A take on depression & the gluten link


If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, deep-seated anxieties, or disordered thinking of any kind, memory loss, constant exhaustion and therapy or supplements are not helping, your sick of relying on anti-depressants and nothing seems to work, PLEASE read on about what I have to say.

I have been here in this headspace, not now or for a very long time, or ever will be again, and this is not something I have just read about but have genuinely experienced. I want to share this with you from the bottom of my heart. I know I have friends who are in this place, and may this be the reminder that there is light and maybe you could take strength and give this a go.

For months on end, I stumbled through fog as thick as beef stew that has sat in the pot for three days. You know when you pour milk into tea, and the white slowly swirls and clouds, until it is no longer tea and milk, but milky tea? I was more milk than tea most of the time. I was that clouded with my thinking, foggy brained, fatigued and I was always had achy pains in my body.

I didn’t know how to be happy. I didn’t know what inner happiness even felt like. Everything worried me. Nothing felt good. How come my friends were so happy when I felt so down.

No matter how often I thought just “Be happy, dammit!” I just couldn’t see the surface. And somehow, I knew that there must be an answer to how I was feeling, the grey wool blanket that covered my mind, wasn’t really me. In my better moments and months, I was optimistic, laughing, and alive. I was weighted down, I couldn’t always laugh and smile, I just didn’t have it in me. On the outside I was this happy person but the inside told a different story.

Recently a tradesman came to our house to sort a couple of things out for us and as our conversation unfolded, it inspired me of what I needed to share.

He explained how one of his best mates was severely depressed, couldn’t find any joy in his life, attempted suicide and had been on anti depressant drugs and couldn’t shift that dark lost feeling.

This friend of his was eventually diagnosed with GLUTEN intolerance and from that day forward his whole life changed in ways he could have never imagined. The simple change in his diet improved his gut health tremendously, reducing the inflammation and allowing the gut to repair over time. How could something this so damn simple be so profound in finding the light.

Well often the reason lies within your gut! Around about 80% of the serotonin we produce (the happy drug) is made in the gut wall, so typically this means if our gut is not well then our mental health will also be suffering.

Not only is gluten a problem, but the chemicals used to produce wheat are also having detrimental effects on the health of the good bacteria in our gut. For many wheat is absolutely fine to eat, however it would be my suggestion to find organic sources if possible.

I have never been diagnosed as having Celiac disease, however I most definitely have a strong intolerance to wheat as do many of us without even realising. When I made a more conscious effort to give up gluten, that ho hum feeling started to subside quickly. In fact, that heavy weight of life lifted for me within weeks of having no gluten in my diet and more than 15 years later I have been predominantly Gluten Free.

Believe me, once you have been through the darkest days of a cancer diagnosis, and you feel light flooding the room instead, you choose happiness. Certainly I’m not amazingly happy all the time, and life is not perfect, but underneath any small anxiety or disappointment is the thrumming, loud rumble of knowledge of where I once was.

So you’ll have to excuse me if I seem so damned content within myself mostly. It’s a choice, a daily, constant, conscious choice, to choose to be alive and well and with NO GLUTEN!

Meet Justine

I’m Justine Laidlaw – Colon Cancer Survivor, Integrative Cancer Coach, Life Coach, Dr. Kelly Turners RADICAL REMISSION workshop facilitator and Thermography Breast Screening technician (Godfrey Integrative Medical Clinic) based in the beautiful Bay of Plenty town of Tauranga in New Zealand. Read More

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