ZocdocAnswersDo I have a leaky stomach?

Question

Do I have a leaky stomach?

I was reading about having a gluten allergy and they said it makes you have a leaky stomach. I go from constipated to not being able to control my bowels so I think I might have the allergy, but does that mean my stomach leaks. What does it leak?

Answer

I also am not sure what the source you were reading meant with the description 'leaky stomach'. You were probably reading about celiac disease. This is a condition in which the body has a reaction to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and some related grains. The reaction causes inflammation to occur in the small intestine. The symptoms of this inflammation can range from virtually unnoticeable all the way to severe abdominal pain and weight loss. People with celiac disease also sometimes complain of skin rashes or joint pain. In no way, however, does celiac disease make your stomach 'leaky'. The inflammation of the intestines does mean that you sometimes have loose stools, but this is more from rapid passage of stool through the intestine. Also, the intestine may not absorb nutrients and vitamins well. If the symptoms you have been describing have been going on for a while, I suggest going to see your primary care doctor for help. Although celiac disease may be a cause of the symptoms you describe, I think that there are several other likely possibilities as well, including irritable bowel syndrome. Start by seeing your primary are doctor today for further advice!

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