Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Ncgs and depression

Hi all. For years when I was younger I was told that my symptoms were stresss related although I had no stress whatsoever until much later in life. The first huge symptomatic period (20 years ago) for which a gastro put me on starch free/dairy free for a few months was followed by reintroduction and major depression that I attributed to some life events. Since then I had years later another major depression for which I'm still taking meds. I've been tested negative for celiac but there are obviously some gluten and whatnot intolerances there. It runs in the family with my mom and my son being heavily affected too. In your experience what are the chances that intolerances trigger the depressive episodes rather than stress triggering the digestive symptoms?

Thanks in advance for your inputs.

9 Replies

There seems to be a real link between gluten and depression in susceptible people. I have suffered from depression in the past, but never thought to link it to gluten.


Thanks a million for the link. One of the comments under it was so close to my experience that I had to do a double take to convince myself I hadn't written it. Food plays such an enournous role in our health and for some reason we have been disregarding this since it's been "easily available".


Not to sure about intolerances causing depressive episodes, but plenty of evidence of stress causing digestive symptoms. Have you had blood tests recently? Some vitamin deficiencies can make you feel quite bad, especially if you may have absorption problems through digestive symptoms. Just a thought.


I've been focusing on my son's health so much that I didn't dare checking myself beyond the basic celiac blood test which was negative - but was virtually gluten free at the time. "Food for thought". Thanks.

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coeliac UK do link depression with coeliac disease.

Malabsorption through coeliac disease causes vitamin/mineral defficiencies causing mental health problems. You absorb nothing.

stress can cause digestive problems, but malabsorption of ALL vitamins and minerals takes some doing! Coeliac causes the villi to flatten, they are like little fingers in the gut grabbing all the goodness from your food as it digests.

blood tests will show if you are lacking in particular vitamins/minerals OR, if they show you are lacking in all of them, chances are your villi is not doing its job. if its the latter, seriously look at the chances of coeliac.

so you have to find out IF you are lacking in 1 or 2 vitamins etc., or ALL or none.

so yes, coeliac can cause depression, lack of a particular vitamin/mineral can cause depression, life events can cause depression ALL of which can cause digestive problems!

reminds me a bit of "which came first, the chicken or the egg" and none of us have worked that one out yet!☺

good luck!


Hi Kiaranara,

I have a diagnosis of Bipolar 1. For 20 years I suffered mostly manias and was hospitalised many times. In that period I had chronic back pain and sciatica and what I now know to be costochondritis ( inflamed tendon/ ligaments in the chest).

I had previously thought my symptoms of costochondritis were just anxiety.

I realised that I had frequently had the costochondritis when manic and that both the manias and the costochondritis were linked to inflammation. I stopped eating wheat and had a few months well. Then, doubting my theory, I ate some crumpets. I had another mania and hospitalisation. It is now nearly 6 years since the last time I had a mania or wheat. The back pain and costochondritis resolved too.

Intermittently I had other inflammatory conditions such as frozen shoulder, painful wrist and ankle joints which always resolved in 6 days after a strict paleo diet.

I do believe that any periods of low mood I have are linked to additives and chemicals in food and medications. After giving up wheat I became sensitive to other foods and chemicals. Sometimes I would have pain/diarrhoea, sometimes bad sleep or low mood. For me potatoes soy and legumes proved to be particularly problematic. I can get a mood reaction from a food that causes other people (on this site)a digestive symptom.

Hope this proves helpful to you.

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Forgot to mention - after I gave up wheat I became sensitive to all gluten grains even in trace amounts.


Yeah, so many variable to factor in. Stress causes symptoms. Symptoms make you miserable. Hence more stress. It's a vicious circle. I'm also suffering from joint pain. And my tendons are as weak as can be. Had one surgery already to relief my tenosinuvitus. Have bursitis of the hip. And some more. I'm pretty positive some inflammation is underway. I'll stick to the diet, check my vitamins levels, and avoid weaning from meds for a little longer. Thanks for your input.


I would 100% attest to this. Throughout my life, i have in some ways been subject to unhappy episodes, (i dealt with them myself, though did go to the doc's about it once, meds was the option i was given, which was a horrific experience), this includes childhood, teenage years / adolescence and adult life generally. I was eventually diagnosed with Coeliac disease after many, many visits to various places. Fast forward a few years later, avoiding gluten and dairy and i generally feel totally different, both in outlook and inwardly. I don't have the dark episodes i used too at all, for that i am massively thankful! I can look forward to my mid 40's onward, hopefully, without having to deal with those kind of symptoms at all, which is great! :)

So to (longwindedly) answer your question, whilst i am no expert, and am not qualified with a certificate, i would state from my own experiences there is a definite link between coeliac disease, and depression.

Hope that helps answer your question in some way,



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