Tag Archives: health

Gluten and memory loss

Last weekend I bought some flowers for myself. I brought them home, carefully cut them, arranged them in vases, put plant food in the vases, and put them around my apartment. Anything fishy about that course of events?

I looked at them two days later and they were looking pretty droopy, when I realized that…yeah, I forgot to put the water in.

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind. My short term memory is almost non-existent – and it can be so frustrating.

I’ve been reading up a bit on Celiac disease and memory loss, and it’s pretty fascinating (slash terrifying).  It serves as a reminder that Celiac disease isn’t an upset tummy – it’s an autoimmune disorder and can cause some major damage to the body and brain.

The Gluten Effect has a whole chapter on gluten and memory loss that describes two studies finding correlations between gluten intolerance and memory loss (along with other related symptoms like trouble with calculations).

Gluten can affect the memory in two main ways:

  1. The same antibodies that your body makes that attack your intestines when gluten is in your system can also attack brain tissue.
  2. Decreased levels of Vitamin B-12 due to malabsorption can also affect the memory.

File this under “learn something new every day” – for every one patient with celiac disease who presents with gastrointestinal complaints, there are seven patients with celiac disease who have no GI symptoms.

Yowza. The most common symptoms that people associate with Celiacs disease are definitely the GI ones – poor nutrient absorption, diarrhea, bloating. But there is also a whole slew of neurological damage that can be caused by the disease that, to me, is way scarier than the GI damage. It’s been linked to bipolar disorder, ADD, and even schizophrenia.

Moral of the story is that this disease has the power to affect more than our bellies. It’s also a reminder to me that I need to be all the more careful about cross contamination and what I eat to make sure that I’m taking care of my brilliant, brilliant brain 😉

Revelations

So, I just realized after seeing a post on the Gluten Free Facebook Fan Page, that I haven’t had a canker sore since going gluten free.

What a revelation!  Turns out that I had more symptoms of Celiac disease than I thought.

This article from Gluten Free Society describes the correlation between canker sores and conditions that affect the GI tract (like Celiac’s).

Who woulda thunk?