Does Stress affect ceoliac disease?

My last test at the hospital showed that my body was clear of gluten and that my intestines had recovered. This week my partner came home from a major operation on her foot. She is now unable to put any weight on that foot for 8 weeks and is totally dependant on me even to do simple things like go to the toilet. It is quite stressful and I am having to get up in the night to help. I have had a similar reaction this morning to eating gluten although I know I haven't eaten anything different. Could this be a response to stress?

10 Replies

  • Interesting question! I was really ill in August, I was stressed but other things also in picture, still under dr and just been called back again after blood tests show low iron etc. I may be going back for a rerun gastroscopy as dr says she wants to know what is happening, we wondered if it was gluten but I've been on the strictest diet since August. I wonder if we are just weakened and stress goes straight to our stomach? I seem to have silent reflux at best but we will see. Yoga seems to help me with managing stress also drinking aloe Vera with manuka honey in, good luck with it all!

  • Thanks Lynilou will try aloe vera

  • It is a possibility, I am usually ill after stressful situations have passed. So Ill be perfectly fine during, but as soon as I relax, itll kick in. Peppermint tea calms the tummy too. Hope you feel better soon

  • If you're talking gut symptoms then I would def say yes as it is well known that stress does present itself through the gut. In fact many things present through the gut which probably accounts for so many people having IBS yet not being able to identify exactly what ingested (food) causes it. Gut symptoms are not diverse which is why underlying causes need some investigation, in this instance I would say that being stressed could very well cause the same bowel issues. The same would also be true of other secondary symptoms like headaches, arrhythmia (or palpitations) and neurological disturbances - I get these when I've eaten gluten and also when I'm stressed or run down.

  • I would never underestimate the effect of stress on a body, it can play havoc with your immune system, and if you've already got a 'weakness' such as coeliac, it can make you very ill. On a practical side, is there anyone you could ask to help? Can the GP surgery help? Can anyone pop in to offer you a few hours away? It is incredibly stressful for you both, I hope you're both getting support :)

  • Hi easiand, I would imagine that stress could lead to 'gluten-like' symptoms because I think our intestines (even non-coeliacs) are very sensitive. I have Dermatitis Herpetiformis (the skin variant of coeliac) and even when I KNOW I haven't drunk or eaten anything suspect if I go through a stressful time I get skin eruptions just as though I'd eaten/drunk a gluten-containing substance. I do hope you find some help with your situation (which sounds very stressful indeed) - take care and wishing you lots of strength and peace of mind.

  • I have read that stress makes the gut wall more permeable. Sorry I can't remember the source.

  • I would suggest that because of your history of digestive tract issues that any stress you may have will affect that "area of weakness" - some people get headaches / migraine because of stress, some get muscle aches in the back, neck, shoulders - we are all different! I would try peppermint tea or ginger & lemon tea, both help me - or perhaps yoga to relax.

    I wonder how stressed out your partner is & how she is feeling? where does her stress manifest itself? Hope fully it will get easier for you both.

  • Thank you all for your responses and support. I will try suggestions. I have managed to get the GP to send a district nurse once a week to give advice and check dressings etc. We are adapting to the new situation as you have to. Once again thank you all it's nice to know I can get support from here when I need it :)

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