See what I did there? I wrote the headline to make it look like celiac disease isn’t real when I’m really talking about how celiac affects the brain. This way, we’ll see if anybody reacts to just reading the headline. I know…you don’t have to say it.
Anyway, celiac disease and gluten-free have been getting some gluten-free lovin’ this past week from the New York Times. It’s always nice to see the media give it the attention it deserves.
They culminated the week with a great article titled “Can Celiac Disease Affect the Brain?”
My response to that question…CAN IT EVER!!
So no one has to tell me that it affects more than just the digestive system. Still, it was nice to see it discussed is such an open, popular forum.
Let’s dig into some of the article highlights…
– A man with seizures and white spots on his brain scan was tested for lymphoma and other maladies. Turns out he had celiac disease. The seizures stopped, the brain lesions disappeared and he made a nearly complete recovery.
– Other cases which appeared brain-related, such as hallucinations, psychotic breaks, and regressive autism, all healed when celiac was diagnosed and the patient was put on a gluten-free diet.
– Celiac disease has long been associated with symptoms beyond the gut, including blistering rashes, burning nerve pain, and a loss of muscle control called ataxia.
Dude note: Such a connection between the gut and the rest of the body. So much more than just a tummy-ache.
– Around 10 percent of people with celiac disease, and possibly more, are thought to suffer neurological symptoms, ranging from headache and nerve pain, to ataxia and to epilepsy.
– A former professor, diagnosed with dementia and institutionalized, recovered on a gluten-free diet. Her doctors knew she had celiac disease, but thought it irrelevant to her degenerative brain disorder.
– Not everyone is on board with the connection.
Dude note: Hey…I’m just happy it’s being discussed.
– In 2011, Johns Hopkins University scientists found that nearly one-quarter of serum samples from some 1,400 schizophrenia patients had anti-gliadin antibodies, compared with just 3 percent of healthy controls. Of the subset with those antibodies, one-fifth also had those antibodies to transglutaminase 6 linked with neurological dysfunction, compared with 6 percent of healthy controls.
Dude note: Anybody have an English translation for this?
– When sudden and inexplicable neurological problems arise, it’s not completely far-fetched to raise the gluten question with your doctor. It just might provide an answer.
Dude note: Amen to that. Never rule out celiac.
I think back to my youth and my young adulthood and how I had bouts of depression. Makes me wonder. I thought I was just a normal person going through some tough times. Maybe it was a bit more than that.
What about you folks? What are your thoughts on the connection? Do you think celiac disease is all in your head? (see that…I did it again ;) )