February 10, 2011

Bipolar Disease and Gluten Intolerance – Is There A Connection?


I have discussed gluten’s impact on the brain in several articles and expert interviews in the past.  Gluten is a known neurotoxin and has been shown to contribute to multiple neurological and mental diseases including neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, seizures, ADD, ADHD, Migraines, Autism, and schizophrenia.

This young women was on up to 13 different medications to treat her bipolar disorder.  She was hospitalized several times due to medication overdose and interactions.  Discovering gluten sensitivity made a huge difference in her condition – including improvements in mental clarity, mood swings, and more…

Do you have a story about how a TRUE gluten free diet improved your mental health?

Help us help others by sharing your story below in the comment box…

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9 Responses to “Bipolar Disease and Gluten Intolerance – Is There A Connection?”

  • Fosho says:

    I find the article to be true in my case.
    My adult children were diagnoised with Celiac disease.
    I am clearly gluten intollerent.
    Five years ago when my Son was diagnoised we all gave up gluten.
    My Sons depression is gone and he has better clarity.
    My neuropathy is gone totally and my mood is more stable.
    I have experimented and there is a truly a difference.
    I am not depression free but eliminating gluten from my diet has made a profound difference.My moods are tolerant.I do not slip into deep depression unless I eat gluten!!!!
    We all have other allergies and the hardest part to getting well is the follow throough and self discipline to follow your food program.No cheating as symptoms will return right away.
    I highly recommmend Naturalpath and nutritionist counseling.If you cant afford that there are some very good books and lots of info online.
    My favorite brand of baked goods gluten free are The king Aurther gluten free products.We have tried them all I cook everything else from scratch. Because I know what is in it.Lots of good recipe books on the market also.
    The transition can be difficult for most but it pays off big time in the end!!!!
    I continue to see my Psychiatrist for medical treatment and management.
    Remember I said I have no more acute episodes and my moods are more stable on a daily basis.

  • Sarah says:

    Great article…I know people who have taken gluten out of their diet and have seen remarkable differences in their mental health, as well as physical health.

  • ckennedy says:

    Short version of the story is that my mother, my four children and I are all gluten sensitive. One of my kids was very sick as an infant and developed behavior symptoms at age 2 that our pediatrician said sounded like Bipolar Disorder. After years of struggling with this she had an acute episode that was so severe that she was put on multiple medications (age 10). When she was 15 I figured out the gluten thing and she went entirely off of her meds toward the end of her second year on a GF diet. Today she’s 23 and a totally different, stable, happy and accomplished person. My oldest child discovered that her depression and anxiety went away 6 months after starting a GF diet, and she now knows that the overwhelmed, “creepy” depressed feelings she gets every now and then are likely from an accidental ingestion of gluten and that it lasts 3-5 days. My other two kids have experienced much less anxiety and moodiness since they went gluten free — and me too! When my kids accidentally eat gluten, one sign is that they have horrible nightmares. Then there’s the diarrhea, constipation, nausea, muscle aches . . . so we know if we’ve “poisoned” ourselves. We were not expecting but are thrilled that the mood and anxiety issues, mild to severe, are so much better now that we’re off gluten.

  • Wow! Great success story. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Sue says:

    This is my story. 25 years of Bipolar and then, thank God, I went to a kind hearted Endocrinologist who took one look at my labs and heard my long history of shrinks and meds and looked me in the eye and told me “you have Celiacs Disease”. He put me on a completely grain free, sugar free diet, which I have religiously adhered to for the last three years. No more shrinks, no more meds – and I have to wonder why the medical fraternity hides the truth. Got to admit I have a resentment against the Psychiatric Industry. There is such huge, huge profit with Big Pharmaceutical in the Bipolar market. They get away with horrible stuff. Hope this opens the door for some change. Gave me freedom, hope others can do the same.

  • Thanks for sharing Sue!
    Glad to see that you found an answer.

  • Chuck says:

    My Mother was a Celiac, she suffered depression. – All four of her kids have/do suffer depression to some degree (one of which resulting in suicide). I’m “sensitive” to wheat but can eat it (probably shouldn’t). I suffer depression.

    I have three kids, one of which is Celiac and Bi-Polar. It strikes me that Celiacs and depression runs in families, – we all know that. But what I really would like to know more about is if they run in the SAME families? (we also have migraine through-out our family as well).

    My advice to anyone that’s wondering? Try going gluten free for 6 to 8 weeks, it can’t harm you, but it may help in a BIG way. – Worth a try.

    BUT. If you’re going gluten free, do it properly. Not a single breadcrumb or you’ve wasted 8 weeks of your life.

    And if you are Celiac? Find some solace in the knowledge that it will be cured in your lifetime.

    Good luck in your travels.

  • Denise S says:

    I was gluten free, but not grain free when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That was six years ago. I admit, though I did not eat gluten from wheat, rye or barley, I ate plenty of other grains. I am going to try going grain and sugar free and am hoping this new approach will help me get off meds.

  • ricky says:

    Unfortunately, it took 60 years for me to discover that I am gluten intolerant and this discovery was made quite by accident. I wanted to lose weight and thought I’d give the gluten free diet a try. Much to my surprise the weight came off very easily (40 pounds – quite a bit for a small guy like me). At my advanced age it is difficult to lose weight when you don’t exercise and when you have a big appetite like I do.

    My doctor was amazed at how easily the weight came off! It’s been a year, have not re-gained so much as an ounce, and I will never eat bread, pizza, pasta, pastries, or drink beer ever again. How sad that the foods/beverages that I loved so much had been causing me so much damage. My waistline is nice and small and my tummy feels 100% better than it has in decades. Too bad I hadn’t made this accidental discovery and change years ago – my life would have been so much better!

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