Why you should take a probiotic if you have coeliac disease

Why you should take a probiotic if you have coeliac disease

A healthy gut is important for everyone – but if you have coeliac disease it’s even more crucial that you make sure your gut is in optimal condition.

Think about it, how many years could you have been suffering from ‘gluten attacks’ before you were diagnosed? Your gut took a brutal beating- isn’t it worth giving it some TLC now?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition and as such can often lead to the sufferer having a weaker immune system. As I suffer from coeliac disease and thryoid problems, my immune system isn’t the best. I often catch colds and flu and can be ill for weeks longer than most people.

But since I started taking my gut health seriously, things have started to change. I’m not about to preach that you start popping a load of pills – everyone is different and you should always seek medical advice – but I do take a variety of supplements including:

  • Probiotic
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Hydrochloric acid (I suffer from reflux and have found this helps a lot)
  • Multi vitamins

And it makes sense. Did you know the majority of your immune system is based in your gut? If you’ve got a cold or flu and you sit eating a bunch of crap, it’s not going to help you get any better. A healthy gut is a healthy body.

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So why a probiotic?

According to the American Gasteroentorological Association, it is thought that probiotics can, among other things:

  • Boost your immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies to certain vaccines.
  • Produce substances that prevent infection.
  • Prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining and growing there.
  • Send signals to your cells to strengthen the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.
  • Inhibit or destroy toxins released by certain “bad” bacteria that can make you sick.
  • Produce B vitamins necessary for metabolizing the food you eat, warding off anemia caused by deficiencies in B6 and B12, and maintaining healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.

There have been some studies into how probiotics can specifically help with coeliac disease too. An article in the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity published in Spring 2012 cited:

The published data on the beneficial effects of probiotics in celiac patients is limited. Our clinical experience (Institute for Specialized Medicine – www.ifsmed.com) indicates that appropriately selected probiotics significantly reduce diarrhea and bloating in patients with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Furthermore, we see positive reduction of gluten-associated joint and muscle pain, fatigue and brain fog as well as on gut colonization with yeast.

It’s not just coeliac disease, probiotics can also be helpful if you have IBS or Crohns. They are also good to take if you do get ‘glutened’ to help your gut repair.

So how do you choose the best probiotic?

  • Choose a reputable brand – going for the cheapest is not always best when it comes to supplements
  • Personally, I would go for tablet/powder form- yoghurt drinks which claim to be packed with probiotics will also contain unwanted sugars and other ingredients which are unnecessary
  • Always consult a professional before taking any new supplements
  • Look for a product with between 5-50 billions CFUs. The higher end of the scale may be good if you are suffering with coeliac disease and have compromised gut health.

Do you take a probiotic? Do you feel it has helped your immune system?

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10 Comments

  1. Suzanne Webb
    March 1, 2015 / 17:02

    I get reflux if I’m not careful with sugar intake (oh that yummy bread!). And find the easiest and friendliest way to fix it is a dash of Cider Vinegar in water. It makes a refreshing drink at any time but really knocks the reflux out restoring acid balance and is completely natural.

  2. steeplejackuk
    March 1, 2015 / 18:43

    Can you take probiotic if you also have a problem with Milk? What tablet form do you take Sarah?

    • March 1, 2015 / 18:49

      I think as long as it is dairy free? I take a Nutri supplement – but always best to check with a specialist first, just thought this was an interesting subject 🙂

      • steeplejackuk
        March 1, 2015 / 19:01

        It is interesting I developed my milk problem after my coeliac diagnoses, (a couple of months after being on the diet) but funnily enough, my daughter has also gained a milk problem. She can still eat gluten and cereal product fine, but milk for both of us is a no no. But I had heard that taking probiotics can sometimes help with this issue. No idea if its true, but the doctors never put us onto this and I am wondering if it might be worth a try. Goat and Soya can be really expensive alternatives. Thanks for the prompt reply, love your recirecipes by the way.

      • March 1, 2015 / 19:03

        Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I personally couldn’t imagine the NHS ever recommending something like this, yet in my eyes it seems a great idea to try it. They are quite readily available in specialist shops like Holland and Barratt, just make sure you get a good quality product and check there is no reason for you not to try it, etc. A nutritionist or personal trainer might be better placed to help you out with something like this maybe? 🙂 Good luck!

  3. March 2, 2015 / 16:55

    Thanks for a good post. My little one is gluten free and if he ever has a unwanted dose of gluten (bad times) I always follow it up with a course of probiotics, I love udo’s choice for infants, as it’s easy to add to yoghurt. Thanks for raising a subject that many doctors can not or don’t want to advise you on.

  4. March 11, 2015 / 20:56

    I take a probiotics from a company called BioCare, their probiotics is high potency, gluten and dairy free. It was recommended to me by my nutritional therapist. They also do them for babies and children in a powder form, which we used before (especially after taking antibiotics) as it can easily be mixed with food.
    Thanks for the great article!
    http://www.biocare.co.uk/default.aspx

  5. December 12, 2017 / 02:10

    Great article, I take probiotics as well and it has been beneficial for my digestion.

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