Child celiacs have increased risks for emotional and behavioral problems

by BMC Pediatrics

Children with chronic illnesses are known to have increased risks for emotional and behavioral problems. In the present study, children and adolescent suffering from celiac disease (CD) were compared with healthy controls to assess differences in the psychological profile.

Methods: A total of 100 well-treated and compliant CD patients (65 females/35 males; age mean+/-SD: 10.38+/-2.71) were compared to 100 normal controls (58 females/42 males; age mean+/-SD: 11.47+/-2.61). Emotional and behavioral problems were assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC).

Results: Subjects with CD self-reported an increased rate of anxiety and depression symptoms and showed higher scores in “harm avoidance” and “somatic complaints”, in the CBCL parent-report questionnaire, as compared to healthy control subjects. Furthermore, gender differences could be observed in the group of CD patients, with males displaying significantly higher CBCL externalizing scores, in social, thought and attention problems, as compared to female, who in turns showed more prominent internalizing symptoms such as depression. Conclusions: The increased rate of emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescent with CD emphasizes the importance of an early detection of mental health problems in these children.

Read the full study. (PDF)

New poll: How do you obtain your gluten-free bread?

By David Fowler

It’s a struggle for all Celiacs. How do you replace that nummy bread you were use to having? You buy one from the store, but it’s not the flavour you prefer, or you become suspicious of the ingredients of the package. You try baking it yourself, but mixing what seems like a gazillion flours together to substitute wheat flour seems more like advanced chemistry than baking. It’s enough to make one to give up on it entirely.

Tell us what you do via our poll on the side.

Our previous poll on anxiety and depression in Celiacs is now closed. If this unscientific poll is any indication, it seems that a majority of you suffer from it in addition to Celiac Disease.

Have any comments on these polls or other polls?  Use the comment feature below.

It’s depression anxiety education and screening day

Have you stopped feeling like yourself lately? Or maybe you’re worried about someone you care about? Maybe you feel sad, empty and hopeless but don’t know why you can’t shake off the feelings. Or you’ve been feeling anxious, panicked or distressed by troubling thoughts and behaviours, and it’s affecting your daily life. Or, you’re experiencing changes in sleep or appetite, decreased energy, and difficulty concentrating or enjoying activities you used to take pleasure in?

You may have clinical depression or an anxiety disorder — real conditions that touch at least one in every 5 people.

As Celiacs, science suggests that Celiacs have an even higher rate of depression and anxiety than in the normal population.  (See more at

The good news is that there are as many treatment and community support options for mood and anxiety disorders as there are faces of them.

Throughout the day there are screening centres open around the province.  As this article is posted late in the day, you can call 1-866-917-HOPE to sign up for telephone screening.  The line is also open Friday October 8th.

All screenings are completely free and totally anonymous. You do not have to sign your name anywhere and volunteers and clinicians involved in the event must sign an agreement respecting the confidentiality and anonymity of all participants. The screening is an opportunity to learn more about mood and anxiety disorders, complete a brief screening questionnaire (optional), and speak one-on-one with a clinician.

Take the online depression/anxiety/ risky drinking screening self-test.

When you arrive at the screening, you will be offered the opportunity to complete a brief written screening questionnaire. You do not have to complete this questionnaire if you don’t want to; there are even questionnaires you can fill out on behalf of a loved one you’re concerned about. If you do choose to complete the questionnaire, you will have a private space to complete it before you hand it in for scoring. While waiting to be called for an individual interview, sites will offer the opportunity to watch an educational video, listen to a presentation, speak to volunteers and others who know what you’re going through, and/or pick up some informative brochures. Some sites provide this education component only without the screening. Many sites also offer refreshments.

When a your number is called, volunteers will direct you to a private area where you can meet with a clinician for about 10 minutes to discuss the results of your test and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Upon leaving the interview, you will be provided with a list of resources in the community that you can access for more information about depression, anxiety disorder or questions about treatment options. You will be supported and empowered to talk to your family doctor first, particularly if there is a likelihood of moderate to severe symptoms of depression. After the interview, you are free to return to the main room with educational materials and ask questions of the volunteers or fill out a brief and anonymous evaluation of the event before you leave. What’s more, you may end up having a conversation with other people who have come out, like you, to learn more about mood and anxiety disorders and the reality of recovery.

Depression Anxiety Education and Screening Day (DAESD) is held annually in October during the first Thursday of Mental Illness Awareness Week; 2010 is the 16th season of the program in BC.

The event is a high-profile awareness campaign that seeks to educate the public about the types and symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders and related conditions; the impact on individuals, families, workplaces and communities and the ability to be screened for the illness similar to other physical conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Most importantly, the event highlights successes with recovery and the availability of various treatment options as well as community resources and supports. The intent is to educate, not diagnose.

At a screening site, people are invited to come and learn more about the symptoms and treatment options available for mood and anxiety disorders. A hands-on way to achieve this education goal is for participants to fill out a short screening test known as the PHQ-9® tool (for major depression), the MINI® tool (for anxiety disorders), or any number of other specialty questionnaires for other conditions such as postpartum depression, mania (bipolar disorder), or for special populations like seniors, youth and ethnocultural groups. Risky-drinking screenings are also available at most sites.

After completing the short quiz that fits best, attendees then meet briefly with a mental health professional to discuss the results of the form. Print, video and seminar resources are also available for participants. Some sites provide this education component only without the screening.

In the US and the rest of Canada, the event is known as National Depression Screening Day or NDSD. NDSD is a registered service mark of a non-profit society in the United States called Screening for Mental Health. The organization has been coordinating efforts in the US since 1990 and in Canada since 1995. NDSD is by far the most popular campaign but Screening for Mental Health Inc. also organizes screening days for alcoholism and eating disorders. More than half a million people have been screened over the past decade, with more than 200,000 having sought professional help as a direct result of a screening.

Information provided courtesy

New poll: Do you suffer from anxiety/depression in addition to Celiac Disease?

According to the study Affective and psychiatric disorders in celiac disease, growing evidence suggests the association between Celiac Disease and affective and psychiatric disorders.  The disorders could be the expression of an organic disease rather than primary psychiatric illnesses.

Among patients examined by the study, key finders were:

  • 1379 (84.1%) showed state anxiety
  • 1098 (67%) showed trait anxiety
  • 442 (27%) showed current depression
  • The number of gastrointestinal diseases was directly correlated to state anxiety (p < 0.001) and trait anxiety (p = 0.04).
  • Females showed higher levels of anxiety and depression than males (p < 0.001).
  • State anxiety was related to food allergies (p < 0.001), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) (p = 0.001), Hp infection (p = 0.01) and ulcerative colitis in active phase (p = 0.03).
  • Trait anxiety was related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (p < 0.001), Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection (p = 0.001), food allergies (p = 0.001) and SIBO (p = 0.001).
  • Current depression was related to IBS (p < 0.001) and coeliac disease (p = 0.01), SIBO (p = 0.02).

Therefore, for this poll, we are asking, do you suffer from anxiety/depression in addition to Celiac Disease?

As for our previous probiotics poll, seems that a majority of respondents are taking them.  Probiotic bacteria have been shown to digest gluten proteins to harmless peptides.