It is well know that Coeliac Disease can cause depression and breathlessness, (along with lots of other nasty symptoms) but what about anxiety? It can be hard to tell if a food type is causing anxiety although diets high in wheat, dairy, caffeine, simple carbohydrates and sugars have all been blamed before for panic, low mood and agitation.
Let’s be clear about exactly what Coeliac Disease is. Coeliac disease is not an allergy or an intolerance, it is an auto-immune disorder which causes your body to attack itself if gluten is ingested. It’s an incredibly hard disease to diagnose and doctors can not be really sure if a patient has it until they have carried out a biopsy. Some statistics suggest that as many as one in a hundred people could have the disease. It is serious (increasing the risk of stomach cancer amongst others) and if you have any symptoms you should definitely get yourself checked out.
Is there a link between anxiety and Coeliac disease? Well, there certainly is an important link between the stomach and the mind. Research has found that as many as 90% of those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) also present some psychiatric issue such as anxiety, depression, or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). So it would be surprising if Coeliac Disease did not bring out stress and anxiety in someone that already had it inherent inside them. There is as yet no proof that Coeliac Disease causes anxiety but unexplained symptoms, particularly ones that cause nausea and diarrhoea, may well lead to an association being formed between extreme worry and being away from home. Only a couple of painful or embarrassing incidents in a shopping mall would be needed for most people to start to worry about visiting the mall.
IBS is much more common than Coeliac Disease. Rather than being a specific ailment it is more a category of symptoms. For some people it is aggravated or brought on by eating wheat, dairy produce and sometimes oats and rye. It may be unrelated to particular foodstuffs and a careful diet may or may not be useful in controlling symptoms. There is no Cure for IBS as such, as there are as many perturbations of the condition as there are sufferers. Many people do find relief with some experimentation.
When it comes to anxiety rather than see IBS or Coeliac Disease rather than seeing them as a cause of anxiety, perhaps anxiety is the cause of them. Or at least factors which play a large role in exacerbating the symptoms. Often people fond that their symptoms are worse in various locations, such as at work. In these cases dealing with stress may be a far better than solution than any special diet.