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

22 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.

  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!?!

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