If you’ve ever lived with undiagnosed Celiac Disease – chances are you’ve been to a psychologist at one time or another. Perhaps your doctor told you that you had severe depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, or simply that it was “all in your head.” Believe me – I’ve been there, done that. I had even convinced myself as an undergrad in psychology, that with all the knowledge I was gaining, I would not only be able to fix my own problems, but that I’d some day be able to help everyone else fix their problems too. I would become so mentally tough that nothing could conquer me. The problem was -something was wrong … and it wasn’t really in my head. No amount of “positive thinking” could get me out of what I was going through. I didn’t want to be depressed – and yet I had depression. I didn’t want to feel anxiety, didn’t have any reason to be anxious – and yet, I had anxiety all the time. I knew who I was – but when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t that person. Something else was going on- and it was beyond my control.
During my time as a psych student, I had begun to realize that what I was putting into my body had a direct effect on my mood, energy level, and overall happiness. I started paying close attention to what I was eating and how I would feel afterwards – which eventually led me to walk into my doctors office and ask for a blood test for Celiac Disease. When I finally got some answers – I thought, “Wow, no wonder I felt horrible at school all the time” because I would eat a Gordita or Mexican Pizza just about every day on the way to class at our campus Taco Bell. (Just for the record, Gluten + addicting Taco Bell cheese opiates = not a good combo ;) I began to truly understand that what I was putting into my body had a direct effect on my mind. (The GUT-BRAIN connection). (more…)