Quality of Life and Psychological Distress in Celiac Disease

Cristina Sfoggia, Gabriela Longarini, Florencia Costa, Horacio Vázquez, Eduardo Mauriño, Julio C. Bai

Resumen


Both the quality of life and the psychological status of celiac disease patients have been explored in recent research. This chapter aims to review the reported evidence on the psychological aspects of celiac disease and the patients' perception of the disorder. Nevertheless, studies show controversial and contradictory results. When evaluated prior to diagnosis, patients with a symptomatic clinical presentation had an evident decrease in their quality of life. The gluten-free diet improves such perception. On the other hand, evidence on the quality of life in patients with subclinical disease is not so clear. Depression is the most commonly referred and studied mental disorder. Depression has been reported to be more prevalent and severe in celiac patients than in the general population. The interaction between physiological and environmental factors seem to be responsible for the disturbance. Anxiety disorders have also been reported, but with less clear results. Currently, it seems accurate to consider them to be forms reactive to diagnosis or to be associated with difficulties in following the diet and its impact on social life. In this sense, the evidence seems to suggest that these could be considered as adjustment disorders with an anxiety state. Regarding the effects of treatment on these symptoms, there is currently no agreement since improvements have been reported in some studies but not in others. Importantly, depression may affect adherence to treatment, disease evolution and perception of quality of life and, therefore, its presence at diagnosis should be mandatorily explored.

Palabras clave


celiac, quality of life, psychological distress

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