Treatment Guide

Celiac Expert Answers – Could a Gluten-Free Diet Lead to Other Diseases? Video!

Weight loss, fad, miracle cure…there is an enormous amount of misinformation concerning the gluten-free diet in the news, on the internet and even in the medical community.

One of the worst ideas being perpetuated is that following a gluten-free diet can somehow be bad for you.

Dr. Stefano Guandalini, Founder and Medical Director of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center, answers the important question – Could following a gluten-free diet lead to other diseases?

As Dr. Guandalini says, the gluten-free diet does not cause disease.

Not mentioned in the video is that the gluten-free diet works for people with celiac disease because removing gluten takes away the trigger that causes the immune system to attack. This attack leads to inflammation and results in serious health problems, otherwise known as a diseased state, i.e. celiac disease. Now, if the body’s immune system, which has been permanently put into overdrive by gluten, begins to search out other protein structures and attack them, then the person will develop other health problems.

Could another theory explain how health issues may develop after starting a gluten-free diet?  Well, it is known that gluten can form granulomas throughout the body. A granuloma is a bit of gluten that the body encases in a covering in order to insulate it from the body, much like an oyster creates a pearl to protect itself from grains of irritating sand. Hundreds of these granulomas can form. Based on the research we have reviewed, I would theorize that should the granulomas begin to dissolve and release their gluten – the body would logically attack it to remove it from the body. Thus, it might seem as if other health issues are developing after gluten was removed, when actually it is the body cleansing itself of gluten over time. If true, this theorized reaction due to cleansing may not be the only explanation for the developing health problems, but could be a contributing factor.

What do you think? Have you seen improvements since you went gluten-free? Have other problems started? Please leave your comment below. Thank you!

About John Libonati

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Author Information: John Libonati, SW Florida Publisher, & The Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.


  1. I was gluten free for three years before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Is there any connection? I really don’t know…

  2. I have been attempting to go completely gluten free since 2009 when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. It was a sliw diagnosis and niw has been a slow process of learning and adapting. This year I can confidently say I am eating completely gluten free. My abdominal pain slowly faded. However, I started having migraines, more black outs, and lots of other random issues. I’ve been seeing a neurologist and she has linked most of my symptoms to autonomic neuropathy caused by Celiac Disease. I’ve also started to have tons of cavities although I brush and floss frequently. My hypoglocemia and my tremors have worsened. I feel most of these issues are because my body has not been absorbing nutrients correctly. The nerve damage will not reverse quickly but hopefully with my continued persistence with my gluten free diet, I can finally start seeing some symptoms disappear and I can lead a normal life.

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      Hi Katherine,

      It sounds like you may be suffering from nutrient deficiencies. This can happen whether you are malabsorbing nutrients or your diet doesn’t have what you need. Spectracell laboratories has an excellent nutritional analysis (blood test) that will tell you exactly where you stand. We offer it, but your doctor can also order it for you.

      If that is too expensive, see This book is a reference manual that matches symptoms with the deficiencies that cause them and the dietary sources highest in the nutrients you need.

      Hope this helps.


  3. Thanks John,
    I was deficient in vitamin D and take a daily supplement now. Exercising has been helpful as well but unfortunately, I did have to resort to meds. Third one I’m trying seems to be somewhat helpful.

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      Just a thought, but you may want to check your body’s ph throughout the day. Acid increases inflammation, while alkaline reduces it. Also, b complex vitamin supplementation is supposed to help fibromyalgia. :)

  4. Hmm ok I’m the back to front one here.. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 12 years ago and after many trips to Dr’s and Specialists ditched them all and meds and went for a more natural approach. 3 months ago after gastroscope and colonoscopy to work out why my stomach would balloon out like a 5 mth pregnant woman, nausea, fatigue and skin rashes, I got the diagnosis of Coeliac Disease, the biopsies taken told the story. Now I am almost totally Gluten Free (I’ve had a couple of lapses in social situations) I do feel so much better and lost a large amount of weight very quickly. I have noticed a significant increase in headaches though, almost every day. Wonder why? Also with regards to the Fibromyalgia, it was found during all the recent testing for Coeliac Disease, that I have Spina Bifida Occulta – which probably is the real reason for ongoing random nerve related pain through my body. Thanks.

  5. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in ’87 after basically dropping down to skin and bones literally. An endoscopy is what finally diagnosed me after 9 days in a hospital. In 2007, I mentioned to my doc, about having a bone density and thyroid test done after reading an article somewhere about likelihood of having these health problems due to my food allergy. Low and behold, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia. Thyroid ok at the time. Vitamin D blood test afterwards came back severely low so was on prescription strength Vit D initially until brought up to a level where could take OTC vit D. in 2010, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid. In 2012, I was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer after the colonoscopy at 50 where I had no symptoms.

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