortunately, all these symptoms, including depression, anxiety and hallucinations, are likely to regress on a gluten-free diet.

For more about the implications of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity on brain health, check out Living Without’s special health report, Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity.

Comments (3)

What do you mean when you say neurologic, etc manifestations with celiac disease and no intestinal damage? In order to be diagnosed you need to have the intestinal damage. Do you mean these symptoms continue after diagnosis?

Posted by: Unknown | July 4, 2013 5:13 PM    Report this comment

I appreciate your work and this above testimony. The above Gluten And Your Brain; it is outstanding. My personal experience has been a long and uphill battle. "NO I'm Not Nuts. Awareness, seeking and endless trial and error with the effects of food and illness. Medical profession is beginning to practice "what you eat is who you become." Sincerely Peggy Cyprowski

Posted by: Grams | July 4, 2013 8:54 AM    Report this comment

I have not been diagnosed with celiac disease. However am very conscious of what I consume. Did some research And decided to go wheat and gluten free. After 2 months I am a new person. Many of the symptoms that are associated with food allergies are gone from my life. It's amazing. I think it's almost unbelievable that I feel so different. Many aches, pains have virtually gone away. I sleep better, no longer overeating.....so many improvements. I now am a true believer in a wheat free life. I am living proof. My friends want to know why I look good and have more energy. When I tell them they look at me blankly. Oh well.....I hope more people become aware of the dangers of food allergies and the consequences of 'bad foods'

Posted by: Unknown | July 4, 2013 7:33 AM    Report this comment

New to Living Without's Gluten Free & More?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In