Do You Have “Brain Fog”?

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As you may know, having celiac disease could have a wide variety of symptoms affecting several parts of the body including your brain and mind. There are people with celiac disease reporting having “brain fog”,

“a form of cognitive impairment that can encompass disorientation, problems with staying focused and paying attention, and lapses in short-term memory. There have only been a few studies that have investigated the link between cognitive function and celiac disease, but those few have supported a possible relationship.”

Here are the results that CDF says the investigators found:

“Of the eight psychological tests, four showed significant improvement in the patients’ performances over the course of the experiment. Several of the tests also correlated with level of mucosal healing, as determined by Marsh score, as well as blood serum tTG levels. There was no correlation found between cognitive test performance and serum levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, hemoglobin, or ferritin.

A “foggy” mind or “brain fog” is a very common symptom associated with celiac disease but it has no strict definition and its exact cause is unknown. The level of impairment for patients in this study was comparable to the level of impairment of people with a blood alcohol level of 0.05.

More studies are needed to determine the exact mechanism for a how untreated celiac disease leads to cognitive impairment, but this study suggests that there is significant cognitive impairment caused by celiac disease and that it is correlated with intestinal healing. The authors even offer the possibility of using psychological tests in the future to measure how celiac patients’ intestines are healing after being treated with a gluten-free diet.”

Source: The Celiac Disease Foundation

(Name of the study: “Cognitive impairment in coeliac disease improves on a gluten-free diet and correlates with histological and serological indices of disease severity”was first published online by Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics on May 28, 2014. The researchers, led by first authors I. T. Lichtwark and E. D. Newnham.


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