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Gluten and depression: Is there a link?

People who don’t eat gluten are a lot like people who do CrossFit. They talk about it incessantly.

I am both gluten-free and a CrossFitter. I don’t talk about either unless asked or I am around others who are gluten-free or do CrossFit. Or both. It’s gotten to the point where we have be become so annoying that we have become the butt of a really funny jokes:

  • Ten percent of the population is gluten-free and the other 90 percent are sick of hearing about it.
  • Do you know the correct term for gluten-free brownies? Compost.
  • I hope your birthday is filled with lots of gluten-free treats that aren’t disgusting, just like everything else that is gluten-free.

Gluten-free is considered the Nehru jacket of nutrition trends: Hip for about 20 minutes, then profoundly ridiculous. Which is why I rarely talk about either.

When depression has pinned you to the mat and you cannot get up, you will risk being the butt of a joke to feel better. Short of getting drunk or stoned, I would stick Tootsie Rolls up my nose if I thought it would help my depression.┬áIt’s that simple.

7 Comments to
Gluten and depression: Is there a link?

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  1. Can you provide a link to the study, please?

  2. There IS a connection between one’s mental state and what they eat. Some people have no GI symptoms with celiac disease, but they have neurological symptoms.
    Gluten can cause all kinds of health issues besides intestinal distress and some people have NO symptoms even though the damage is being done internally. For more information on how gluten AND sugar can affect one neurologically, read Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter who is the only neurologist in the U.S. who also has a degree in Nutrition and Holistic Medicine. Your eyes will be opened. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of being on all those drugs with horrific side effects you could just change your diet, feel better and lead a normal life? There’s lots of information online regarding the link between gluten and depression. Just make sure you don’t eliminate the gluten from your diet before being tested because it will give you a false negative result. Also, some people do not test positive but still have celiac disease OR gluten sensitivity and would benefit from eating gluten-free. If you test negative, what do you have to lose by trying to eat gluten-free for a period of time to see if you feel better, physically, emotionally and mentally.

  3. How do we know that it wasn’t a placebo effect? Or whether any equally large change in diet could have the same effect? It could just be a novelty thing. I’d also be interested to see whether the anti depressant effects last longer than three days.

  4. Thank you very much for this post. I am 40 and have had depression all of my life. It is just part of who I am, and it has shaped who I am. I’ve spent years trying to figure out what is out of whack and how I can fix it. I started a gluten free diet (and now FODMAP for IBS) about a year ago just for the heck of it, to see if it made a difference in my mood. I think there is a connection and hearing of an actual study to back this up is further encouragement. Too me it’s worth loosing grains if it means I don’t have to deal with “down” days and can just be “normal”.

    • I would be interested in participating in further studies in this area should anyone have information on that sort of thing. I’ve never done anything like that but I am very passionate about “solving” my depression. Thanks again!

  5. I’m sorry to the author. I just didn’t like the article. I thought it presented those who are gluten free as irritating lunatics that eat nasty food. For those of you that don’t have these problems they can be severe, painful and the fog and brain functioning issues are also real. Grains were animal feed that morphed into peasant food with LOTS of processing to make it palatable, certainly not something we evolved eating! (Unless you want to make a case that cavemen migrated with windmills on their backs to process it all). There are phytic acid issues with grains too – it’s not only gluten and other proteins.

    And I’m sorry again but, why does your gluten free food taste so bad? My GF meals are simple, easy, not overtaxed with odd ingredients. My bread eating friends don’t notice anything missing – they like my food fine. I have a nice garden.

    Ahm… Don’t y’all know how to cook?


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