February 21, 2011

Gluten a Cause of Bipolar Disease?


Another new study finds that Bipolar patients have elevated levels of antibodies to gluten.  Unlike several past studies, this research does not focus on celiac disease, but rather identifies that patients with psychiatric bipolar issues are have elevations in IgG to gliadin.


Bipolar Disord. 2011 Feb;13(1):52-8.

Research continues to show the link between gluten and nerve tissue damage.  Bipolar disease is just one more neurological problem in a long list of problems that gluten can contribute to.   The story below is not an uncommon one in my practice.  Patients come in with psychiatric disease and show dramatic improvement with simple diet changes…

If you have a similar story, please share it with us below. ..

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5 Responses to “Gluten a Cause of Bipolar Disease?”

  • Denise says:

    I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder in Feb 2007. I tried several medication, but did not get better. The last medication I was on (Topamax)made me suicidal. My doctor took me off the medication and I refused to go back on any other medication. I read about how gluten free diet was helping patients with autisim, so I decided to give it a try. It only took one week to completely stabilize my moods. I was tested for celaic but was on the diet for several months before the test. The blood test came back normal and the doctors ignored what I was telling them. I can no longer tolerate casein as well. I stopped listening to my doctors about my diet and I stick with my gluten and casein free lifestyle. If exposed to gluten all my symtoms come back but as long as I follow this diet my disorder is non-existent.

  • Morgan says:

    It’s amazing what a gluten-free diet can do for you. Discovering these facts can be too unbelievable for most, they can’t possibly believe that simply getting rid of gluten can help you in SO many ways! Food effects us more than we give credit and we need to start really waking up to how a gluten-free diet can help so many people.

    Fantastic research here! Shared it with my Facebook group. :)

  • Amy says:

    My daughter at the age of 5 was diagnosed with early onset bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD and ADHD. They started her on risperidol and within within weeks she gained so much weight it was a huge concern for me. They then wanted to add two more drugs to take care of the symptoms that were not being covered by this drug and to rid her of some of the side effects of the Risperidol. I happen to come across the book “What’s Eating My Child” and read just one chapter. I immediately took her off all drugs and changed her diet. She has been on a gluten-free, no preservatives or additives and no dye diet for 3 1/2 years now. Within a year all symptoms were gone and at 2 years they removed all diagnosis from her record. She still has some focusing issues but our lives have changed unbelievably since. She knows how gluten effects her and actually calls her behavior “mean love” after she has eaten something with gluten. I still have a hard time finding doctors that believe me since she had the blood test for celiac and it came back negative so I cannot get a doctors note for the school but we just learn to work around those abstacles. I am glad I found this website because it is comforting to know that I am not the only one that has lived through this.

  • sarah says:

    My story is one that goes back to the time I was about 12. I noticed moodiness around the same time I started binging on certain foods at the mall. I was just starting to go there to “hang out” and who can afford lunch at a sit down restaurant, we just got a piece of pizza and a coke. Then my moodiness would kick in. I know that some of it is just that your body is getting older and maybe there was an element of hormones getting active, but this is when my moodiness started. by the time I was a teen, I was getting severely depressed. in college, my diet of pizza, and burritos and more pizza caused so much congestion that I got frequent sinus infections. Then came the anti-biotics. For those who know, this can lead to more depression. Then came the anti-depresseants. That caused further problesm, more iritibility and g-d knows what else. Then came Ritalin to help me focus…which made me manic. So then at 30, I started the anit-psychotics. By 35, I realized that meds had some effect because we found ones that worked somewhat but not very much and the side effects were unmanageable. I was either too tired and falling asleep at work from Geodon, or making facial smirks on Geodon and getting violent (isn’t it supposed to prevent this?) or sounding and looking like a zombie on lithium. oh did i mention the wieght gain and awful zits?

    I was praying i would die. I couldn’t work well. Jobs would come and go (a would stay a year then they would find ways to let me go). Dating was ok, once I stopped the lithium, that is.
    Then, I had my first child. I was on no meds and on a steady diet of wheat and dairy. The nurses in the hospital reported me to the social worker. Were it not for my family intervening, I would have lost my child to social services.

    We kept her, thankfully but she had many problems from birth. She had many delays. A friend told me to put my child on a wheat and dairy free diet and so we did.
    She was almost two and couldn’t stand on her own. Three days after taking her off dairy, her nose stopped running, she became calmer and she stood for the first time. That same friend was happy and said I should try it too because of my mood. I was skeptical and after a few years of fits and starts, I am now gluten free and almost entirely free of dairy corn and soy.

    My mood is better, my concentration is returinig (do I remember what it was like when it was good?, not really).
    Aches and pains are healing (neuropathy, sciatica). My IBS is gone. Most of all, my mood….I don’t yell and get irate over nothing. I am happy to stop and think about things.

    I am on a site for support for people with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, they are naysayers. I have shared this link with some. All except a couple think meds are the only answer and that diet has no link to the brain. Hopefully they will see the light.

  • Wow! Thank you for sharing your story with us Sarah. So happy that you found some answers in your gluten and dairy free diet. Keep me posted on your continued progress.
    All the best,
    Dr. Osborne

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