Authors: Cathie Gordon, SA
Event: 2011 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CLINICAL ISSUES, COMORBIDITY, PORMOTION
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Firstly, empirical data is presented regarding my 2002 diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder. Subsequent tests to determine whether there could be any physical contributors to this diagnosis revealed iron deficiency anaemia, abnormal thyroid function, an unspecified immune problem and significant weight loss. Investigation of possible causes for my anaemia revealed biopsy-proven coeliac disease. Approximately twelve months after maintaining a strict gluten-free diet (and taking anti-depressants) my weight and my physical and mental health returned to normal. Secondly, the significant body of academic research that exists in relation to links between coeliac disease and mental illness such as bipolar affective disorder is summarised. Finally, this paper highlights the urgent need for all clinicians to manage mental health consumers holistically, recommending that it becomes standard practice for all general practitioners and psychiatrists to thoroughly test and treat their mental health clients’ physical health rather than addressing their clients’ mental illness symptoms in isolation.