-- Alan Mozes
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New research shows that
women with celiac disease face a higher risk for also suffering
from depression and so-called "disordered eating," regardless of
whether they stick to a gluten-free diet.
"We found that most [study] participants frequently adhered to a gluten-free diet, and this greater compliance with diet was related to increased vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms and greater overall emotional health," study co-author Josh Smyth, a professor of bio-behavioral health and medicine at Penn State University, said in a university news release.
"However, even those people who were managing their illness very well reported higher rates of stress, depression and a range of issues clustered around body image, weight and shape when compared to the general population," he added.
The study results appear online and in an upcoming issue of
Celiac patients are often plagued by abdominal pain, lack of
appetite, constipation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, stemming
from an inability to process foods containing gluten such as wheat,
barley and rye.
At least one in every 1,750 Americans is forced to make dietary
adjustments to the disease by avoiding such foods, according to the
To gauge how adherence to such eating routines might affect
other health issues, the research team conducted a poll of 177
women who were diagnosed with celiac disease.
Patients responded to questions regarding how well they stuck to
their gluten-free diets, physical symptoms, physical functioning,
stress levels and management, signs of clinical depression and
their thoughts and actions reflecting upon their sense of body
image and eating habits. The study authors compared their answers
with prior research that looked into the same issues among
While concluding that celiac patients are more liable to develop
depression and eating issues regardless of diet, the team noted
that it still remains unclear which comes first: Do people with
celiac disease start with depression that leads to eating issues or
does the onset of disordered eating lead to depression?
"In the future, we plan to investigate the temporal sequence of these symptoms," Smyth said.
For more on celiac disease, visit the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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