5

votes

Gluten intolerance after taking prescription drugs?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 05, 2012 at 7:30 AM

In 2011, I was diagnosed with an illness and prescribed prescription medications to control it. The drugs had some terrible side effects, including rapid and ridiculous weight gain and low energy, but the worst part was what they did to my digestion. The, ah, mail sometimes went too fast and sometimes didn't move at all. I was often nauseated at the smell/taste/thought of food, even when my tummy was rumbling from hunger. I would feel like I would be sick after eating pretty much anything but a very basic broth-based soup, and sometimes was. For the nausea, the doctors told me to eat "bland things" like they advise people with a stomach flu - toast, crackers, ginger ale.

After about six months on these drugs, I lost my insurance and could no longer afford them. Even after stopping the medications, the "side effects" did not go away. The weight gain quickly reversed itself after I stopped, and I ended up losing too much weight. I was trembling and cold most of the time in addition to the tummy problems. I tried all sorts of things, including over the counter antacids and things, but nothing seemed to make much of a difference until I learned about gluten-intolerance and traditional foods/Paleo diets. To be honest, I was desperate and miserable and would have tried just about any diet that didn't sound like a snake oil pitch. So I did it. I cut out the gluten.

I felt SO much better without it! After just a few days, I could tell a difference, and within about two weeks, I was sure this was working for me. Within a month or so, the mail moved as it should and the nausea was almost completely gone. So I am quite sure that the gluten was the main problem for me. The thing is, before taking those medications, I had never, ever had such problems. I know now that the gluten wasn't good for me in the first place, but it had never before had those kind of devastating effects.

So I guess my question is 2-fold.
1. Has anyone else experienced, or know someone who has experienced, a medication-induced or aggravated gluten intolerance?
2. After a time off the medication and without gluten, did your/their gluten tolerance return to the pre-medication state?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 11, 2012
at 09:55 PM

It isn't the first time I've gone against conventional wisdom :D I always encourage people to check out the usual way, and then THINK about it and make their own decision! BTW - I think I may have been a little rough on you before and I want to say I'm sorry for that. I think I got a little caught up on what I thought you meant at first and then stuck with my first impression instead of really thinking about the rest of the things you said. From your posts, I think you do have some good ideas and reasons for them, and if you ever want to talk about it further off PH, I'd be happy to. :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Good for you for choosing your own course! Its very hard to do when dealing with both mental health services, and your own problems. That shows great strength of character I think. Keep on keeping on! :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:55 AM

DBT is a fair bit like REBT actually. Put simply, its countering your emotional thoughts with a logical one, "warm" with "cold". Mindfulness is taken from eastern meditation, but its really quite simple. Its sort of not thinking, but rather being aware of your enviroment, its details, your physical feelings, concentrating your awareness on the physical. Going for a walk, or doing some chores, while _just_ going for a walk and doing some chores is an easy example. I think they are both excellent tools for any kind of inward focused emotionally based thought train.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 10, 2012
at 08:36 PM

I may as well. :) The anonymity of the internet is a great thing! I have bipolar 1 disorder. During that time, I took Lamictal, Depakote, Cogentin, Seroquel, Wellbutrin, and Risperdal (in different combinations during those six months, not all of them all at once).

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 10, 2012
at 08:15 PM

Can you tell us the illness and the names of the medications used- that might be helpful?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Thanks! I eat Primal with a lot of WAPF influences with bone broth, lots of ferments, and cultured dairy (I just don't think we need to eat grains, if you have to go through all that work to prepare them properly and safely, I'd rather just not eat them, but kudos to them!) and I think all these fermented veggies, kombucha, and homemade whole milk yogurt do a lot for me! Thanks for the book recommendation - depression isn't quite my particular problem, but I bet there is a lot of overlap when it comes to non-drug therapies.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:26 PM

After what those drugs did to me, I don't really see myself going back on any medication for this. The only way I'd do it is if things got, well, really extreme. I certainly don't have the funds for therapy right now, so I just think back to the therapy I used to go to, and stay mindful and on top of my symptoms. For me, REBT was the best thing ever. I never went in for some of the lovey dovey envision a happy place pseudo-religious therapy that seems to get pushed a lot in my area. I like plain common sense and logic. :) Thank you, Jamie!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:22 PM

I wish I have been tested! No, when I got sick I lost my job, and my insurance, so money is too tight for testing right now. As soon as I'm back in funds, I definitely intend on pigging it up on gluten and going in for the test! Obviously under these circumstances, I have been under a LOT of stress, so it may be a toss-up as to whether it was the medication or the stress, or a combination. Even though I wasn't diagnosed until 2011, I have had this disorder since I was a kid.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:08 AM

It is quite possible that I had been gluten sensitive or possibly Celiac before, but I don't think there is any way that they caused my symptoms since I was in my early teens. Going gluten free after the medication helped my digestion; but it has had no effect at all on the symptoms of my illness. I think I'm on board with your second paragraph - that the medications (through whatever mechanism) triggered or aggravated gluten intolerance. I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else, and if their symptoms lessened (if not disappeared!) with time.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 05, 2012
at 09:57 PM

No, they were anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and major tranquilizers. (I was switched around on different combinations of drugs from those categories.)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:57 PM

Did these drugs include an NSAID like acetaminophen?

  • 61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

    asked by

    (10490)
  • Views
    3.3K
  • Last Activity
    1497D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

5 Answers

best answer

1
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 08, 2012
at 09:48 AM

Suprisingly little is known about how these types of drugs work (mood stabilizers/anti-convulsants), or how the body responds to them.

Its more a case of "these things seem to suppress symptoms, most of the time, short term, so lets use them".

I dont think anybody, even a neurologist or pharamacologist would be able to offer a why, or even a near complete description of how these drugs work, or answer your question about it effecting gluten sensitivity.

I am not sure if it interests you, or is relevant but heres a good newspaper article on anti-psychotics, that mentions a new long term study. Interesting read.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/02/mythoftheantipsychotic

Again, not sure if its relevant.

I would suggest though, that if your not on any medications anymore, that you should look into some kind of non drug therapies and other lifestyle changes for whatever your illness might be. High nutrient paleo is a good start :)

Mindfulness and DBT (dialectic behavioural therapy) might maybe be worth looking into if its some kinda mentally related thing, they are just more like skills that you practice and cost no money. Also if its that sorta thing, try to stay connected to someone who you trust and can count on regarding it, like a professional ideally (preferred), or at bare minimum a family member or freind u can trust with all the details, drugs or no drugs.

This isnt medical advice, just someone offering an idea or two to try and be helpful. Just cause the drugs have too many side effects, or dont work, or are too expensive, doesnt mean you shouldnt still give your situation some thought and care. Just thought id say, I may be totally barking up the wrong tree, but better safe than sorry I suppose!

Good luck with your digestive health too, I wish you the best..

Cheers.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:26 PM

After what those drugs did to me, I don't really see myself going back on any medication for this. The only way I'd do it is if things got, well, really extreme. I certainly don't have the funds for therapy right now, so I just think back to the therapy I used to go to, and stay mindful and on top of my symptoms. For me, REBT was the best thing ever. I never went in for some of the lovey dovey envision a happy place pseudo-religious therapy that seems to get pushed a lot in my area. I like plain common sense and logic. :) Thank you, Jamie!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:55 AM

DBT is a fair bit like REBT actually. Put simply, its countering your emotional thoughts with a logical one, "warm" with "cold". Mindfulness is taken from eastern meditation, but its really quite simple. Its sort of not thinking, but rather being aware of your enviroment, its details, your physical feelings, concentrating your awareness on the physical. Going for a walk, or doing some chores, while _just_ going for a walk and doing some chores is an easy example. I think they are both excellent tools for any kind of inward focused emotionally based thought train.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 11, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Good for you for choosing your own course! Its very hard to do when dealing with both mental health services, and your own problems. That shows great strength of character I think. Keep on keeping on! :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 11, 2012
at 09:55 PM

It isn't the first time I've gone against conventional wisdom :D I always encourage people to check out the usual way, and then THINK about it and make their own decision! BTW - I think I may have been a little rough on you before and I want to say I'm sorry for that. I think I got a little caught up on what I thought you meant at first and then stuck with my first impression instead of really thinking about the rest of the things you said. From your posts, I think you do have some good ideas and reasons for them, and if you ever want to talk about it further off PH, I'd be happy to. :)

6
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:42 AM

There have been some articles lately about blood pressure drugs causing symptoms similar to celiac disease. Here's a bunch of articles about it, if you want to know more.

I see in the comments that the meds were anti-convulsants and mood stabilizers. It easily could be the case that they messed up with serotonin signaling in the gut, which either could have exacerbated a pre-existing gluten-sensitivity, or could have been the triggering event for celiac disease.

After reading this research abstract, I think a third possibility could be that you had a pre-existing gluten sensitivity or celiac disease but didn't know it, and that intolerance started causing your symptoms that led to being prescribed those meds. Maybe they were the straw that broke the camel's back, or maybe the timing was right. And then the gluten intolerance became clear.

And depending on your illness, you might find this article helpful.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:08 AM

It is quite possible that I had been gluten sensitive or possibly Celiac before, but I don't think there is any way that they caused my symptoms since I was in my early teens. Going gluten free after the medication helped my digestion; but it has had no effect at all on the symptoms of my illness. I think I'm on board with your second paragraph - that the medications (through whatever mechanism) triggered or aggravated gluten intolerance. I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else, and if their symptoms lessened (if not disappeared!) with time.

2
80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on July 08, 2012
at 08:04 AM

1 - Yes, it is documented in the literature - Depression and/or chronic anxiety cause leaky gut & surprisingly, perhaps vice versa (via inflammation):

"The results indicate that increased bacterial translocation with immune responses to the LPS of commensal bacteria may play a role in the pathophysiology of depression, particularly chronic depression. Bacterial translocation may a) occur secondary to systemic inflammation in depression and intensify and perpetuate the primary inflammatory response once the commensals are translocated; or b) be a primary trigger factor associated with the onset of depression in some vulnerable individuals. The findings suggest that ???translocated??? gut commensal bacteria activate immune cells to elicit IgA and IgM responses and that this phenomenon may play a role in the pathophysiology of (chronic) depression by causing progressive amplifications of immune pathways." http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032712001371

and leaky gut can allow gluten sensitivity to develop.

Also, Mood stabilizers can attack your commensal bacteria and cause leaky gut, according to "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression," by Michael B. Schachter, Deborah Mitchell. This book tells you how to cure your leaky gut and improve your mood without drugs, so read a preview and see if it's your cup of tea.

2- Leaky guts usually take some work to heal; it rarely happens spontaneously. Healing your gut can be done with probiotics/fermented foods, supplements, etc. So I might recommend you investigate that avenue. There are reports here of some who have healed their guts and been able to eat previously difficult foods again.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Thanks! I eat Primal with a lot of WAPF influences with bone broth, lots of ferments, and cultured dairy (I just don't think we need to eat grains, if you have to go through all that work to prepare them properly and safely, I'd rather just not eat them, but kudos to them!) and I think all these fermented veggies, kombucha, and homemade whole milk yogurt do a lot for me! Thanks for the book recommendation - depression isn't quite my particular problem, but I bet there is a lot of overlap when it comes to non-drug therapies.

1
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:09 PM

In "Living Without" magazine, can't remember exactly when, there was a story about someone in an accident who developed celiac disease because of the stress to the body due to the accident. Could be that the symptoms were brought on by the illness and or stress to the body. Celiac can affect you at any stage of life. Have you been tested?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 09, 2012
at 09:22 PM

I wish I have been tested! No, when I got sick I lost my job, and my insurance, so money is too tight for testing right now. As soon as I'm back in funds, I definitely intend on pigging it up on gluten and going in for the test! Obviously under these circumstances, I have been under a LOT of stress, so it may be a toss-up as to whether it was the medication or the stress, or a combination. Even though I wasn't diagnosed until 2011, I have had this disorder since I was a kid.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 05, 2012
at 07:42 AM

No, I do not know anyone like that BUT here a great link and a fabulous website about gluten sensitivity that I have recently discovered.

Hope I helped:

http://towncenterwellness.com/resources-products/gluten-free/what-is-gluten-sensitivityintoleranceceliac-disease/

http://towncenterwellness.com/services/drug-nutrient-interaction-analysis/

I have developed gluten intolerance (that was there all my life but I just did not know about it) after my gall bladder surgery.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!