I have been regularly taking ibuprofen for pain relief after an orthopaedic procedure. Sadly it is not working but that is another story! I had this procedure 1 month ago and took ibuprofen every 4 hours for 5 days then stopped. A week ago the pain returned and I recommenced ibuprofen morning and evening. I have a follow up appointment in early October. Yesterday I had some digestive activity reminiscent of eating gluten and this morning I had stomach cramps after taking the pills. I found an old post about ibuprofen containing lactose but does anybody know if this medication contains anything like gluten? I have a GP appointment this morning.

22 Replies

  • Hi UG

    I've not had a chance to reply until now, hopefully your doctor was helpful.

    Unfortunately, Ibuprofen, and other similar meds, can cause damage to the gut, possibly causing intestinal permeability and giving a 'gluten type' reaction. Google "ibuprofen and gut damage".

    Any other pain relief possible?

  • Thank you for replying Penel. Just got back from dox. I have some new medication Naproxen and Omeprazole to take beforehand. Hope this works. But I wonder if I will react to these? Read about Omeprazole on another post. Hopefully it will be for a short time. I never knew about Ibuprofen and gut problems. I am extremely sensitive to medication but I have got such discomfort.

  • Hope you don't have to take the meds for long. The damn things affect the guts, which is the last thing any of us needs!

  • yeah all a bit of an inconvenience but I do need something to make me feel pain free. I did not like the effect of ibuprofen if that was what me ill. Funny thing is I didn't realise what was happening at the time it is only in retrospect and having the advice of others such as yourself that I got things together.... so thank you! You have been most helpful!

  • Have you ever thought of trying a tens machine for pain relief? I bought a cheap machine from Lloyds chemists with rechargeable batteries.

    I went to a pain consultant some time ago, explained my digestive problems and that is what he recommended. Also, he prescribed capsaicin cream.

  • I hadn't actually thought of that Cocoa. This pain is short-term hopefully, and I am seeing the consultant in a few weeks. It is not a chronic condition just a bit disabling and inconvenient for the time being. Its to do with a tendon problem. But tens machine sounds a good idea for long-term problems. What is capsaicin cream?

  • Capsaicin cream is natural - I think it is made with peppers and you just rub it in to the affected area.

    You should be able to buy it a health shop or good chemist because it is natural.

  • Capsaicin is the burny stuff in chillies.

  • I had similar problems and have since stopped taking orally and just have Paracetomol. I do still use Ibuprofen gel to rub into muscular/joint pain as this does not cause the same reaction as not direct into stomach for distribution by body.

  • I got peptic ulcers from the ibuprofen following fractures. I can recommend Actipatch for pain relief, though I think they say not to use over metal implants. 24hr pain/inflammation Support

  • Thanks for the replies friends! I took the Omeprazole yesterday afternoon and the Naproxen late last night. Not very good this morning! Gas, stomach cramps and other digestive problems. Have arranged a telephone conversation with dox today. Good news is the pain went away! I think I mentioned this before - my GP thinks that I am very sensitive to medication anyway. But I really don't want to get a peptic ulcer or do any further damage to my gut.

  • Hi again Urban girl, this is very interesting about you being very sensitive to med's I am very sensitive to some med's and think you'll find that many members are too, so you might benefit from starting a new thread on this. I avoid aspirin full stop and even paracetamol upsets my gut, antibiotics are like taking an enema.

    Another thing that interests me is drug or medication induced lupus where some people get lupus like symptoms because of prescribed med's so if some med's can have this effect it's no wonder some of us have issues with med's as we seem to have a trigger happy immune system.

  • I'm not surprised that others are sensitive to medication. It amazes me that people sometimes have to take other meds to counter the effect of the meds to allieviate symptoms. Nevertheless, for some, prescribed meds are undoubtedly a life saver. My little problem is nothing compared to what some people go through. I am lucky to be able to make choices and appreciate the advice I have been given on here.

    I didn't know about drug induced lupus symptoms - that is worrying. I too have reacted to antibiotics in the past and that was pre-GF. I consider myself lucky too that I grew up in a load of dirt and exposed to god knows what and that something helped me not succumb to coughs and colds etc! So something is going right somewhere in my immune system! My daughter reacts to so much stuff she has to tell medix about her condition.

  • Hi Urbangirl, well firstly I'm sorry that you're having a hard time with this. Ibuprofen are gluten free in that some manufacturers state this. But there are issues with it like all medications. So I think that it is a good idea that you've stopped taking it regularly because as well as affecting our guts they can also affect our hearts. My son made me aware of this as I'm a keen cyclist and he said I must never take them after exercising.

    I would have thought they would give you a codeine based pain killer as these are prescribed for pain and for gut issues as they calm our bowels, codeine are addictive and thats the down side of them.

    I hope that you feel better soon.


  • Well Jerry that is very interesting as I have been told on several occasions following minor surgery or an accident to take ibuprofen regularly. And the other day I saw a pharmacist to discuss whether it was safe to take these pills and was advised it was okay! My friend can't take ibuprofen as she has RA - I will ask her what she takes for pain relief. I do feel better but the meds have made me feel worse!

  • @+ Urbangirl I can't take Ibruprofen because I have Asthma, so instead I take Paracetamol 500mg which helps. I also make up a hot water bottle which helps with the tummy cramps too & not forgetting I drink 2x 1/2 glasses of Coke Zero to stop the runny belly too!


  • Thanks Carolyne but the thing about ibuprofen is it is an anti-inflamatory which I need and I don't think paracetamol is.

  • Hi Urbangirl

    May I please say that these mess sadly are the worst ever, Omeprazol Naproxen Ibuprofen and the vast amount of other mess are so damaging they quite often cause more damage (you will not know for a while ) do research on them all.

    The reason I can say this is that I also was on all these types of meds 12 a day.

    My health did not improve at all the Dr's just kept changing one med for another like Ibuprofen Naproxen etc.

    I now take only natural (I was ill with 3 chronic illnesses) 1 was degenerative however I have in only 12 weeks reversed all 3 and I was on morphine for pain as well as Naproxen Lyrica you name it I was prescribed it.

    I take 1-3 Turmeric with Black Pepper extract this has NO side effects and is 2000% more powerful than ibuprofen morphine paracetamol codeine etc.

    I take or make my own collagen I take also 2,500 mgs of Vit C every day and I take organic Moringa daily. I also take a Superjoint which has Glucosamine Chondroitin Msm combined with collagen and milk thistle

    My Dr's specialists have never seen anyone reverse 3 chronic illnesses and my degenerative disease.

    Now they ask me how and what I have done.

    I also came away from Wheat Rye Barley Oats and although I am not lactose intolerant I try to use coconut milk (make own when possible) and Almond milk (make own as well) cheaper quicker and the pulp from both I use and make into flour to cook and bake with.

    Check out Dr Josh Axe links or his you tube page or his Facebook page he has live shows as well.

    Check out Chris Kresser also Peter Glidden and Izabella Wentz John Bergman.

    You will find so much health and help from these.

    Wishing you well.

    I take organic Turmeric from a company in the UK Taka Turmeric.

    Even my mum (she is 76) and family and friends have not looked back since taking Turmeric daily. The benefits are amazing and not just for pain.

    Take care and let me know if you would like any other info I can help you with.

  • Oh thank you so much for this information/advice Alicat. I am so impressed with you turning things around; and I think you have made some important points and clearly these meds do not mix with me at all! I am not someone who takes medication but the discomfort/pain from an invasive procedure was interfering with my daily life and sleep. I am interested in getting some turmeric as someone else suggested this a while ago. Do you think Holland and Barrett will have it?

  • WARNING! I took ibroprofen and Naproxen for a few years after getting a diagnosis of Lupus and was suffering from joint pain. The pills really messed up my gut - I got increased gut permeability or 'leaky gut' and now I have extensive food intolerances. It's pretty bad to live with - at the moment I have to avoid all gluten, sugar, eggs, all nuts, all seeds, maize/corn, all yeasts, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, peas, haricot beans, and all dairy.. and so this is very limiting! All I can eat is gf oats, rice, meat, most veg and fruit. It's impossible to eat out. The symptoms I get if I accidently eat something on the red list are: bad flu like aches, pain in my joints, tendons and nerves, and bad fatigue. I now have a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. When I cut out all these food successfully all those pains go away. I did a food intolerance test 3 months ago which confirmed which were the problem foods, so the idea is that I eliminate all those foods for around 6 months and the theory is that the immune system calms down and forgets to react to those foods - eventually. But sometimes you can never eat some of those foods again. (I'm not celiac as far as the tests show).

  • Oh and I forgot to mention that I also get symptoms of gut pain and bloating when I eat the wrong foods. But the IBS and pain symptoms go away when I avoid those foods.

  • This is all very interesting. I can't take Ibuprofen as it brings me out in bruises. I had no idea other people had all these other issues with it as well.