It takes guts to get help when the problem is invisible.
And Celiac Disease and mental health have that courage -- and risk -- in common.
During Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I'm posting facts, resources, and spotlights on the disesase -- and the challenges that go with it -- and today it's mental health. May is both Celiac Awareness Month and Mental Awareness Month, and as they fit hand-in-glove on the calendar, so they fit within many people diagnosed.
But first, what is up with mental illness and Celiac Disease? Many studies have shown a heightened incidence of depression and anxiety in those diagnosed Celiac, but a recent study profiled in Gluten Free and More Magazine has gone further, posting findings that bi-polar disorder occurs at ten times the rate in celiac individuals compared to the general population. (study first appeared in 2015 Clinical Practise and Epidemeliogy in Mental Health)
But 4 times more likely to be diagnosed bi-polar
Just as it is imperative that people are screened for Celiac, and just as it is imperative that those diagnosed get proper follow up nutrition support and screening for other comorbid or co-occuring illnesses, it is imperative that -- if you have Celiac -- you ask for the info about mental health as well.
I've been treated for both anxiety, and depression, personally. Part of the process was the so-called "understandable" imbalance pre-and-just-post diagnosis. But no aspect of anxiety or depression is "unnatural" or shameful. No matter what point you're on in your life, diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac-Gluten-Sensitivity, just-diagnosed, or diagnosed for 20 years, if you're experiencing anxiety or depression, get treated, get support, get healthy.
We wouldn't leave our guts ravaged by gluten, and say, oh well, no one else can see it, it must all be in my...gut. (It is. And it's still real.)
We shouldn't leave our minds and brains chemically imbalanced, ravaged by processes gone-out-of-whack, and think, Oh well, no one else can see it...it's just in my head. I should be able to take care of it myself.
Could you fix your intestines yourself, without a diagnosis, and the prescribed gluten free diet?
None of us is meant to go it alone on our journey to wellness.
Especially when it comes to Mental Health.
If you have Celiac Disease, your risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression shoot up.
Don't do that one alone.
By now, the fact that 83% of those with Celiac...
Continue reading for a list of common anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as resources, on Tumbling Gluten Free! and pass on the knowledge during Celiac Awareness Month.