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RA, Gluten and Leaky Gut

I’m so very confused!

I was diagnosed with RA and was given Naproxen (despite being given this before and no effect, they didnt listen to me)

I’ve been asked to go on a gluten free diet, as Gluten may be my trigger. But does Naproxen has gluten in? Not only that, I have 9/10 symptoms of leaky gut... which could be caused by the ibuprofen I’ve been having, and by RA, and now Naproxen will make that worse, as I’ve been researching, it affects the gut an can cause leaky gut.

I’m going to the doctors on Sunday to ask for a test to see if I have leaky gut syndrome and also ask for a different pain relief, but what else is there? NSAIDs cause damage in the gut, as well as maybe containing the one thing I need to avoid.. and if I have leaky gut, then all this gluten is getting in my blood stream!

I just need some solid advice to ask/request from my GP, otherwise they could just turn me down..

26 Replies
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Hi, I’ve spoken to many people with RA and other AI diseases, aswell as my own research, and I’ve found that certain food types can trigger flares. Gluten is the number one culprit, so that is where I’m starting

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Have u had a blood test to find out whether or not u r gluten intolerant as if not u r wasting your time and energy.

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Hello again Edgie97,

The unfortunate truth is that all RA meds as well as antiinflammatories and pain meds affect our stomach in a negative way and upset the natural gut flora causing an imbalance between toxins and good bacteria leading to permeability in the gut lining ( leaky gut ).But meds are not only causes fo this imbalance food has as well shown to have an effect on our microbiome as well as chemicals in our enviroment an chronic inflammation. Gluten sensitivity seems to be one factor that has been proven to affect a great number of AI sufferers.

True enough, gut health is essential but not so easy when chronicly ill and on several meds:( This is the reason why people look to find other ways to calm and decrease inflammation and this way hopefully decrease their need for meds. There are also pain meds that are less hard on the stomach. Simba

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Thank you for your detailed explanation.

What would you suggest for me to talk to my GP about then? Maybe just get tested for LG and go from there?

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Here is something about leaky gut that Harvard medical school has published and may give a better picture of leaky gut.

health.harvard.edu/blog/lea...

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Very similar to the advice given by my rheumatologist when I was diagnosed. I eat healthily, but what I want.

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You might find your doctor less than enthusiastic about testing you as very few believe in the theory (which test anyway?). If you have any of the symptoms of gluten intolerance then you could ask to be tested for that? (If you were coeliac you'd probably know by now).

Not all pills contain gluten anyway, ask your pharmacist as they will know the right brands as they have to advise coeliacs. There are also liquid versions, but yiu will have to persuade your doctor to prescribe them.

Good old aspirin can sometimes be great.... if not there's codeine but I avoid it as cause more stomach problems.

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My issue is potentially having a gut problem, but I guess I won’t know until I get the urine test to see what my gut is like! I’m definitely not coeliac, my boss is and I feel so sorry for her, constantly in pain :(

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Have you seen a rheumatologist & had a definite RA diagnosis or is this just your GP's or someone with RA's opinion?

Very few rheumatologist's will ask you to go on a Gluten free diet, as although it does seem to help some people, there are no clinical trials to support this unless you have coeliac disease....which if you have been taking NSAID' & aren't in agony is doubtful

I have had RA for 20 years & no doctor has ever suggested I try any particular diet.

I'd & ask your GP for a referral to see a Consultant Rheumatologist, ASAP & get a professional diagnosis. If NSAID's upset you stomach .....might it be worth stopping taking theme til you know what you are dealing with?

Sorry to be so negative, but RA comes in many forms, all of which are serious & need qualified medical treatment.

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No don’t worry I didn’t take offence or anything. GP says I match all symptoms and has referred me to a Rheumy. Have seen one before 4 years ago but this was when it was really mild with no inflammation, so she couldn’t detect anything. I’d like to note that I’ve never been tested for the levels, which is poor effort from my doctors since I’ve been suffering for 11 years.

It wasn’t my GP who suggested going without gluten but my boss, she was telling me and showing me studies that certain food types can cause flare ups, so I’m simply testing out the idea in case it is true :)

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Listen to your Rheumy....at least until you are more comfortable, then you can try different foods to see if any see to have any affect...good or bad.

On the whole .....as has been said here many times ..if eating snails & drinking Pond water was proved to " cure" RA...the NHS would ditch Dmards & Biologics, & build a new hospital every month with the saving,

Roll on the day!

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There are so many foods that can cause inflammation so unless u have been diagnosed I wouldn't bother on someone else's opinion. Cutting out gluten will only help I'd u have a gluten intolerance and therfore it doesn't make sense. Just my opinion.

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Hello Edgie97 ,

Are you in the Uk? You might be interested in what the Nhs says about leaky gut syndrome. It is one of many health theories which are presented on the internet as fact. I believe is unproven and is not generally accepted by main stream medicine in the Uk. The role of gluten is also not proven. nhs.uk/conditions/leaky-gut...

Good luck and best wishes.

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I am in the UK. thanks for this, I will have a look before my appointment tomorrow :)

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Hi

I've spoken to my RA consultant about gut problems and RA

He was very interested that I knew, he agreed what I said and there is a link but no evidence set in stone regarding this . But research carries on and one day it will be confirmed.

Depends how long that will take

Xx

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Hi Edgie,

Have you been tested for Coeliac, if so which tests have you had ?

I have Seropositive R.A. Stomach wasn't brilliant and knew something else wasn't right.

I had colonoscopy and Endoscope having 9 biopsies taken results showed Coeliac disease, this was followed up with a routine blood test which my consultant asked me to have through my gp which was free, as I went private for my procedure, results showed negative. My consultant was expecting blood test to come back negative being a basic routine Coeliac test doesn't always show Coeliac disease even if one has the disease. I then went back to see consultant / gastroenterologist who gave me another blood test called "Genetics blood test" this clearly showed Coeliac was Positive.

Hope this helps

Best wishes

Pamela x

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I went gluten free in March by my own choice after doing research. Let’s face it when making and shaping bread the gluten is like elastic, now it can’t be good for the digestive system.

So the good news is my thyroid maker is now below and I do not need meds. And I do believe my RA in my knees and hands is better and I have no pain. And believe me I lived on Naproxen for moths . I have not taken any pain killers for 3 months I am about to go on RA meds,to stop the erosion of my bones.

So I would say give gluten a break. M and s do great bread, wraps and pasta gluten free .... try for 3 months.

PS. I’m also doing some meals as vegan and cutting most animal out and I do believe it’s helping me also

I do if course occasionally have a meat meal !

All the best

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My Osteopath told me my R.A will improve being totally Gluten free, it has. We are unaware what gluten and certain food does to us until we have problems, but once know we can make changes.

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Thank you! This is the sort of thing I have been reading and made me think that it would be a good idea to try. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t proven, I go by actual people’s testimonies and give them a try. I mean, what’s the harm?

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What happens to your body after your occasional meat meal. Just wondering!

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U need to weigh up risks of anti inflammatories. Do they help? U need to protect your stomach fm them. They caused me a burst bleeding stomach ulcer resulting in emergency surgery so now I have to suffer my joint pain with the odd steroid injection for pain as I will never ever take an anti inflammatory again as almost lost my life.

As for gluten there is a blood test which can prove whether or not u can tolerate it. Good luck at docs and u r right to worry about anti inflammatories.

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Thank you Cheylann, to be honest I’m on day 5 and feeling no effect, I did tell my doctor that this happened last time but they ignored me lol.

Thanks for your support

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Sorry not sure what u are talking about by u saying u told them and they ignored u.

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I was just recently diagnosed with SIBO which is another digestive disease. I can’t have whole grains, lactose or high fructose corn syrup. Makes me dry sick. You might ask your doctor about that. There is a test to determine if you have it. Going to visit a nutritionist for specific diet.

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Hi Pamela,

I haven’t been tested but am fairly confident I don’t have it, my step sister has it and I can see the agony it puts her in! I don’t have severe stomach issues fortunately.

I have a health check in a couple weeks, I will be pushing for tests on everything my symptoms match to!

Thank you x

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