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Gluten May Threaten Brain Health For Sufferers of Celiac Disease

By HERWriter
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Celiac Disease related image Photo: Getty Images

According to an October 1, 2009 article from cbsnews.com, poor performance in school, depression and migraines are all possible symptoms of celiac disease. Since many celiac sufferers do not have the classic symptoms of diarrhea and weight loss, doctors often miss this diagnosis. Celiac disease may be a cause for some children's learning problems and behavior problems.

According to a Eurekalert! from October, 2006 research performed at the Mayo Clinic showed a connection between celiac disease and dementia and other types of decline in the ability of the brain to function. The research findings were published in the October, 2006 issue of Archives of Neurology.

That celiac disease causes severe health problems is not new information. However, its impact on cognitive ability was not previously understood.

Cognitive decline from celiac disease is different from other types of decline from dementia for instance, in that dementia's cognitive slide does not usually reverse itself. Cognitive decline from celiac disease, on the other hand, can be reversed or the cognitive state can stabilize when the sufferer stops eating gluten.

Early recognition of the presence of celiac disease can prevent deterioration in the gut and the brain. But even when celiac is not recognized until it has progressed for some time, turning to a gluten-free diet can relieve symptoms.

Unfortunately the research to date has not unveiled a way to determine which people with celiac disease may be vulnerable to cognitive decline. However, it would be helpful if doctors keep an eye on patients with unusual types of dementia, particularly if diarrhea, significant weight loss are present, and especially when dementia appears before 70 years of age.

According to the online October 7, 2004 issue of Pediatrics, the official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, celiac disease for some children may be connected with ADHD.

A March 21, 2003 article on webmd.com said that for people with celiac disease, migraines may be vanquished by implementing a gluten-free diet. Research indicated that some people have celiac disease without showing the usual digestive upsets and may instead experience many types of problems with their nerves and their brains.

A March issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology stated that a significant number of migraine sufferers may have celiac disease. A gluten-free diet put an end to migraines for some and lessened the headaches for others, in terms of frequency and intensity. Patients who stopped having migraines after changing their diets also exhibited an improvement in blood flow in their brains, according to SPECT scans.

There is no medication that treats celiac disease but removal of gluten from the diet can alleviate a multitude of symptoms.


Celiac Disease: A Diagnosis Often Missed

Mayo Clinic Discovers Potential Link Between Celiac Disease And Cognitive Decline

Migraines Linked to Celiac Disease

Range of Neurologic Disorders in Patients With Celiac Disease

Gluten Sensitivity and the Impact on the Brain

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Edited by Alison Stanton

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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