Member Portal

A safe and vetted space to explore Recipes, Supplementation, Probiotics, Food Based Approaches, Nutrients, and IBD Q&As

Gluten & IBD – What do we know?

Food-Based Approaches, Membership, Q&As

Quality Rating

Gluten & IBD

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, rye, regular soy sauce 

What are the facts?

  • Commonly avoided in IBD patients based on symptom relief
  • Microscopic colitis- around 50% also have celiac
  • With celiac- you will need to remove gluten to avoid GI damage. 
  • Research is mixed, but growing support for temporary elimination in IBD as a whole
  • In microscopic colitis- more support for removal or testing for celiac

What we know about it

  • In some animal studies- increased risk for ileitis (last part of SI)
  • In animal studies- increased intestinal permeability (can be a risk factor for flare)
  • In 2020 a large study showed a 1.4 increased risk of colon cancer (proximal type)

Can a gluten free diet improve IBD symptoms?

  • One study found symptom improvement in 65% of the patients with IBD who tried a gluten free diet
  • In the same study, 40% reported less severe & frequent flares and less fatigue

Who should make changes?

  • Those that have Celiac should DEFINITELY avoid gluten containing foods
  • Those with Microscopic Colitis should have a celiac test and consider an elimination period without gluten since the rates are much higher in this group
  • Those with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis should consider a trial elimination or just simply focus on including more gluten free grains (buckwheat, sorghum, millet, teff, rice, quinoa, oats etc)

The Bottom Line:

Symptom free doesn’t mean there isn’t inflammation present. Symptom improvement is only one goal, we would also like to see inflammation reduction too. More evidence is leaning towards gluten being a potential inflammatory trigger (even if it doesn’t trigger symptoms).