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Gluten and anxiety?

(56 Posts)
Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 00:04:43

GP told me to try stopping gluten for a bit (not coeliac from blood test, but suspected intolerance/IBS type symptoms) and I've done it for 2 weeks so far. It has sorted my stomach out thankfully but also I noticed yesterday that the background levels of high anxiety I'm used to living with seem to have gone down. Say it used to be 85 percent it now feels like 60. I'm quite surprised - is there a link or has anyone else experienced this?

Apileofballyhoo Sun 12-Jan-20 00:12:10

My DS gets really anxious if he's been glutened. You can get a false negative from the blood test btw.

RhubarbTea Sun 12-Jan-20 00:13:47


Oh god I could write a book about this. But - yeah it's a thing. If I eat gluten now (I'm GF) I get really sleepy, then really really anxious, paranoid with obsessive circling rumination, it's horrendous.

There is a link between the gut and mental health. But I have heard so many people say that cutting out gluten dropped their anxiety right down. It's definitely been true for me.

PomPomsMakeMeHappy Sun 12-Jan-20 00:13:54

I have suspected this for a long time so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one!

I’m basing this on myself but also looking back at my family- Irish, lots of coeliacs recently being diagnosed, a family trait of ‘bad stomachs’ and high levels of anxiety.

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons Sun 12-Jan-20 00:15:33

Several neurotransmitters are made in the gut so that makes sense.

RhubarbTea Sun 12-Jan-20 00:17:35

I really want to get a diagnosis of coeliac if I have it but I am utterly terrified about having to eat wheat again for months before the test. And the biopsy thing sounds scary.

It's a catch 22 as I think I do have it, but I am now following a GF diet so I can't check without severe mental health symptoms which I just don't want to have to endure.

differentnameforthis Sun 12-Jan-20 00:23:01

Not sure. Although I did find (on google) that digestive issues can acerbate anxiety, so...

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 00:38:11

Wow I'm so interested to read these replies, thank you all flowers
obsessive circling rumination is definitely my normal default position rhubarbtea
It was only yesterday when I was in a situation which would normally make me almost unbearably anxious, I thought hang on, I feel different. And realised that I just feel generally more chilled. Like in a physical way somehow. It's odd.
pompoms I've got a lot of Irish in me! Is there a connection?

Apileofballyhoo Sun 12-Jan-20 00:40:59

Ireland has a higher incidence of people with coeliac disease.

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 00:52:03

Thanks Apileofballyhoo I had no idea of this

venezia222 Sun 12-Jan-20 00:52:42

I have coeliacs disease. Gluten makes me anxious. I get a horrible sense of impending doom. It’s weird.

Don’t worry about a diagnosis. Just avoid gluten.

venezia222 Sun 12-Jan-20 00:53:54

Oh I meant to say a GI specialist told me serotonin is made in the gut. Big link between the gut and your state of mind.

Gemma2019 Sun 12-Jan-20 00:58:38

Totally - it makes a huge difference. It’s even better if you remove or cut down on dairy too, I’ve never felt better.

Apileofballyhoo Sun 12-Jan-20 01:06:01

It is worth looking into the blood test in greater detail. There is a test for the things you might lack which cause the false negative result. Sorry to be so vague.

The only cure is a gluten free diet in any case, but if you do have coeliac disease you'd have to be careful about cross contamination and so on (a crumb can make a coeliac sick) whereas with an intolerance you would probably be fine with just avoiding anything with gluten containing flours like wheat, barley, rye, spelt etc.

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 13:07:28

Thanks Apile I'm off to google it, but like you say, in the end I'd have to avoid it anway. It is a bit of a pain to do but I'm thinking if it has this much effect on my anxiety then so worth it.

howdoesthisworkagain Sun 12-Jan-20 13:34:23

I have also noticed I get anxious when I eat wheat. I am not coeliac but I feel weak? I can manage the odd slice of toast here and there.

FaithInfinity Sun 12-Jan-20 13:45:05

Ideally anyone with suspected coeliac disease should continue on a gluten based diet until they have a biopsy to avoid reintroduction symptoms (which are often more severe than when you started). It is better to get a diagnosis than just go GF because there are other conditions linked to coeliac that might get missed if you just GF for yourself.

Having said all that, I cut wheat out, felt loads better then had to do a gluten challenge (felt so ill) for 6 weeks only to get a negative biopsy result! So I’m ‘gluten intolerant’. I have anxiety issues, they definitely peak if I’ve eaten wheat but I agree there’s a big link between gut health and mental health.

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 15:41:52

Did you have a blood test first faithinfinity? I've had that and it seems okay but I was told it's best to have that before stopping, for the reasons you said

FaithInfinity Sun 12-Jan-20 20:12:01

Yes negative blood test but I was told biopsy was the definitive answer so I had a gastroscopy and biopsy after my gluten challenge.

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 22:02:36

Thanks faithinfinity It does sound hard having to go back to it for 6 weeks. At the outset I was thinking I'll just try GF for a few weeks but I'm sure it's hard to go back if you end up feeling so much better

SummerPavillion Sun 12-Jan-20 22:07:54

I get this! I have/had colitis and stay symptom-free by avoiding all grains and most dairy. But gluten is the worst - gives me that sort of "about to have a job interview" kind of discomfort. Plus brain fog.

Dairy, when I rarely have it, makes me sad, specifically I kind of sentimental/needing to be held kind of sadness.

I've never mentioned this to anyone before! Only explained that these foods are bad for my tummy. Glad I'm not alone!

SummerPavillion Sun 12-Jan-20 22:09:43

This is so fascinating, I want to get together with RhubarbTea and write a book about it grin

Cinammoncake Sun 12-Jan-20 22:20:43

That's interesting summerpavilion I don't have dairy and haven't for a long time (gave me all sorts of tummy problems and exhaustion) I wonder if you're intolerant to one then you're more likely intolerant to the other? Gemma 2019 also mentioned dairy.

I would read your book smile

SummerPavillion Sun 12-Jan-20 22:29:54

Ah I bet that's true, maybe something to do with disrupted gut bacteria? I've never been able to fix it with probiotics though... I suspect it's all linked.

Genuinely want to write that book - who's with me!

differentnameforthis Mon 13-Jan-20 08:16:11

I suffer IBS and follow a ow fodmap diet. Cannot tell you how much I feel since having started it (in Sept)

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