Mental Symptoms of “Wheat Allergy” (Celiac Disease)

by Sheryl Tingley

(Note: The following list of symptoms was compiled from a
survey of 22 people with Celiac Disease)

Although often referred to as “wheat allergy,” Celiac Disease (also called Celiac Sprue) is not an “allergy” but rather an intolerance to the protein in gluten, a substance found in wheat and other grains. It actually harms (destroys) the villi (miniscule “fingers” that make up the intestinal lining) in the small intestine that take in nourishment. The mental disorders that Celiac brings to a child and adult is due to the malnutrition caused by the damage to the small intestine.

It is my wish to have Celiac Sprue disease a common subject and something parents and doctors can consider when they see their children lagging behind in school and social skills. Note that this list was compiled with the help of many people willing to share.

22 people replied.

20 people saw improvement from a gf (gluten-free) diet. (One had just started the diet and it was too soon to tell)

All spoke of delayed learning prior to a gf diet either in themselves or
their children.

The physiological, cognitive, and emotional changes that took place are as follows:

Improvement in my ability to learn
Interest in school improved
Concentration improved
No more meds for depression problems
No more avoidance of meeting people
Expected full recovery of ataxia problems (inability to coordinate muscle movements)
Ability to catch up in delayed gross motor skills
Able to catch up in physical growth progress
Went from bottom of class to the top of his class after 3 months on gf diet
Found a “hunger” for learning after going gf
Loss of crossness and crankiness after going gf
Day dreaming problems in school prior to gf diet
Difficulty in finishing sentences and finding words prior to gf diet
Speech delay
Lots of stories about children able to catch up with peers developmentally
In and out of Special Education classes prior to gf diet
Delays in walking and talking prior to gf diet
Delayed puberty including menarche
Vitamin deficiencies
Non-epileptic seizures prior to gf diet
Arthritis and osteopenia
Definite increases in intelligence
Grade point average went from 2.5 to 3.9
Short term and long term memory was not good
Many have acquired college degrees with high gpa after going gf
Many reports of struggles with school but score high in intelligence prior
to gf diet
Misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia
Visual and auditory delusions prior to gf diet
Came alive academically after going gf
Anxiety problems prior to gf diet
Tummy aches which attributed to anxiety problems
Able to meet daily challenges better after gf diet
Much “quicker” when it comes to her studies
Absenteeism no longer a problem
Lots of stories about coming out of withdrawn state socially to an outgoing
one-running for student council, more motivated in doing well and meeting people
Increased well-being and better brain chemistry
Temporary dyslexia
No more “brain fog”
Noticeable improvement in reading
Better temperaments in children