Going glutten-free helped with my depressive symptoms

Turns out that I have celiac disease (can’t process wheat). I’ve had life-long headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck & upper-back pain, and chronic fatigue. It wasn’t the cause of my depression, but it made the symptoms more frequent and worse, as a result it added bodily pain and stress into my life.

I’ve been Glutten-free about 6 weeks now, but most important, I started eating way more vegetables. I have incredible energy now, I can wake up early, and I’m still not tired late into the evening. My body feels a lot more nourished. My mind is more balanced and stable.

Supposedly people with mental illness – including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and ADD – have a higher percentage of celiac members in the group population than the general population. So it’s worth testing to learn if you have it too, or just try glutten-free for a couple weeks (or even better, go as raw as possible – I eat 7-10 servings of vegetables a day, but I still eat meat and fish with that too).

I hope this helps someone like it helped me.


Hey tigger,

altough I don’t have a celiac disease, I find myself to be more stable and energetic with a vegetarian regime.

I appreciate your insight, my aunt also has a celiac disease and since she switched to a glutten-free diet, she’s been a lot better physically and mentally.

I think that a good diet also improves our self esteem as well.

Besides the effort, there are no cons to a balanced diet seriously.

Hi Tigger,

I’ve been thinking about going gluten-free or at the very least cutting down due to mental health and skin issues as well. The problem I’m having though is finding GF products that don’t taste horrible, are affordable, and don’t have other things I’m trying to steer away from like soy.

Are there any tips you can offer like good products or what things you make from scratch? Have you tried GF flours in baking and had success?

Also as a resource for others, there is a lot of studies saying that our gut is tied to our mental well being. So if our guts are out of wack, that might contribute to our mental health:

My three biggest wheat weakness are cornbread, cereal and pancakes. If I could swap those out for something better and GF or making something from scratch successfully with a GF flour, that’d be great. :smiley: (I don’t think I can live without pancakes - it’s my weekend breakfast treat)

I’ve also found more whole foods to be helpful, including green smoothies. It’s easier for me to shove a bunch of fruit/veggie servings in a smoothie than manually try to eat it all in a day, everyday.

It’s hard to let go of wheat. At first as you start to heal and you begin feeling better, you’ll tease yourself thinking “I can still have a slice of pizza” or “just one doughnut this week”. You think because you’ve cut back so much on wheat compared that what you had before, that it will be fine!

But then you’re sick again with terrible pain, headaches, vomiting. And you quickly decide that nothing is worth that pain.

Took me about 1 year to get to that point. I know now that even the smallest amount of wheat will trigger an inflammation attack in my body, and it’s just not worth the pain.

I mainly eat a Paleo Diet which focuses on simple/non-processed foods and meals. However, I’m not a cook so I can’t give you suggestions on recipes or how to make eating not-suck, because truthfully, it will suck a lot more than the food choices you had before.

But I try to spice things up as much as I can, working with whatever ingredients I have, just to keep things different and interesting.

Dinner is usually a meat/fish with rice and steamed-vegetables. Sometimes I do baked-in-aluminum potatoes instead. But you’re free to decide how you’ll prepare the meat/fish – be it in oven, slow cookers, with butter or spices, etc. As long as you don’t use bread crumbs, right.

Lately we’ve been having a Chipotle-style supper: Tostitos/corn chips (which are Gluten-Free and have pretty simple ingredients), canned beans/corn warmed up, grilled chicken slices, cheese, and an avocado/guacamole dip (I found one at Walmart that uses very simple ingredients, but it’s not too hard to make your own either).

For breakfast I’ve been having coconut water, eggs with bacon and a mayo/dijon mustard sauce. And lately I’ll thrown in the Tostitos to every meal, just to get some crunch lol. When I’m too lazy to prepare food, I’ll just warm up my corn/beans and have them with Tostitos. It’s cheap, good source of fiber and protein, and fills me up with little effort.

The worst is being extremely hungry, and not having 45-60 minutes to prepare a meal. So that’s why you need to have foods you can eat in those emergency-like situations, or else you’ll screw-up and eat something with wheat, and big sick immediately afterward. Or being stuck in the city, have to eat at a fast-food place, and you can’t find any non-wheat options (or altogether, the place doesn’t list ingredients, and they sometimes have wheat in sauces and similar [ie. soy sauce at a sushi place] that you don’t expect).

So for those moments, you need to have quick simple meals that you can eat. Nuts, almonds, walnuts, rice crackers, etc.

I’ve been making my own Gluten-free pizza and Gluten-free cookies. I use the GF-flour from Robin Hood for pizza dough, which takes some time to prepare, but turns out great (you can also buy GF-pizza crust at Costco). The chocolate-chip cookies I use a rice-only flour because they bake better. Both end up tasting great, without the nasty pain of wheat food. But they are still high in fat and sugar, so it’s not something you should be eating frequently anyway.

You can still eat a lot of foods, depending on how simple you want to eat. I’ve had to cut out a lot of food because of recent stomach/abdomen problems, no more: coffee, alcohol, acidic foods, spices, teas. I’m cautious on the cheese and milk as well. I also was drinking an Almond “Milk” that made me really sick because it had the ingredient “carrageenan”.

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Oh man, I can’t imagine how that must feel. I’m not celiac, but from what I’ve researched, gluten is one of the root causes of both asthma and acne. In my case it just makes sense to stop eating it or just not have very much at all. I actually didn’t realize how much wheat I was actually eating until I began paying more attention to what I had on daily basis. So used to having bread in my lunch at the very least - I’m a big fan of tuna without mayo, veggies cut up into it, red wine vinegar and mashed avocado on bread for lunch. So I need to find some other vehicle for my sandwiches.

Also have some dinner meals that involve cornbread, but I know Red Mill’s sells a gluten free corn bread mix that’s really good so I’ll have to try that.

You’re right about being hungry and just reaching for whatever’s on hand. That’s normally when I reach for cereal. If I don’t maintain my blood sugar levels and at least have a snack every few hours, I start to get dizzy and grumpy and overall - feel like complete crap. I hear Cheerios is going GF very soon so that’s exciting to me bc even though it’s processed, at least there’s no BHT in it and then it’s going GF. :smiley: Yay!

I’ve also cut out dairy. SoDelicious removed carrageenan from their products if you’re interested in trying their milks instead. I prefer them over Silk or other brands.

I also do try to snack on sunflower seeds or a natural no sugar/oil PB sandwich with sliced bananas to help calm my sweet cravings - but yeah, once again, gluten! And there’s only so many seeds/nuts you can have before you’re like…ick. Definitely need to find alternatives for snacking because I get hungry easily too. I’m not worried about gaining weight - in fact, I need some weight on me haha.

It’s also hard to afford a lot of products that are organic non-gmo depending on what it is. Like grass-fed meats or organic cage free eggs? Oh man, if I could completely afford Paleo, that’s likely the diet I’d stick to. But the meat prices slay me.

Also for chocolate, I like enjoy life chocolate chips which are soy/dairy/gluten free as well! They’re good thrown into oatmeal or a homemade trail mix. I need to keep these nearby because sometimes when I just really need that sugar craving and bananas aren’t going to save me, these chips at least make me feel less guilty.

I like the tostitos idea! I had no idea they had GF products! I guess what I should work on is what to replace my sandwich bread with at the very least.

Thanks for sharing your experience and tips. :smile:

I’ve seen a mainstream GF-bread at Walmart but it’s usually $5 to $6 per loaf. Sometimes they have sales on it though, for like $3.95 or two-for-one. I don’t like it though because it has a bunch of complex-chemical ingredients I don’t trust.

You could also try making your own GF-bread. The pizza dough could actually work pretty well as a thin bread, I think. The recipe I posted earlier is the one I use, but I only use 2-cups GF-RobinHood flour instead of 3-cups. I find with 3- it’s too thick and doesn’t cook well on the inside. 2-cups is more than enough, and considering the price, less is more lol.

For cereal, lately I got Chex for the wife, but I’ve started munching on it too. Again, ingredients aren’t the best on it, but at least it doesn’t have wheat. Says GlutenFree right on the front of the box. Tastes great too.

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Hi Tigger,

Just wanted to update you that tortilla chips turned out great for me! Now I’ve been having either tuna or homemade guacamole with some non-gmo unsalted tortilla chips for lunches instead of bread. :smiley:

I also noticed a lot of GF recipes for bread ask for 3 different flours and some sort of gum. Sounds easier for me to go the coconut flour route instead and use eggs instead of guar/xanthan gum.

Going to try a coconut bread recipe first. Thanks again for the ideas.