Do Antibiotics Cause Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity?

Some researchers say yes. The video above presents the studies demonstrating this connection. The medical research in this area shows that the problem could be even worse for those with genetic susceptibility to gluten sensitivity. Here is a simple breakdown of one of the mechanisms behind this relationship.

Antibiotics have been shown to cause a yeast overgrowth, and emerging research shows that yeast – AKA Candida, can create a protein that mimics gluten, causing an intestinal inflammatory reaction leading to the development of celiac disease.

do antibiotics cause gluten intolerance?

Antibiotics Are Not Evil

Though I don’t think that antibiotics are the only factor involved in the development of autoimmune illnesses like celiac disease, this is definitely a connection that should be researched in greater detail. I want to be clear that antibiotics can save your life if you have a major infection that is not resolved and mediated by your own immune system. So this research should not scare you away from taking an antibiotic should you need one. However; it should give you insight as to the importance of discriminating against taking an antibiotic “just in case”. The overuse of these medications pose a serious health risk problem – Candida overgrowth being one because it may cause those with gluten issues to have a reaction similar to gluten exposure itself.

This also brings into question the food quality that you eat. Does your meat contain antibiotics? Do the fruits and vegetables you consume contain pesticides that act as antibiotics on your gut flora? Does doing this contribute to yeast overgrowth that could compromise your health? All of these are important questions you should be asking if you want to maintain the integrity of your health.

Share your experience with antibiotics with us. Did taking an antibiotic trigger and gluten related issue for you?

Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior

39 thoughts on “Do Antibiotics Cause Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity?

  1. Lisa says:

    I was given antibiotics every winter for gut infections due to epileptic meds. The epileptic meds made me gluten sensitive. I would not be surprised if there was also gluten in antibiotics. I have been trying to heal from leaky gut and other issues for two years. Still not healed. Went on the elemental diet. Made everything worse. How can someone make something that says it will heal their gut with all those carbs in it?

  2. Diane says:

    Sept 2011 had a tick bite which was recognized as Lyme Disease. Took the antibiotic Doxycycline Hyclate for six weeks. As time passed realized my body had changed and was going downhill. Became introduced to the grain free diet and after one month on the diet knew it was having a good impact. That was the start of learning to listen to my body and heal myself. Was a real wake up call and still learning. Thank u more then u will ever know for all the info u provide.

  3. Jude says:

    Yes! I had three Cesarian sections within five years 34 years ago. When I didn’t bounce back after the third birth, I learned The antibiotics created candida overgrowth and I spent years unable to get appropriate help, yet attempting to control it by avoiding yeast as an allergen. It developed into full blown highly sensitive gluten intolerance with fungal infections, that crossed the blood brain barrier. The terms leaky gut and microbiome did not exist then. With major lifestyle changes, including not eating in restaurants, I have finally reached a point of reversing significant disruptions to my overall health. Doctors at that time thought ‘it was all in my head!!’ No one took me seriously all those years, yet ‘Better late than never…’

    • Katen says:

      I was told i should not eaten gluten by my pcp a couple years back. I had to find another pcp because he leaves the country every winter. I was given a antibiotic Doxycycline hyclate 100 mg twice daily for 10 days. One side effect is diarrhea, but i am having the reverse, trouble moving my bowels. I googled to see if it may contain gluten and found this article. I had candida over growth from a strong antibiotic just a couple months ago. Now what do i do? They insisted i stay on it for 10 days. This new pcp i never see a doctor only nurses.

  4. Christine Shannon says:

    I was prescribed Clindamycin 150g 4 X day for infected cellulitis. Right from the beginning of this treatment 3 days intravenous then tablet form my gut was stripped causing severe diarrhoea which was ignored by the doctors. My liver was swollen & painful for 3 weeks during treatment yet was ignored by the doctors. I follow a gluten free diet & have had to increase my probiotics to counter the effects of diarrhoea. If I go one day without taking a probiotic then it’s back to diarrhoea. I have now increased my intake of fresh vegetables, herbs, nuts, fruit with small amounts of meat protein. I don’t have celiac but I do have food sensitivities. I am now much more aware of the importance of feeding ones microbiome in order to heal leaky gut. Antibiotics have their place in emergencies but after this episode of side-effects I am now much more aware of doing research first before & what I can do to either replace using natural remedies to counterbalance the symptoms or support the body during any healing crisis. By the way my research showed that Clindamycin causes chronic inflammation of the colon & bowel.

    • Marsha says:

      This sounds like me. Mine started as a little girl. . . At one time I had some much penicillin that I had knots in my hip. Surgeries include rotator cuff, gallbladder removed, eye lenses crushed and new one put in along with tubes for glaucoma, total knee replacement and last one a few weeks ago was to removed scar tissue. Also had cellulitis in my arm that was extremely painful. I have learned to make better choices on health care and food I eat but like Dr, Wentz my one downfall is sugar. I’m still working hard on this on…

  5. Lisa says:

    I took Cipro for 10 days for a tooth infection. While I was on the medication I started getting horrible stomach pains every time I ate anything. My stomach felt like it was grumbling constantly while on the Cipro. After I finished the medication, I was still unable to digest anything without pain. I decided to try a gluten free diet and slowly my stomach started to heal. I later went on to develop IBS which I got under control using the Low fodamaps diet. Now I don’t eat any grains at all, limit high fodmap foods, cook all of my vegetables and my stomach is at ease now. Never had any stomach issues before I took the antibiotic.

    • Lyn says:

      I have been searching all over to figure why I have recently started getting so crook in the gut. I was diagnosed with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in November 2021 and given ciprofloxacin and of my gosh what a nasty nasty drug for side effects – it didn’t kill the Pseudo and later they asked did I want to go back on it and I said NO WAY. Now I know what is causing my gut problems! Thank you so very much for sharing this information – now i know what to do. Have been trying NZ Manuka Honey for the Pseudo and it has helped.

    • Lyn says:

      Sorry Lisa, my first answer went to wrong person and I am still not so well and put the wrong year in the other email-hopefully this will go to your and not Robert: I have been searching all over to figure why I have recently started getting so crook in the gut. I was diagnosed with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in November 2020 and given ciprofloxacin and of my gosh what a nasty nasty drug for side effects – it didn’t kill the Pseudo and later they asked did I want to go back on it and I said NO WAY. Now I know what is causing my gut problems! Thank you so very much for sharing this information – now i know what to do. Have been trying NZ Manuka Honey for the Pseudo and it has helped.

  6. Phil Williams says:

    I was put on 4 different types of antibiotics in a short period and developed terrible stomach and joint pain with rashes. I went to the Hospital and they had no answer for me. I stay away from Gluten now and feel much better.

  7. Ed says:

    I’m glad I read this as I believe I too am suffering from gluten intolerance as a result of Levaquin.

    I enjoyed your video. What I didn’t hear is what can be done to reverse it, if anything.


  8. Doug says:

    My wife was inadvertently given antibiotics of a family of antibiotics for which she is allergic. She immediately had fever, joint pain, and rash which continues to this day and had been diagnosed with the auto inflammatory disease Still’s Disease. We are not sure if the diagnosis is correct. Maybe it has triggered a reaction to grains and gluten?

  9. Rachel says:

    Yes. I either got Corona virus of only my gastro system or salmonella/ campylobacter from my backyard chickens. Cant say because er wouldn’t test my stool?? Either way I has no gastro or food issues at all, after a few er visits they put me on 2 of worlds strongest antibiotics. Now im being told 2 months after my ordeal started, after a scope last week that my Tummy is torn up, inflamed & I have 0 enzymes to process dairy & celiacs. I have no doubt they are aftermath of my infection & strong antibiotics

    • Stephen Pond says:

      Hi Rachel, you could try taking Enzymedica Digest Gold to help with your enzyme problem.
      After taking this for a day you could try mixing slippery elm bark with a little yoghurt – maybe even a dairy free yoghurt, but Digest Gold will help you digest the dairy. Take it at the same time. Pineapply might also help. The pineapple cleans and slippery elm repairs digestive tract membrane. Slippery elm is more effective with yoghurt than with water since it is not water soluble.

  10. Adrian says:

    Yes, have had bad side effects from using antibiotics. They were prescribed for acne, which was very unsuccessful. Later, I developed other infections.

  11. Ruth Winn says:

    I have had RA since 2006 and was able to control it by going off gluten and sugar and taking supplements. In 2015, my PCP prescribed Levaquin antibiotic for a “touch of pneumonia.” I had an immediate reaction which caused severe swelling, stiffness and pain in my fingers/hands. This year, on April 29, 2020, I was diagnosed by an urgent care physician of an ear infection and was prescribed Amoxicillin. Silly me, I thought since it was a different antibiotic, I wouldn’t have a reaction, but it was worse than the reaction to Levaquin, with swelling, stiffness all over by body, especially my joints–shoulders, wrists, knees, ankles, etc. Today, June 14, I’m still suffering with the side effects. Never again!

  12. Mary Thorpe says:

    After a double round of an antibiotic (sorry, I don’t remember which one) after a root canal, I got diarrhea which didn’t surprise me b/c i knew that my good gut bacteria could have been wiped out. But when the diarrhea didn’t stop after a month I went to my GP. She started testing me for parasites and bacterial infections but I thought she was on the wrong track and started experimenting with diet: lactose free, fat free, tried digestive enzymes. Finally, as a liquidy rash was spreading up my legs and my diarrhea had turned black, I tried going wheat free. I had never heard of wheat being a problem 22 years ago but I hadn’t tried that. Bingo. The diarrhea stopped, the rash receded, and, to my joy and surprise, after a couple of months I realized that the migraines that i had suffered monthly for 30 years also stopped. It made me mad to think that all of that suffering could have been avoided via diet. Since then I’ve accumulated a list of about 18 other symptoms that I no longer have. None (besides the migraines) were big enough to cause alarm- canker sores, heart palpitations, esophageal spasms, muscle spasms, rumbly tummy, white flecks on my finger nails…. i was never diagnosed with celiac disease b/c i went gf on my own and was not about to eat gluten to get valid antibody tests but a gene test told me that i’m homozygous DQ2. Now, besides avoiding gluten, I try to avoid antibiotics- not hard b/c I stay healthy. I had to educate my GP about celiac disease. I’m sure that others in my family had gluten problems but despite my experience, none would take it seriously. My sibs are all dead now and I’m a healthy age 72.

  13. Paul Miller says:

    A lot of the problem is not just simply antibiotics. It is the pharma industry. They use gluten as a binder in almost all drugs (pills, capsules, suspensions, inhalers). If you are a true celiac you may also be lactose intolerant and this is good news as well because the pharma industry uses lactose as a filler. So we get poisoned by the drugs themselves which, taken as directed, kill over 100K people in the USA yearly, make untold number sick (many cause acute pancreatitis and other complications) and we are suppose to be tickled pink over this!?!

  14. Shaun James says:

    I recently was treated for an animal bite with two 7 day cycles of oral Augmentin. 14 days total to heal the bite. Shortly after, I would say about a week after the 14 days I got what I thought was sick and started feeling real hypertensive, muscles stiffened up and a irritation feeling in my throat different from your typical strep or cold, and I also developed brain fog and weakened muscles and no energy along with extremely high heart rate and liver enzymes. I went back to the doctor and they gave me another shot of Benzathine Penicillin in the rear. I would say about another week later conditions got even worse so I went back and they put me on Big bottle Amoxicillin . A day after That they had to Ambulance me to A larger mercy hospital because danger of liver failure. The liver doctor took me off the Amoxicillin. Another doctor there said that walking pneumonia had set ip in lungs and put me on doxycycline. Ever since i came off the antibiotics I have been feeling better everyday but now I cannot eat flour, bread products, and the reactions when I do are not pleasent. I think thats why my lungs had walkin pneumonia in the first place. Could these reactions caused my lungs to aspirate with pneumonia? Im also afraid now that this could have caused tissue damage. Could these reactions caused tissue damage. Im having numbness in places i have never had before. I have never in my life really have any allergies other than poison ivy and asprin. However when I did start on the vitamin C regimen years ago I started noticing slight allergies to meat and fish and eggs, but just itching and purple hives where I scratch. Nothing to this extent. Is this something that’s going to be temporary with the gluten now or is it something that’s going to be permanent?

    • Shaun James says:

      I did however when I was on the Augmentin get in the sun and develop a pretty bad sunburn, could this have cause immune reactions with the antibiotics and being in the sun and getting burned. I’m just kind of wondering if this was caused from the sunburn or If this would’ve happened without the sunburn just because I was on too many anabiotic’s?

  15. Tim says:

    For almost five weeks I was given different antibiotics for some benevolent bacteria. Thus, after I finished antibiotic courses, ended up one morning with a pain in the right abdominal area, and severe diarrhea. As the days went by and my condition stared getting from mild to worse diarrhea, I decided to look up for a Gastroenterologist. Went through all medical exams, such as : blood tests, stool tests , colonoscopy ( twice ), and to my good luck everything appeared to be fine. But, I was still experiencing mild to worse pain in my right abdominal area alongside with mild to severe diarrhea. In April of 2019 I had done entry level, food intolerance test. Gluten was there, but I haven’t payed much attention to it at that time. Finally a month ago I went through the test again and decided to cut gluten off. The results are as if I am a different man. I am so happy and afraid at the same time. I still can’t believe I can wake up in the morning and do things normally, (not having diarrhea). My advice to whomever reads this is, please take care of your body, and control the intake of antibiotics, only take them if really necessary.

  16. Concerned Mama says:

    My daughter had 8 courses of antibiotics when she was in second grade due to recurring strep. During that time period she started to develop migraines then was status migrainous for a few months. She’s had chronic migraine since and another 6 months of severe status migrainous in fourth grade. She’s in 6th grade now and continues with chronic migraine. Recent bloodwork suggests gluten sensitivity and possible celiac disease. We are convinced all of those antibiotics played a big role in her current condition. Nausea is her constant companion and sometimes worse than her migraine. Still searching for answers.

    • Liz Hall says:

      I am so sorry you are going through this. Please consider the possibility of an additional allergy/sensitivity to corn and its derivatives. My family is being evaluated for mast cell activation disorders (perhaps systemic mastocytosis) and we’ve discovered that in addition to gluten, corn is a huge underlying problem. I’ve found the website CornAllergyGirl dot com to be invaluable! There are so many “hidden” sources of corn, we didn’t start improving until we found the complete list and started eliminating it all. Histamine intolerance is another term I would look up and see if you feel like symptoms match. We follow a diet that is gluten, corn, dairy, and soy free, and meet the criteria for low-histamine and low-FODMAP. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Best of luck to you!

  17. Adam says:

    Looking for advice for my wife. She has been diagnosed with Lymes disease recently and they gave her Doxycycline Hyclate to take and according to research it contains glute and she has severe Celiac disease so she cannot come in contact with gluten at all. We are looking for any type of help to a gluten free alternative treatment to take to help with Lymes disease that is not Doxycycline Hyclate. Any advice would be helpful she is not doing good at all..

  18. Kyle D Brodie says:

    I was on antibiotics for years as a teen for acne. I always suspected it helped to trigger my gluten sensitivity. This research helps confirm what have long believed. Thanks

  19. Steven says:

    My life has not been the same since I took fluoroquinolones.. These were initially prescribed for prostatitis, I was unable to complete the medication due to severe adverse affects on my body. I went on to see a neurolgist due to persistent side effects, was told these were phantom pains/issues. I swore I would not take again… Fast forward about 5 years, and again was faced with this decision, of using this to treat my chronic condition. Unfortunately, under the “care” of my physician was told that these claims were unfounded and she was “unaware” of such issues. I accepted the presciption again and it has been a downward spiral since. Through extreme self care diet/exercise was able to regain my overall well being somewhat. Finally, the last time I took was this past winter, is when I conclusively linked my gluten ataxia to the use of fluoroquinolones. Since then I have elimated all gluten from my diet, and feel so much better. These medications should have been banned a lot sooner than 2020. I’ll take this one step further, these antibiotics had a major role in me developing and being diagnosed with fibrobromyalgia as a male in my 30’s…

    • Stacy says:

      I too took FQs and have lived a very unfun hell including diagnosis for menieres disease, hashimotos and celiac disease after taking them. Also the tendinitis and neurological problems.

  20. Chris Goppert says:

    I was treated for various ailments over a span of many years in a 3rd world country with some powerful antibiotics such as Clindamicin, Vancomycin and of course Cipro. Voila, I was diagnosed with adult on-set Celiac Disease last June 2020 after endoscopy, colonoscopy and blood/stool work ups. Connection? Perhaps, but the jury may still be out on this one.

  21. Sam says:

    Before taking Metronidazole I could eat anything fine but after taking 2 courses I now cannot eat any gluten or my thoat gets so inflamed it hurts to speak. I still feel like my body is in a constant state of inflammation with headaches slight sore throat and high temperatures. Been going on over 2 years now. My doctor doesnt have time for me or any idea what is wrong with me so I stopped going…

  22. Shelly says:

    What came before antibiotics? Silver! Dealing with this now UTI. They tried to give me gluten antibiotics today. The Pharmacist is real dumb, she says can you have cornstarch, after I said NO CORN! God help this world! I just took some silver. Also heard pomegranate juice is really good too, better than cranberry juice?

  23. DW says:

    I’m taking antibiotics and I had never had gluten intolerance before till now. Bread is something I make myself and always enjoy, I’m fit and healthy but one terrible bacteria got me here. I can’t wait to finish the two week antibiotic treatment and check if I can resume my gluten intake. I’m guessing I’ll have to rebuild my microbiome and do a major detox afterwards. I’m currently taking a good dose of organic probiotic foods and caps (refrigerated type) I also eat lots of fruits and vegetables but I have to supplement with organic spirulina and chlorella plus wheat grass because I don’t alway have access to organic produce. I keep my exercise routine and sauna. I will update later if this helped me.

  24. Judy Survera says:

    I was dx in 2009 at 47. I have had tummy issues my whole life. In 1982, I was on Mandol IV for 6 weeks in the hospital for Osteomyelitis. Also, i was always given them for sinus infections and UTI’s which always gave me a yeast infection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.