Association of ADHD and Celiac Disease: What Is the Evidence? A Systematic Review of the Literature

J Atten Disord. 2020 Aug;24(10):1371-1376. doi: 10.1177/1087054715611493. Epub 2016 Jan 29.


Objective: This article tries to answer the question whether or not there is evidence for a relationship between celiac disease (CD) and ADHD. A review of the current literature on this topic is provided. Method: PUBMED/MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google scholar were searched to include all published trials on ADHD and CD (no date limitation, both noncontrolled and controlled trials). In addition, the reference list of included studies was screened to find other relevant articles. Results: Eight studies report a possible association between CD and ADHD; however, the results are inconsistent. Only three out of eight studies report a positive correlation between ADHD and CD. Conclusion: Up till now, there is no conclusive evidence for a relationship between ADHD and CD. Therefore, it is not advised to perform routine screening of CD when assessing ADHD (and vice versa) or to implement gluten-free diet as a standard treatment in ADHD.

Keywords: ADD/ADHD; ADHD; ADHD-associated problems; celiac disease.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / epidemiology
  • Celiac Disease* / complications
  • Celiac Disease* / epidemiology
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening