New research shows people with celiac disease have a slightly higher risk of committing suicide than people without celiac disease; and researchers warn doctors to keep an eye out for this when treating celiac patients.

According to the research published in the Digestive Liver Disease Journal in August of 2011 , researchers “collected biopsy data from all 28 clinical pathology departments in Sweden for individuals diagnosed during 1969-2007 with coeliac [sic] disease , inflammation without villous atrophy or positive coeliac disease serology but normal mucosa.” In all, data came from nearly 30,000 patients.

Overall the risk for suicide was higher in patients with celiac than with the general population (see research numbers here).  But the only category that DIDN’T see an increase was for the population with no villi damage but who had positive blood work for celiac.  Since the data is just facts on paper, we don’t know the “whys” of each person.  Did the suicidal thoughts come before or after the diagnosis;  were they a symptom of celiac or an after effect of the sadness and grief that can come with this disease — at least in the first year or so.

Depression can be a symptom of celiac disease (before diagnosis and potentially after).  You can find much more information on celiac and depression on the website for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

 

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One Response to “Study: Celiac Patients Higher Risk of Suicide”

  1. Thanks so much for your post. I provide counseling and wellness coaching for people with chronic illness, including celiac disease. I’ve been searching the internet for blog posts that address celiac disease and depression as well as coping with celiac disease. There are many resources out there on the blogs related to food resources, but few related to coping, depression, anxiety, etc. and celiac. The food resources are great, but I think that people need a place for acknowledgement of some of the emotional struggles too. I do think that it’s important to remain positive when coping with celiac disesase or any other chronic illness, but acknowledging that depression is a common occurrence among people with celiac allows people to not remain isolated, ashamed, and feeling like they are the only ones suffering with it. Speaking out about it encourages people to seek help. Thanks also for posting the specs on the article. I’ll take a look at that.

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