I have read a lot of papers on this and although I never thought about it with myself back in the day but now if I look back I can see times where it makes sense about how I was feeling. Was I depressed because I suffering from Celiacs and didn’t know it and I was reacting to gluten? could be. I also did this because a friend of mine was just diagnosed with depression, she went to another doctor for stomach issues only to find out she has Celiac Disease, so she had a lot of questions about it also.
I have read several paper by Dr. Vikki Petersen and I might even have one of her videos on my site as well. I like the way she explains things, not to formal so you sit there and shake your head and say What? but she explains in a way that your Oh I get it.
So here it goes. After the digestive tract, the most commonly affected system to be affected by gluten is our nervous system, makes sense right (I thought it did). Gluten sensitive people immune systems responds to the protein gliadin. Gliadin is a protein found in wheat. This protein is similar in structure to other proteins present in our bodies, including those in the brain and nerve cells. The immune system “confuses” proteins in the body for the protein gliadin. So they call this mimicry, the result is that the body attacks itself and inflammation occurs. When inflammation happens in the brain and nervous system, a variety of symptoms can occur, including depression.
There was a study done and 15 patients with untreated celiac disease were compared to 15 patients treated with a gluten-free diet for a year. In the untreated group, 73% had abnormalities in brain circulation while only 7% in the treated group showed any abnormalities. The patients with the brain circulation problems were frequently suffering from anxiety and depression as well.
Researchers look at the association between gluten sensitivity and its interference with protein absorption as well. Tryptophan is a protein in the brain responsible for a feeling of well-being and relaxation. A deficiency can be connected to feelings of depression and anxiety.