Gluten Free Diet and Ulcers

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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