Gluten Free Diet and Ulcers | Allergy

Gluten Free Diet and Ulcers

by Allergy Guy

A gluten free diet may help with ulcers in the digestive system.  If you have celiac disease, a gluten allergy, or gluten sensitivity, gluten may trigger ulcers.

Many people have gluten sensitivity.  It is hard to know exact numbers.  Just under 1% of the population has celiac disease, according to recent studies.  Including gluten allergy and gluten sensitivity push those numbers up even higher.

It is likely that these numbers are even higher amongst people who suffer from ulcers.

For people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease, a gluten free diet is a must.

Ulcers in the Digestive System

An ulcer is defined as a mucosal erosions equal to or greater than 0.5 cm.

Ulcers can occur anywhere in the digestive system, from the mouth to the upper small intestine.  They have different names, according to where they occur:

  • Canker sore (aphthous stomatitis) – ulcer in the mouth.
  • Oesophageal ulcer in the esophagus
  • Peptic ulcer in the stomach
  • Duodenal ulcer in the upper small intestine

In most cases, ulcers are caused by

Celiac Disease and Ulcers

Celiac disease patients have am much higher chance of having an ulcer than the general public.

Up to 5% of celiacs may have an ulcer as their only symptom. 

Close to a third of celiac patients may suffer from canker sores.

If you have an ulcer, you should defiantly be tested for celiac disease.

Gluten Allergy and Ulcers

Gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy may cause ulcers, even when celiac disease is not present.

This is a tricky area because it is much harder to test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The best test is to go on a gluten free diet and see if you improve.

In other words, if you have an ulcer, and test negative for celiac disease, you should still try a gluten free diet.

Gluten Free Diet and Ulcers

A gluten free diet can be very beneficial for many ulcer cases.  If you have celiac disease, the benefits are even bigger, and you can consider yourself lucky that your ulcer helped you discover this.

For those with celiac disease, a strict gluten free diet should show significant improvement within 2 to 6 months.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cheryl June 7, 2012 at 09:52

Wow! I had terrible mouth ulcers — 20 to 30 in my mouth at the same time, without any break for more than a year!! I spent that time going to many doctors, and it wasn’t until my mother-in-law mentioned gluten that I finally tried a GF diet. After seeing many doctors (family dr, dentist, oral surgeon, otolaryngologist, a specialist at Shands, rheumatologist, dermatologist….I’m sure I’m forgetting some others) NOT a SINGLE DOCTOR suggested that it might be a gluten allergy. I tested negative for Celiac, so even after my symptoms improved (for the past year since I’ve been GF I now have about 4-5 at the most, probably when someone contaminates my food at a restaurant!) my doctors still don’t think it’s a gluten allergy.

I spent hours upon hours researching a possible link between ulcers or canker sores and gluten allergies, but nothing ever came up. I’m amazed that this answers all of my questions and confirms that I’m not just a head case 🙂 For a while I was starting to think it was psychosomatic or just plain hypochondria that was creating these ulcers. Then I ran into someone whose child was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and he got a bad throat ulcer. His doctor diagnosed it immediately as a gluten allergy….why haven’t MY doctors figured that out?

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2 Allergy Guy June 7, 2012 at 20:34

What kind of celiac test did you have?

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3 mario June 8, 2012 at 19:23

HI CHERYL AND ALLERGY GUY foods i have found as most mouth ulcers causing are,orange juice beer bread with yeast dry fruit ripe fruit citrus fruit limes mushrooms hams salamis sausages anything with syurups especialy corn and its syrup all pickles matured cheeses yogurt cabage in any form pickled or fresh cauliflower notice black mould on these when even fresh king savoy also to a less degree.carefull with sweet pea snow pea white mould on them also zuchini and of course so long one eats fungal food mouth ulcers will plague them.there is no cure or operation for wrong food one eats.this is ny experience with mouth ulcers next post i will be debunking the great garlic myth GARLIC IS A VERY POTENT NEUROTOXIN it is a poison just completed test on my own body afer 5 years with schocking results.regards dr fungus

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4 MARIO July 28, 2011 at 02:23

HI THERE for 50years i have been plagued with mouth ulcers doctors in 3 countries could not help or give explanation until i stumbled on candida or yeast infection turn my diet upside down never get mouth ulcers again unless i eat and drink candidal food if mouth ulcer is benign cancer is there link to other cancers as well as candida produces lot of toxins limphatic glands are filters for toxins also i always had flu 6 to 8 times a year last one nearly killed me 20 years ago never had flu again im 70 years old not on any medication still climbing trees and active in men department but strictly on non candidal diet and sleep like baby 44 years ago when i was in germany a lady 40 years old had so much of mouth ulcers could not eat or drink she was taken to hospital i hope somebody may find it helpfull

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