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ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

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ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

Postby kcducttaper » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:40 am

Hi all. I've been on and off of these forums for the past couple years trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with me and my brain fog, mood swings, energy swings, ADD, depression, etc that's been haunting me for at least the last 10 years of my life (I'm 26 now). I've tried most everything with no results. Recently, I started wondering about gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease ("quantifiable" gluten intolerance where an allergic reaction to gluten destroys the villi in the small intestine - you can read more about it on this link: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/). I seem to have most of the "common" symptoms and ADHD, and similar psychological disorders are on the potential list of symptoms. Here's my post from the celiac's forums:

***Celiac forum post***
I'm a n00b to these forums and am a 26 year old very frustrated dude with an engineering degree, no debt, a very successful career (so far), and am in pretty good physical shape. Ever since I can remember, My biggest complaint thus far is that I've always had some sort of "mental problem" going on weather that be depression, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, brain fog, mood swings, you name it. I've been trying to chase the brain fog specifically for the last ~7 years with some ADHD stimulants, anti-depressants, pretty much every natural supplement designed for serotonin/dopamine support, etc and, while some things help for a couple days, absolutely nothing sticks.

Here is a more complete list of most everything "wrong with me or my body" that I can think of at the moment:
- Brain fog (and accompanying motivation and attention issues)
- mood swings
- head tension (feel like a rubber band is stretched around my brain)
- depression / anxiety
- chronic small headache nowhere in particular - just everywhere, but with an occasional sharp pain that lasts for a couple seconds, then disappears
- sometimes almost feels like my brain just stops working and I suddenly lose 30 iq points and ~25% of my cognitive function (but never full-on seizures)
- lower back/vertebra, right sacroiliac joint, and right hip pain that can be excruciating and comes and goes with no real patter, but often lasts several days or weeks
- acid reflux that comes and goes
- get plenty of sleep (~9 hours), but never really feel fresh and rested
- within the last year or so, I discovered that I had become lactose intolerant to "large doses" of dairy (such as drinking a glass of milk), but smaller doses (like eating pizza) didn't trigger it.
- I traveled out of the country and didn't take my daily multi vitamins and the mental fog got substantially worse, then lightened up once I returned and started taking them again
- I often feel better after taking a 3rd vitamin, but I don't see that as a long-term solution as 'overdosing' on some vitamins for a long time can be problematic
- occasional intestine pains, but often short lived. I mostly brush them off as normal, but it might be worth mentioning
- still have some acne and freckles on my shoulders, back, and chest
- energy comes and goes sporadically. Sometimes caffeine helps perk me up - sometimes, it makes me sleepy.
- Not socially 'sharp' and I can't just "shoot the breeze" like most folks
- difficulty recalling things I know that I know
- high blood pressure diagnosed in college (~22 years old) at ~ 145/95 when I was (and still am) a very physically active a fit person
- heart palpitations also beginning in college

I think that's a fairly complete list of things, though it may not be 100% complete. As I mentioned before, I've gone through all of the 'traditional' routes of depression, anxiety, ADD, bio-feedback, meds, etc and nothing is sticking. For the blood pressure bit, my doc did all the blood tests, did an EKG, ultrasound, sent me to a cardio specialist, and ultimately said "We don't know why your BP is so high, but here's more meds. By the way, you owe us $2,000 for telling you nothing useful".

I don't have any family history of gluten intolerance that I'm aware of, but it seems pretty much all of these symptoms are potential side effects of celiacs. Part of me thinks I finally found what the heck is going on, and part of me also just thinks that it's a bit of a fad and all of the symptoms are just falsely related to gluten intolerance because....it's a fad. Never-the-less, I've been going gluten-free since the beginning of August (about a week ago) and I have a doc appointment scheduled to get a blood test for ttg-iga, but that's way out in September. I know, if I do have it, my levels will still be quite high and easily detectable at that point, but I thought I'd throw my situation up here on the forums and see if I may finally be onto something after all these years.
***end of post***

I've only been going at it not quite 2 weeks now, but I almost want to say that I'm starting to feel a bit better (after a pretty awful crash for the first couple days off gluten), but it could just be another mood swing - hard to tell at this point. Anyways, I just wanted to post up and see if anyone else has found something similar about gluten and ADD, anxiety, depression, brain fog, etc...
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Re: ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

Postby kcducttaper » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:16 pm

Nobody has any thoughts or experience with ADD and gluten/celiac's?
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Re: ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

Postby Mitmit » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:46 pm

If i eat gluten, my adhd gets much worse. Milk the same
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Re: ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

Postby Lv2_Learn » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:06 pm

No particular experience with ADHD / gluten, but I would just throw caution out when it comes to trying to correlate gluten to other problems. Sounds like you are taking a good skeptical approach and recognize that you could be experiencing what is essentially the placebo effect. Gluten intolerance is difficult to diagnose, and as far as I understand there are no good data that support gluten causing other problems. Here's more info from a site that I highly trust, that takes a science-based approach to medicine: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-balanced-look-at-gluten-sensitivity/
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Re: ADD, Anxiety, Depression, etc....from gluten perhaps?

Postby kavajava » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:52 pm

I don't think it's Celiacs. Usually if it is, you can tell if someone in your family has it too. If you're already 26, that's pretty late for adult onset, it's usually 18-24 years old where the intolerance becomes acute. Assuming it really is Celiacs, you'll have terrible pain in your stomach and you'll throw up a lot after eating pretty much anything that's not expressly gluten free. At least, this is what is was like for the girl I lived with in college, and it was like that for her dad when he was her age. For her it showed up at 23 years old I think. Now, there are people who think gluten has negative effects even on people who don't have Celiac's, and it's up to you and research if you buy into that. Another thing to consider is that it might be an allergy to wheat rather than gluten. I have a friend who can't eat bread or drink beer because of his wheat allergy, but other products that have gluten added to them are fine.

But here's my personal opinion. Rather than gluten, I bet it's something that co-occurs with gluten often in carbs, and is known to mess with mood, focus, and sometimes digestion. That is, of course, sugar. Especially artificial sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Sugar makes my ADHD so much worse. I've heard the same from a couple of other folks with ADD. (And yet, here I am, hopelessly addicted to soda. :P )
Dx: Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and ADHD
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