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Gluten Sensitivity Induces GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Gluten And Acid Reflux – A Common Association

Is there a medical link between gluten and acid reflux? A recent research study linked peptic disease (heartburn, GERD, stomach ulcer) to gluten exposure in patients with gluten sensitivity. So the short answer to the question is yes. You can read a direct quote from the researchers below:

PD (peptic disease) is not uncommon in the presentation of CD (celiac disease). It is more likely to be found in the second decade of life. CD should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients with non-HP(H pylori) PD and we suggest routine CD serology and small bowel biopsy in patients with unexplained PD.

The authors of this study recommend that all patients with non infectious peptic disease be screened for celiac disease.


Scand J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(12):1424-8.

Gluten Inflames the Stomach and Intestines

I commonly see patients with a conglomeration of gastric symptoms that are directly caused by gluten exposure. Reflux, heartburn, ulcer disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and even hernia are some of the more common diseases I have seen go into remission with the implementation of a TRUE gluten free diet.

It is common for physicians to rule out infection (primarily H. pylori) in these patients, but gluten intolerance is very rarely investigated. The results of this study suggest that patients with gastric disease be screened for celiac disease. The problem with this recommendation is that celiac blood tests and biopsies are extremely inaccurate and have a high degree of false negatives. The other problem is that many people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Therefore, testing them for celiac disease is a complete waste of time and extremely misleading. Also keep in mind that just like there is a link between gluten and acid reflux, other foods can also be triggers.

That it why I recommend genetic testing. The results cannot be skewed by diet and are not accompanied with the flaws of celiac blood and biopsy testing.

gluten and acid reflux

Reflux Medications Have Dangerous Side Effects

Remember that taking heavy doses of anti-acids and prescription reflux medications is not the answer. These drugs only serve to neutralize or reduce stomach acid. Reduction of stomach acid is a major problem as it increases the risk for:

  • Infection
  • Osteoporosis (ironically, gluten also causes bone loss)
  • Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies (calcium, B-12, folic acid, iron, zinc, and more – also common in those with gluten sensitivity issues)
  • Protein and fat malabsorption

Additionally, the medication does not treat the actual cause of disease, but merely reduces the symptoms, thus creating a false sense of “healthy security”.

Please do me a favor. If going gluten free eliminated or reduced your gastric problems, please share with us below in the Leave a Reply Box. Your story may help encourage someone else to go gluten free.

In good health,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior

68 Responses

  1. For the past few years I’ve dealt with acid reflux, stomach cramping, loose bowels, and generally feeling really crappy whether I ate or not. I’ve been gluten free for the past few weeks and already I have not had any major heartburn issues or stomach cramping.
    I was diagnosed with acide reflux after a long series of antibiotics for a very serious staph infection. I was told my stomach lining was pretty much kaputz. This ravaged my body, my immune system, and my life. I started cutting out certain acidic or spicy foods, and the stomach cramps and heartburn would go away for a little but always return, until going off of gluten.
    I love spicier foods, and I’m happy I don’t have to sacrifice much. On days I feel like it’s the biggest inconvenience in the world, knowing that I won’t feel as bad as I did really helps as well.

  2. I suffered for years with bad reflux, GERD, hiatal hernia, ulcers and was just given prescription after prescription. A few years later I was also diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and a few more medicines including steroids, immunosuppressant drug therapy, and anti- inflammatory drugs were added to the list. All of the medications caused my bone marrow to stop producing blood and I became very ill and needed an emergency blood transfusion. Finally, I was fed up and knew there had to be a better way of life, I was only 25 and did NOT want to be on medication forever! Last year I went completely gluten/grain free and will never look back. My health is completely restored, I was able to taper off of all medications, became pregnant and gave birth to a healthy full term baby.

  3. Almost immediately after my Gluten Intolerance diagnosis by my doctor my GERD went into remission when I went gluten-free. I knew I had heartburn issues but didn’t realize I had GERD until I had a biopsy. The Gastroenterologist immediately wanted to prescribe a medication but my thought was if the symptoms have dissipated with my gluten-free diet I would not take anything. I have only had one or two heartburn episodes in the last nine months and am very relieved.

  4. The brief little blurb(above)reads like the story of my life. I mean it’s textbook of my life. It started in my early 20, acid stomach just plagued me. I used to think it was tomato sause either on pizza or spaghetti so I was careful about eating it and knew if I decided the splurge, there would be a price to pay into the next day. In my 30s (most recently) it got to the point of GERD and it was horrible. It would wake me from a sound sleep and I’d have to run to the bathroom, choking on my own vomit. It was like a nightmare. i was beginning to fear death like those rock stars you hear about all on drugs and then asphixiating in the middle of the night on their own vomit. As far as the hernia link, I just at this moment recall that I don’t believe I’ve had that very sharp, shooting pain in my navel occasionally when I get up too fast. But yes, holy cow! I don’t get that anymore and I’ve had that since I was a child. I always thought it was because when I was little I had an outty belly button and I used to try to hold it in with my finger so it would be like my brothers. I eventually grew around it I guess and it became a regular inny. But yea. That sounds like me too. It was never the tomato sause. I love the stuff. It was the crust and the pasta and the gluten it contained.

  5. I believe I have a gluten intolerance and abstain from gluten/wheat. I began having digestive problems when I was 10 with heartburn. This continued for many years until Sept. 2009 when my digestive issues worsened suddenly. I was in a lot of pain and nothing helped. Before I saw my doctor, I went gluten free. My symptoms eased up within a day or two. The discomfort (burning and pressure), reflux to the point of throwing up twice a day, and extreme bloating decreased. My doctor told me to go on Prevacid and to eat a regular diet. He was not influenced by the fact that my symptoms had improved after going gluten free. He was convinced it was my gallbladder. Why?? He didn’t listen to me, so I didn’t listen to him. I listened to myself. I remained gluten free. My ultrasound showed a normal gallbladder. A blood test for common dietary allergies was negative for everything. A parasitic test was negative (I had worked at a daycare, so that was a concern). My endoscopy and colonoscopy showed that I’m completely normal and healthy. My symptoms came back after having to return to gluten for the month before the tests. In addition to digestive problems, I noticed worsened hypoglycemia, frequent urges to urinate, burning sensation in my bladder (no UTI), worse PMS, increased food cravings, headaches, sore feet. I went to another doctor to get her opinion, and was told it’s stress. I believe that’s doctor code for “I don’t know.” I was given pills to relax my digestive system. She thought it was an IBS type of situation. The pills helped, but my gluten free diet has made them unnecessary. Now I need to maintain my dairy-free diet without cheating!! Thank you for this article. I appreciate the information and ability to tell my story.

  6. When I read your article, I shouted, “YES! Someone who gets it!” I was diagnosed last March with celiac disease after two years of test after test (including 3 lower scopes and a small intestine biopsy.) Both my celiac blood panel and biopsy came back negative. However, based on my health history, my gastro doc wanted me to try the gluten free diet. Within 3-5 days I felt so much better, I couldn’t believe it! Then he ordered the genetic blood test and, based on the results (I carry the genes), said I have celiac and need to eat gluten free the rest of my life. Not a problem, believe me, because I have never felt better — and when I accidentally get “contaminated,” it is AWFUL.

    As a kid, I was severely constipated, had chronic ear infections, seasonal allergies, and major canker sores (I was actually hospitalized with them at 18 months, I had so many and could not swallow). In my teens, I develped asthma. In my late 20s, after both my sons were born, I suffered horrific gallbladder attacks (and had it removed), then went on to develop reflux, was diagnosed with GERD and a hiatal hernia. (At that point, I added an acid reducer to my repretoire of asthma and allergy meds.) In my 30s, I developed tendonitis in my hand and needed surgery. I was tested and diagnosed with ADD and anxiety (also suffered a round of situational depression in there, too). Then, a few months before turning 40, my regular bathroom habits became anything but. I developed cramping, bloating, stomach distension (where I looked 5 months pregnant), and would sometimes have 5-6 bowel movements in a day. After many tests, I was told it was irritable bowel syndrome. When my symptoms became worse (I was having numbness/tingling in my face and extemities, developed a “dropped step” in my gait, developed a strange “rash” on my stomach — which turned out to be another autoimmune disease called morphea, started waking in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep … the list goes on) and the gi pain intensified, I insisted on a colonscopy. They discovered a pre-cancerous polyp (thank God!) and removed it. But it wasn’t until I started researching celiac disease online (and saw the overlap with so many of my symptoms and those of other family members) that I got anywhere. When I set up an appointment with a different gastro doc and “laid out my case,” he was impressed and said he was sure I had it. So, YES, gastro symptoms like GERD and reflux can play a role in celiac disease and, even yesser, the standard tests are often plain wrong!

    1. Jamie,
      Glad to see you finally got the answer. Your testimony is like so many stories I hear in my office from patient after patient. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I am so happy as I write these words. Smiling and almost have tears in my eyes.

    I am sure that I am gluten sensitive or have celiac. I am 29 years old and for the last 9 months I have suffered from duodenal ulcer but the doctor didn´t know why. No bacteria, no NSAID. I have changed my diet, taken out coffee, alcohol, meet, you name it.

    I have a 5 year old daughter and is trying to become pregnant. I spot every month before my period and in 2011 I have had two early miscarrigaes…

    I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child. I have always been a lousy drinker, I throw up after one beer and get extremely ill efter alcohol intake (much more than hangover)

    I read about gluten sensitivity 3 DAYS ago and cut off ALL gluten and dairys. OMG…it has only been 3 days and I have barely marked my ulcer, I feel like a have woken up efter a bad dream, my depression is better, I am not anxious and for the first time in years I feel like I can think CLEAR.

    Can´t wait to see how this goes 🙂

    1. Reading all of this has almost brought tears to me eyes. I have never found a place where so many people understand. I’m 17, and this has been going on for two years. I’ve tried cutting out certain foods, but nothing seemed to change. I’ve dealt with immense stomach pain, heart burn, and many more symptoms. Starting today I am going to try these and I pray that this is the answer i’ve been looking for. Thank you to everyone for sharing there story.

  8. I came back from Singapore and found I was going to the toilet 17 times a day. I thought I had caught something but my doctor said I have Ulcerative Colitis. I was put on steroids for three years packed on the weight and was not getting any better. I had nearly all of my large bowel out and for 19 years have had issues. Then one of my daughters said she was having pain in her stomach and her doctor said she had irritable bowel syndrome so she went Gluten Free and I was doing some of it but not totally. Nearly two years ago I had three heartaches because of a doctor giving me two different medications with Sulphur in them and I am allergic to Sulphur. I decided to go totally Gluten Free and no more gastric reflux, no excessive wind in the bowel and loose bowel movements to the extent that they were. I have been under a dietician but have shopped around as you have to find someone that understands what you are talking about other wise money can be wasted. I refuse to take anymore steroids and have also gone Lactose Free and this has helped so much. Sometimes I am naughty and I pay for it. I drink alot of water to flush the system. Exercise is good too. Doctors just want to put patients on steriods and other medications. Going Organic as well is helpful too as there is chemicals on most grains grown. With the delicate system we have, we have to be so particular what we put into our system. There are only apples, bananas and managos that I can eat for fruit. If I eat fruits with too much acid in them then I pay for it. Sauces are the worst as well, vinegar is an additive. I stay away from spices except garlic and parsley, Basil, Coriander. Thyme etc is not good for me. I have gravy and white sauce but no other sauces as the ingredients can irritate the bowel. I sleep better and not visiting the toilet 4-5 times a night. Tiredness is something I have struggled with for many years and now know why I am not sleeping. I take calcium for my bones twice a day. I take magnesium on an empty stomach with two teaspoons of Benefibre in half a glass of water each morning 30 minutes before eating. The Benefibre has been a blessing and I take it before other meals as well, sometimes I forget but no biggie but always get the morning dose. I was taking Questren Lite to help give some bulk but found it didn’t help like Benefibre. Benefibre is so easy to take I do not know there is an additive in the water. Questen Lite would get dry in my throat and it was thick to take. I got sick of taking it and paid for not having it so pleased when my daughter found Benefibre and told me. I have a Summer Beer and some wine now and again or Hahn light with lemonade but do not drink anymore than two drinks when at an event then go to water. Summer Beer does not effect me like other beers. Other beers has more yeast in them. I do no drink anything carbonated softdrinks or fruit juice. I drink Mango and Banana juice only and mineral water based drinks or Iced Tea as well as Lychee Drink. I do not drink coffee or touch anything with chilli in it or I am in the toilet in 15 minutes. It took me awhile to accept I have to be good at this otherwise I pay for it. My family eats what I eat and I do other things for them but they do not realy mind. My message is It is Not Hard Being Well and all the best to everyone.

      1. Beer contains barley which has gluten. Wheat, rye, and barley, oats have to be gluten free as they rotate the fields with wheat. You have to read every label on the food you eat, the vitamins you take, the toothpaste you use, ketchup, mayo, everything or you’ll be sick that is if you do have celiac disease. I suggest you have a biopsy of your small intestines because people cheat when they don’t know positively they have celiac disease.

  9. I’ve suffered from GERD for several years, and for the past three years have been on daily meds (omeprazole, 40 mgs daily, also tried nexium) and the symptoms did not go away. I did the diet they suggest (which includes eating whole grains, the morons), avoided everything I was supposed to, lost weight, nothing helped. So as an experiment I went gluten-free about 3 weeks ago. After the first week I went off the meds because I’m eating a higher protein Paleo diet and felt I needed the stomach acid to digest the protein. While I do feel better and I actually have some days with no GERD symptoms at all–something I have not experienced in years–I still have some symptoms several times a week. I did not go through testing for celiac because it seemed like a waste of time. Can someone please share how long it took to become symptom free?

  10. 3 years ago I was put on a long course of antibiotics. After completing the antibiotics I started to feel like I could not breathe, coughing non stop my throat felt swollen, I was tired, dizzy, would wake up gasping for air. I was very scared so I went back to my doctor, he said silent acid reflux. Gave me an inhaler to help me breathe along with Nexium. I started to research silent reflux. Went to a gi and did 3 endoscopies that were all negative he said maybe I was alkaline not acidic. He gave me pro biotics. Still no relief I was tested for asthma, allergies, lupus, you name it and then of course the doctor said stress.. Well yeah now that noone can tell me whatis wrong I was stressed but explained to everyone that my symptoms I increased after eating so …… I stopped eating. Yep … Went on ensure totally… 6 a day for 3 months. I knew nothing about gluten free eating at the time. I start to feel better after a few days. Of course now aside from the diagnosis of refractory asthma, silent reflux, post nasal drip ( w no mucus ever present), panic disorder, and let’s not forget vocal cord distinction… The next doctor suggest that I may have an eating disorder because I do not eat food at this point. I explained that when I eat I do not feel good. He thought I should see a nutrionist …. I gave up because I was accused of having an eating disorder because noone was listening. I started to slowly eat foods again and noticed that dairy was ok, hmmm and I could eat a salad w blue cheese and I was fine…. Fruit was fine… Bread no go…. I went gluten free and guess what ? Yep all is good. It’s amazing that doctors are not exploring this option more. Had I listened to the Doc’s I would be on Nexium, symbacort,albuterol as needed, lexapro or one of those, claritin. I am 31 and healthy. What the heck? I wanted to share my story, I think it is important for people to follow their gut…. No pun intended!

  11. thannks for sharing your story. sounds alot like what doctors told me. the end result was that i was depressed! what a joke! lots of doctor bills later and now im just following a natural way of eating. food combining that has helped some but im going to try gluten free and see what happens! thanks again!

  12. About two years ago, I started having unexplained episodes of heartburn and reflux. I ate a healthy vegetarian diet, I exercised, and rarely ever ate anything spicy. I blamed the heartburn symptoms on job stress. The problem escalated, and I was diagnosed with “gastritis”. I had an endoscopy, but the doc only saw stomach inflammation. Tests were negative for H.Pylori, and I didn’t have ulcers, cancer, or a hiatal hernia (thankfully!). My chiropractor actually suggested a gluten free diet, and I noticed dramatic improvement when I tried this. I would also like to note that my gastro doc put me on Prilosec, which made the symptoms worse. Then I tried Dexilant, which didn’t help either. Both drugs caused heart palpitations and heaviness/pain in my lungs after a few weeks of being on them. So the idea that you can cure stomach inflammation by blocking acid is ridiculous. Clearly, the inflammation was caused by my body’s inability to digest wheat gluten! I’ll bet half the people who are on acid blockers have an unknown food allergy!

    1. Jennifer,
      Sorry you had to go through all of that just to get a real answer. Thank you for sharing your story. It will help others find their way!
      All the best,
      Dr. O

    2. Hi, my wife has suffered abdominal pain for over twenty years, thyroid issues from her teens ,anaemia etc. In June I told drs she had cd and was proven right, she has been on lansoprazole etc for years, since being gluten free since August her rash is a lot worse. She also was diagnosed pericarditis. I wonder if her medication is bringing the symptoms

    3. Jennifer: Your experience sounds very similar ro what I am now going through. Did going off gluten resolve your symtoms? I would like to discuss my history with you if you are willing.

    4. How long did it take for you to notice a real difference in your gastritis symptoms? My scope showed gastritis as well and negative h pylori test but positive blood test for celiacs.

  13. Thanks for writing this article. I hope others will find it and eliminate the pain from their lives. I suffered from 15 years of intolerable daily heartburn with no idea that it had come from eating gluten. Like others here, I tried everything to cure the heartburn – antacids (stored a bottle at my beside), wearing looser clothes, chewing gum, eliminating the standard acid causing foods like coffee, tomato sauce, high fats, spicy food. Nothing worked. Then about 2 years ago I was researching the heartburn with other symptoms I had been experiencing and there it was – a gluten sensitivity. I eliminated all gluten products from my diet and within three days my heartburn cleared up. FOR GOOD! So did the chronic pain I used to have around my rib cage. My memory improved. This was the true solution. In the 2 years since eliminating gluten from my diet, I have only had heartburn a handful of times. No doubt those times were caused by inadvertent ingestion of gluten. The relief I have gotten from going gluten free is so extreme that staying away from gluten has been the easiest lifestyle change I’ve have ever made. Other than making a few mistakes while learning how to steer clear of gluten, the transition has been no problem at all. There are so many gluten free alternatives these days. There is a great substitute for almost everything and so many gluten free experts with websites like this one to help with finding out how to go gluten fee. It takes just a little experimenting and looking to find these alternatives, but the benefits are more than worth it. I eat great pizzas, yummy breads, brownies, pretzels – all gluten free. The toughest part of going gluten free is turning down the generous offers of well meaning people who bring food to share. But even this has a plus side. Gluten free people have a great excuse to skip the cake, pizza, donuts, cupcakes, and cookies that are so often brought into an office. I’m guessing I’ve skipped 10 lbs of additional “goodies” I would probably have eaten otherwise and have worn around my middle! Long story short, I am happy to share my story here in hopes that someone suffering will give a gluten free diet a try. Thank you Gluten Free Society for helping people to understand the gluten heartburn connection. It will no doubt make a difference in people’s lives. I have a few last comments for those who tried to go gluten free and didn’t cure heartburn. If you haven’t really made sure that you didn’t eat any gluten, you might have been eating it and didn’t know it. Common culprits are in processed foods. If you don’t know what to look for, you might not have been successful only because you weren’t aware you were still eating gluten. Try eliminating all non-fruit and vegetable carbs and eat only non-processed foods for about three days. Also watch out for supplements as they can also contain some gluten. It takes only tiny amounts of gluten to trigger the symptoms for many of us!

  14. I have a hiatus hernia diagnosed about 13 yrs ago. Taken lansoprazole 30mg all these years. Diagnosed coeliac 18 months and managed to half medication for first time and looking to try without from next month! I am convinced my gluten free diet has cured my acid reflux!!!!! Maria

  15. Struggling with GERD, ADD, sinus infections, fatigue, and depression for much of my life. I just started gluten free a few days ago and already my GERD is better. No GERD problems yet although I am still avoiding garlic, onions, chocolate, fried foods, and coffee. Plus I have more energy and clarity. Please GOD I hope that this is the answer to my health problems. I would give up gluten gladly for the chance to be healthy and happy again. Maybe I can even start easing off my GERD meds soon.
    Thank you everyone for sharing your story. Wish I had known a long time ago about this.

  16. I have been having problems for years!! Time and time again I have told I have IBS, migraines, anxiety. Last year I was diagnosed with a non functioning gallbladder. After the removal, I have had an increase in problems! I have been taking protonix for a year now, was told to add tums as needed. After getting a flu shot this year, my symptoms intensified. I had an EGD today, and I was told the my stomach was red and inflamed, but the small intestine looked okay. I was told that if I have any reflex, it was very mild. I took myself off of gluten for 2 weeks prior to this test, then going back on for a week for the test. During the time I was off, my symptoms began improving!! My fatigue was better, less belching, decrease in headaches, less bloating…. and so on. I was terrified to go back on for the week to get the test done.
    I truly believe in GERD caused by gluten sensitivity!!! I have experienced it!! I am a nurse and did not understand the cause of all of my symptoms… if your doctor tells you it’s not gluten, take matters into your own hands and try the diet for a few weeks! You know yourself better than anyone!!!!!!!!

  17. I was diagnosed with H Pylori and Gerd. lots of bloating, and reflux. I did the antibiotic thing and gt rid of the H pylori, then the doctor kept me on nexium for 3 months. In that time the reflux and gerd was medically controlled. I ended up with chronic back and neck pain, sinusitis, and vertigop from the nexium. I detoxed over two months and improved. I went Gluten free at xmas 2011 and the reflux immediately improved. After the nexium I remained gluten free. After a while i started eating sourdough bread and rice etc. the reflux strted to come back. I had gluten free that last two days, and have not had reflux. the necj pain has also subsided. Gluten triggers refux, acidosis and neck pain when I eat it. THe lesson – stay well, stay off gluten

  18. My name is Michelle. I have suffered from gerd for years and was told to take nexium, etc…my symptoms would subside for a bit, then return. About 3 years ago I started to notice a pain right under the right hand side of my rib cage when I would swallow food. Went through a divorce, life settled and this went away for a bit. The stress came back to my life and so did the pain…I also was drinking more wine when under stress. I started to notice a negative reaction to dairy, cut that out and felt better for a bit. Three months ago, I was still suffering GI problems…someone mentioned gluten. I have been gluten free for about 2 months now and have been better…but when I accidently get glutened, it is horrible! Foggy head, nausea, diarrhea. My question is … is there anything I can take(natural or not)that can help when I get glutened? Also, has anyone experienced that pain under rib cage when swallowing food? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  19. My five year old daughter has had reflux since birth, but we didn’t treat it until she was 2 (I didn’t know that’s what it was for THAT long….until it got so bad that she was throwing up every single day). She did a full year of prevacid from age 2-3. She also had ear infections and has had asthmatic wheezing on two occasions related to getting bronchitis. In addition, she has some blood sugar issues….has to eat every couple hours or she’s like Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde! I keep wondering what we can do besides load her up with medications! My husband and I both do not like the idea of her little body being filled with so many medications at this young age, yet at the same time we can’t let her suffer. Has anyone had this same concoction of symptoms alleviated by going gluten-free?

  20. I, too, have gluten intolerance and have had for the past 4 years. A few have mentioned that sometimes, even on a gluten-free diet and being good and sticking to the diet, they sometimes still will have occasional heartburn.

    I have actually found something that works for me. When I burp/have acid reflux/have heartburn, I put two teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 oz of water and drink it down (you can add a little honey or Stevia, if the taste gets to you). I usually only need one glass of it, and it neutralizes the stomach acid/upset right away. Only rarely do I need to repeat an additional dose an hour later.

    Just an organic/holistic way to get rid of stomach upset easily and with a remedy in your pantry.

    I had the blood test taken for the Celiac genes and don’t have them; yeah! Glad I don’t have to worry about the autoimmune issues that go along with having Celiac. But having gluten intolerance is just as bad, as I also have soy intolerance and casein allergy (to anything with cow dairy) as well as intolerances to a few other foods. But staying away from grains is the best way to remain healthy. I had a whole boatload of issues that cleared up once I got the offending foods/gluten out of my system.

    It’s really too bad that doctors aren’t coached/taught to look at food–and gluten in particular–when people have so many gastrointestinal issues.

  21. I’m back on ulcer medication and have been told I have IBS as well. I felt like gluten was a problem after an elimination diet but a blood test said I was not gluten intolerant.

    Even on ulcer medication, I am having bad days on the days I “cheat” and have breads or cookies or things with gluten. Glad I decided to google if gluten affects ulcers. Obviously I have a problem and I need to get it taken care of.

  22. Over the years I have been diagnosed with anema, GERD, Chronic Gastritis and have had numerous tests on my gallbladder that always came back normal, actually a high filtration rate(90’s). Everytime I have had a surgery or had a child my symptoms get completely out of control(abd pain, constipation, blood in stools, diarrhea)… I have struggled with this for years…15+ years… finally I heard about the gluten free diet and have been on it for the last month. It has helped, but I believe the last surgery I had(4 months ago) flared things up so bad I may have Celiac Disease… I took the DNA test and sure enough I have 1 Celiac gene and 1 Gluten sensitivity gene… At least I know what is causing the problems… now to get it under control.

  23. I went gluten free over two years ago after I was diagnosed with severe anemia after a heart attack. A couple of intestinal biopsies did not indicate celiac disease but I had already been gluten free for about three weeks. I have not been anemic since, have fingernails I have never had and have not taken Prilosec or the like since!
    I had a history of borderline anemia that did not respond to oral iron. I would not chance going back to eating as I did.

  24. In June 2007, a chiropractor suggested I go to a completely grain free diet (among lots of other things). At that point, I’d been on reflux meds over 20 years. I was also on nitroglycerin due to esophageal spasms. At the time I started grain free, I didn’t know anything about gluten but, within a few weeks, all symptoms of reflux were gone. I do have serious asthma and earlier this year, they decided to do 24 hour esophageal monitoring to rule out reflux as a cause. Anyway, when I saw the GI doctor, he was flabbergasted. He said that my test was the best he’d ever seen in an adult 🙂

  25. I had my gallbladder removed in 2003 while I was in the military after having issues with pain, and discovering I was absolutely full of gallstones. After the removal, I started having acid reflux/GERD. I tried to ask the doctor about it but got nowhere. I dealt with this and subsequent other health issues since then. I have been on a gluten free diet for a little less than a year. Since then my acid reflux has completely subsided. I also do not have gas or bloating on a regular basis. I have had other issues clear up since I have been gluten free also. Best thing I ever did.

  26. I was on a GF diet for 4 years because of bloating and nausea and going to the toilet 6-8 times a day- I put myself on the diet before being tested I felt better without gluten. I challenged myself 5 months ago to eating gluten and to be tested for celiac-what a mistake! My new symptoms were basically those of chronic GERD. All testing came back negative ( though it was discovered that I do have a small hernia). I was in constant pain – day and night, and burping loudly after eating or drinking and lost my appetite due to the pain and started to lose weight and become unable to eat solid food. When I came back off gluten (contrary to what the doctor believed I should do) the pains did not go away after 2 weeks which I expected. I tried all sorts of GERD diets pain free in a day and every possible natural remedy to no avail I took omaprazole for 10 days with no improvement and then a combo of that and domperidone for another week- with no improvement so went back to trying it my way…. Gradually the pain eased (after being off gluten for around 6 weeks). I foolishly tried it out again and a few days later the pain began intensely. It is hard because I have no results to prove I shouldn’t eat gluten and perhaps a little bit might be ok….but NO!
    I had the smallest potato top pie yesterday and I am in pain again, after a week free of it. I MUST NOT EAT GLUTEN!! Glad to see that there are others out there who believe the link and I hope my story helps someone else to be determined and patient- stick it out GLUTEN COULD BE THE CULPRIT. Then my 5 month experiment was not in vain.

  27. I have dealt with acid reflux since I was a teen. I have had severe anemia for years, am always cold, bruise easily and developed hypothyroid about 14 years ago. I have also had extremely high cholesterol levels since I was a teen (at that point dancing in a ballet company and weighing about 105, but with a total Cholesterol level of over 400.) Over the last couple of years my acid reflux has become so bad that I choke on even the smallest bits of food that I swallow. I got to the point of making green smoothies for my meals because I was so tired of choking and throwing up. I wouldn’t eat at a restaurant because I had too many times of choking in public. Just over 2 months ago my daughter and I decided to go gluten-free. The huge changes for the better in this short time are staggering. Immediately my reflux disappeared. For the last week I haven’t had one episode of choking. I can eat anything safely right now. I was blood tested 3 weeks ago and have had to lower my thyroid medication, and my cholesterol was only 219, which is astounding for me. Everything else in my blood test showed perfect. I didn’t get tested for celiac, but have several aunts, uncles and cousins with it. At this point a test doesn’t matter to me. The proof is so strong that gluten has been causing all of these health problems I have dealt with for years. Now if only I could convince my mom and so many others with the same symptoms to try going gluten-free. It truly feels miraculous, but is so simple.

  28. I recently started a gluten free diet to see if it helps me any. It’s been a month “primarily” gf, and 2 weeks 100% gluten free. I have fibromyalgia, CFS, hypoglycemia, urticaria, IBS with chronic constipation, Gerd, chronic sinisitus and raynaud’s disease. I wanted to be tested for celiac after reading an article on the similarity of symptoms between it and fibro, and brought it up to my doctor. He told me that GERD and constipation (my primary GI symptoms), aren’t an indication of celiac and/or gluten intolerance, yet everything I’ve found says they can be. I also have periods of unexplainable weight loss, and there is a family history of GI problems on both sides of my family. My doc told me to try gluten free if I wanted and see if it helped any….so I have. It hasn’t been long enough to really gauge, but I’ve had a few days with more energy, and my constipation is clearing up for the first time in years. I’ve still had a lot of problems with reflux though, and am suspecting corn may be the culprit as that seems to bring it on. (have been keeping a food diary). I didn’t understand that as according to most sites on gf living,
    corn is usually ok.

    I have found the information here very useful, and it gives me faith that maybe I’m on the right track. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Carrie. Hang in there. Get the corn and other grain out of your diet, and you will be moving more in the right direction for sure.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  29. Also..i have B12 deficiency, recently vit D defieciency, and both my kids had colic and have had eczema problems. We all have milk allergy. My eleven year old is already presenting with digestive issues, reflux, and some of the problems I started out with. She has also been a motivation for me to find answers. Between all this and my family’s history (Gerd, ibs, hypothyroidism, colon cancer, MS, etc), and what I’ve researched, I can really see a possible connection. Why aren’t doctors more aware of these conections?

    I guess I will see what happens over the next few months as I intend to stick with this for longer than the typically suggested 30 days. Will definately be back here. Thanks again.

  30. I suspected I had gluten intolerance due to frequent visits to the toilet and nausea. After being off gluten for 4 years I decided to ‘test’ myself and get tested for celiac. Big mistake- all my tests came back negative and I developed a whole heap of worse symptoms ie reflux and it was discovered I had a hiatus hernia. I tried the doc’s meds for a week then gave up – I didn’t want them anyway and they didn’t work. He didn’t believe me about being gluten intolerant. I was in 24/7 pain. So I came back off gluten. It took about 8 weeks to get rid of the pain. So listen to your body. I am now- and I am much better off WITHOUT GLUTEN. The proof they say is in the pudding and if eating it gives you pain- give it up!

  31. I am 2 year on reflux….recently my lintel daughter Washington diagnosed celiaco (spanish denomination for gluten intolerance ). My wifetold that is genetic and i start es to ETA gluten free….. 2 das later i never até mote antiacids! My life is new!!

  32. Hi,Years ago I had such scarring that I was choking when I ate. I had “silent” reflux/GERD. I had to be stretched and was put on Nexium. I have been on it for 10+ years and want to stop taking it. I do have Barret’s Esophagus so I want to wean myself off carefully. About 6 months ago I went basically Paleo which is pretty much gluten free. I feel better, lost a few pounds (I was not overweight), have less digestive issues and am looking forward to eliminating acid inhibiting drugs altogether! Any advice would be appreciated….I am no longer a carb-a-vore:)

  33. Hi, I am as well as most of the people in this post, had issues with GERD, did bunch of tests, EGD, celiac panel, all negative for celiac. But after I stopped eating gluten, my GERD went away, I am drinking coffee and eat oranges and I don’t have reflux after. It is all gluten!

  34. I’ve had a hiatal hernia that’s caused me pain and embarrassing/annoying (crazy hiccups, problems when eating out..) symptoms for about 6 years. A few months ago, I started eating gluten free and stopped having any issues whatsoever! About a week ago, I gave in to a craving for a Panera Bread sandwich and BANG! – there came the pain again.

    I even had another flare-up the next day. Never again! I’m going back to gluten free 24/7. I have no idea why, but my hiatal hernia seems dormant when I’m gluten free.

    I’m convinced there are ALL kinds of diseases and conditions that would improve if people just gave up gluten.

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  38. Gluten free for a bout 3 weeks now , second go at it since last year. Tryed once but quit due to love of pizza and beer ?. I have noticed my chronic heartburn which was getting unbearable has drastically reduced being GF. Which is making more and more of a believer that this is truly healing my gut and that my gut was FFFed!! Beer and pizza made me bloated and gross buck still drank beer almost daily , made headaches etc etc , recently read GF had helped with cases of vitiligo which I have developed in the last 12 years. Once I read that from a reliable source Rob Wolf , I changed next day with a strict and simple approach to really give it a go , feeling much better and I can tell when I eat something not so good I get heartburn and then dissect the ingredients and cut them out from there. Heartburn sucks and was getting scary when j had heartburn after drinking water. The gluten must wreak havok on the stomach !!!!!?

  39. Can the readers on here comment on whether or not I am gluten intolerant. I have tried the FODMAP diet (from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) where you eliminate certain foods that ferment in your stomach, but this doesn’t seem to work. I don’t get heartburn but do suffer from burning in my stomach. Should I try the gluten free diet? Does this include cutting out all wheat, corn etc?

  40. For the 4 months, I have been dealing with not being able to eat much solid food. It started out with me being nauseous all the time, then I wouldn’t be able to keep food down. As time went on, my symptoms started getting worse. I was becoming dizzy and couldn’t concentrate. I had no balance, my vision was blurry, and i had a pain in stomach that wouldn’t go away. Every time I tried to eat it felt as if i had ate rocks. My stomach was extremely bloated. Because of how sick I was, I could barely drive. My parents took me to their pcp and they sent me straight to a gastroenterologist. They started me off with aggressive tests which included two different ct scans (they screwed up the first one), and an upper endoscopy. When results came back negative, my doctor started to blame other things ignoring my concerns regarding why i was not able to eat most foods, but fresh fruit, veggies, and lemonade made me feel so much better. Those were the only foods i could keep down. So I started to do some research of food related allergies. It did not take me long to discover gluten and wheat allergies, and the symptoms seemed to match up perfectly. I contacted a new, competent doctor who agreed about testing me for gluten and wheat allergies, and was surprised they had not looked into it before. At this point, I had lost over 40lbs and could no longer function at work. This new doctor was the first to give me anything for my nausea that also helped me to digest food. I started out on a paleo diet which helped almost immediately. It was no shock when I got my blood results back that I had a severe gluten allergy and possibly gluten ataxia. Gluten ataxia effects speech, eyesight, and coordination. Things I struggled with while eating gluten. I am now two weeks into being completely gluten free. I feel incredible. I have so much energy, and I am sleeping so much better. I wake up earlier, and get things done. I know this won’t be an easy transition, but it is one I welcome.

  41. I have been taking Lanzoprazel for 12 years. I have a hiatal hernia. A few years ago I had a lot of belching sand bloating. The dr had me go lactose free and the problem was solved. I was tested for celiac because my sister was diagnosed after many years of not knowing what was wrong. I am 58 years old and I have osteopenia. I have been feeling nauseous , belching and just not feeling great. My sister has suggested that I need to be tested with a mouth swab to see if I am a carrier of the gene. She said I could be gluten intolerant. After reading this web site I think that I need to eliminate glutin.

  42. I was put on nexium 40 3 years ago and when I eat any pasta or dairy or bread my mouth will burn and my stomach will hurt for 4 days and throats will burn!! I need help

  43. I am a full time athlete and therefore consumed a heap of gluten. I never had any stomach issues until I had an injury and had anti imflams that caused severe stomach ulcers. along with the ulcers I had gastritis and GERD. Ive been taking Nexium daily for 3 years now and have been on a gluten free diet for 3 years also that has made a world of difference. I love gluten so much but if I were to have it now my stomach would be ****.

  44. I am so glad to have found this site and read everyone’s stories. From feeling like I might be the only one to have been been around the mill and back being treated for a heap of illnesses when all along it was gluten intolerance that was causing all my problems. My whole life I have had digestive issues on and off but always came up with some other reason why. It was only just over two years ago that I happened to find a connection between frequent infections (my immune system was shot) with resultant frequent prescribed medications, sinus and ashma symptoms, border line high blood pressure, prediabetic sugar levels, depression, and gluten sensitivity. I decided to give the elimination diet a try and within just a couple of weeks was already feeling better and after about 6 months of keeping off mostly wheat I had tge blood tests done. Even though they came back negative for celiac disease, my highly experienced doctor has encouraged me to continue the gluten free diet. I live in South Africa where mainstream gluten free products are not always easy to come by and there is a limited range available and very expensive compared to wheat based products, but with alot of trial and error I have remained healthy other than the odd flu outbreak. My blood pressure and sugar levels have stablised to normal levels and on the whole I feel much better than pre gluten free.

  45. I tested negative for celiac but am wheat intolerant…. Bloated tummy and burping a lot
    I also noticed I have a muscular pain in the center of my chest… Just below where my pecs meet…. It’s particularly painful when I cough and esp when I sneeze… If I bebd down to tie my shoe laces and if I’m laying in bed and try to raise myself up….would this be indicitive of a hatius hernia as a consequence of my wheat intolerance?…. I do suffer from heartburn after spicy food but not to anything close to the levels shown in the testamonials above

  46. My 8 year old son started choking in his sleep. He would wake up gasping for air several times a night. After several wrong diagnosis including night terrors and epilepsy, I took matters in to my own hands and contacted a naturopath. She told me to go gluten-free and dairy-free, so I tried it and after 4 months of consistently choking during sleep, my son had immediate relief and didn’t choke any more. For breakfast he now has gluten-free pancakes, lunch is gluten-free toast with vegemite and dinner is usually chicken with potatoes, carrots and cauliflower. For snacks he has some chocolate, fruit, vegetables, rice crackers and a very small amount of cheese. I hope this story helps someone else.

  47. Ok-thought I was celiac until Upper GI and colonoscopy as well as blood test confirmed that I was not. Told I was gluten sensitive and a gluten free diet took away all of my symptoms of the gut. Also diagnosed with GERD and started to take Pepcid AC 40mg and Nexium at times. GERD is under control but now I can consume gluten with no to minimal gut issues. Crazy! I swear there must be a connection but acid blockers truly help the bad side effects of digesting gluten. There needs to be a study done.

  48. A significant cause of spontaneous pneumothorax is not listed in this article. People with Marfan syndrome, vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (VEDS), Loeys-Dietz syndrome, and other similar genetic connective tissue disorders are at an increased risk of having a collapsed lung. In addition, not all of the people with these conditions are tall and thin. I have VEDS.

  49. I am so glad i found this, i’m not crazy! after years of IBS symptoms, pain, bloating and then ending up on prescription pills as i was in such pain with GERD/Reflux/Heartburn i eventually went gluten free and lactose free in August of 2020. my father passed away in November and i ate badly, the GERD came back with gusto which is when i thought i wonder if this is linked. I am now back to gluten free and my symptoms have relieved again. I am 39 and can’t believe i spent so many years in pain just because of what i was eating. I have never been so sure and had such evidence that i have a gluten sensitivity. To anyone unsure – just try it! i took for granted how well i felt when i was gluten free, i will try not not lapse again.

  50. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Barrett’s Escophagas. Having read many of the above peoples experience’s there was no mention of B A but as the symptoms are so similar I wonder if a non gluten-free diet will help?

  51. At 75 I have had problems with nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, only given Ativan for anxiety, Famotidine and Omeprazole with not testing or referrals to gastroenteritis until I research and requested a referral suffering for 3 weeks. Thank the Lord for articles and places to search for ourselves. Thank you.

  52. Being an acid reflux sufferer I would like to thank you for guiding us through such informative and quality content about acid reflux. I would love to say, this article helped me a lot to know all about acid reflux and choose the right solutions to cure it permanently. Thank you.

  53. I have a history of laryngopharangeal reflux. This is where just a little bit of acid gets all the way up on the larynx. It causes constant mucus to be sort of stuck in your throat. I was constantly clearing my throat and I do mean all the time! When I went on a ketogenic diet which was naturally gluten free, this conditon stopped completely! I was able to get off all acid reflux medication.

    I was on ketogenic diets for several years. I went on two of them, the first was very high in dairy, the second was much more restrictive and had little dairy. I found out I was highly lactose intollerant and felt much better on the second diet, then all hell broke loose and I was extremely sensitive to FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosacharides, Disacharides, Monosarcharides and Polyols). This basically means I had a hard time digesting simple sugars. It’s been a long road to recovery with an excellent Registered Dietician from UCSF. I’ve slowly been adding back foods.

    I’m finally able to add back some sour dough bread and my laryngopharageal reflux has started coming back. I actually think it might be due to a mild wheat allergy. I know I do not have celiac because I was tested for the genes with people who have celiac and I do not have that gene so the Gastroenterologist told me it’s impossible for me to have Celiac. Monash University (the undisputed experts on FODMAPs) tested people with non celiac gluten sensitivity and found they are actually sensitive to fructans, not gluten. It turns out that gluten and fructans go hand in hand. Hence the reason many people believe their problem is gluten rather than fructans. However, fructans are found in more foods than just those containing gluten. They are found in garlic, onions, bannanas, blueberries, chick peas, etc., etc.

    There clearly seems to be an association with gluten containing foods and acid reflux but we really need further testing to sus out exactly what the prolem is. Is it the protein, the carb ohydrate, or the wheat? We relly don’t want to eliminate foods from our diet unnecessarily, trust me, bad things can happen. On the other hand, if the problem is fructans, other foods may be causing people problems besides gluten containing foods. Those headaches, back pain, inflammation, eczema, etc. could be caused be something you are eating.

  54. Hi!
    I was glibly diagnosed with GERD (with NO TESTING WHATSOEVER) back in 2004 by a doctor I’d never encountered before during my junior year of college (in my 30s). almost 20 years later, I began having TERRIBLE stomach pain which has now turned to chest pain that goes through to my back. It seems to be induced by gluten. My doctor insists that a genetic test doesn’t exist (seriously…..) We are having a very frank conversation very soon. My mother had an ulcer and was on ppi’s most of her adult life. ALL my siblings have gi issues, and mostly are assumed to have GERD again, no testing. ALL my siblings (except one) has died in their 60s and have had heart failure. My mother was said to have had alzheimer’s, but how do we really know if they had no way to test? I’m convinced we have all been celiac the entire time. I’m not sure I can withstand 2 weeks of eating gluten, as eating a very small amt sends me to the ER. Any advice on how to be seen?

    1. Here is the genetic test –
      Learn more in depth information about gluten, including genetic testing by watching this free masterclass –
      I would argue that eating something that you already know makes you sick it probably a bad idea. Especially considering that biopsies and celiac blood work commonly come back with false negative results.

      If you would like to set up a nutritional consult, you can call 281-240-2229
      I hope you find the right answers,
      Dr. O

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