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Schizophrenia and Celiac Disease Linked

Research continues to link schizophrenia to gluten sensitivity/intolerance:

Another study demonstrates that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia have higher levels of antibodies to gluten. In this study, researchers found that schizophrenics had a tendency to have elevated tTG (tissue transglutaminase) levels.


Schizophr Bull. 2009 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

Much like gluten intolerance (or celiac disease), schizophrenia is difficult to diagnose. The two conditions have been linked now in several research studies. According to Dr. Peter Osborne of Town Center Wellness in Sugar Land, TX, going on a gluten free diet can help stabilize schizophrenic patients and in many cases can put the condition into remission altogether. He states schizophrenia is now being considered as an autoimmune disease and therefore, gluten must be considered as a potential cause. He recommends that patients with this diagnosis be genetically tested (HLA-DQ genes) for gluten intolerance. Additionally, he recommends that these patients have comprehensive allergy testing performed to rule out any other food related problems. A number of research studies have also linked the dairy protein, casein, to symptom progression in schizophrenia. With both gluten and casein being studied, it would make sense that other foods could possibly contribute to this mind altering condition. As drugs are defined as – any chemical that changes the way we think, act, or feel, we should always consider food as having a potential drug like effect. One man’s food is another man’s poison…

12 Responses

  1. I can see this easily, I know how gluten alters my moods. If I eat glutens I turn in to a angry person. I always thought that was odd. Now it is more understandable.. thank you for this information


  2. I believe it. I do not have schizophrenia, but I have another auto-immune disease, MS. I have noticed a general sense of well being when on the Atkins diet, which is free from gluten.

  3. My son became a different person when when stated him gluten free and he did not test positive for celiac. He is genetically predisposed to it and had things such as skin rashes, constant throwing up, diarrhea and all kinds of the other things, like mood swings, ADHD, and possibly even Asperger’s Syndrome or some other mild form of Autism. At the time the doctors wanted to drug him for Bi-polar, ADHD and “Explosive Child Disorder”! Fortunately we decided that we would start with the diet because it runs in the family. It has been 4 years now, and this is the first year the school did not note concern with regards to his social development! I can’t even tell you how exciting that was. Trust me when I say we still have some other allergies to look into, but gluten free has been amazing for him. He now gets really sick when he eats it. (Even though the doctors say he doesn’t have it!)

  4. My son is still ill tempered, but his digestive problems have cleared up! He’s been gluten free for 4 years now.

    1. I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. I was also diagnosed with schizophenaform disorder almost 10 years ago, which is essentially schizophrenia but lasts for less than 6 months. I have been in remission from my mental illness for 9+ years. I could have had Celiac or gluten intolerance for a long time. I am not surprised they are “linked”. Ultimately, I see it as a risk factor, just like trauma, drug abuse, tbi, poverty, depression, divorce, and so forth. Try not to run with term linked. I went into remission mostly because I started taking antipsychotics, which may contain gluten, and I still take antipsychotics on very low levels. I now maintain a gluten free diet, but I feel that I am greater risk of getting more gluten in my new diet trying to be gluten free than taking antipsychotics. I also work in mental health, and although there is a link between gluten sensitivity and schizophrenia, of those who I have worked with that have schizophrenia, very few, if any had a gluten sensitivity.

  5. I don’t think its the gluten at all !! i think its the GMO factor and the chemicals used on all the GMO seeds !!! (Made by Monsanto) not to mention whats sprayed on our so called food !!! UGH !!!

  6. I think you’re right AnnieBean…. there’s always been coeliac disease/grain intolerance but since the introduction of GM crops and the different varieties grown since WW2, there’s been an ‘explosion’ in the number of people becoming very, very ill, me included. I see so many clients with ‘mental/emotional/behaviour/stress disorders’ who get so much better when going gluten free 🙂

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