What Are Celiac Secondary Conditions?

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What Are Celiac Secondary Conditions?

If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you know the immediate effects of eating wheat. Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea – you might even feel like you came down with the flu. 

But do you know the secondary conditions of celiac? After the initial symptoms pass, the effects on your body linger. If left unaddressed, they can cause long-term damage to your health.

Fortunately, functional medicine offers a holistic approach to address these effects and rebuild gut health, even if celiac disease has been present for years. If you are looking to improve gut health, then work with the team at Link Primary Care. We specialize in chronic conditions, illnesses that traditional doctors have trouble addressing.

From gut health to hormone balance, we can help with celiac secondary conditions. Learn more here. 


5 Celiac Secondary Conditions You Need to Know About

Skin Issues

One of the long-term secondary conditions of celiac disease is the development of skin issues. Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a common manifestation characterized by itchy and blistering rashes. These skin lesions often appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and buttocks. The underlying cause of DH is the immune system’s reaction to gluten ingestion. Following a strict gluten-free diet is crucial in managing DH and allowing the skin to heal.


Stomach Ulcers

Celiac disease can also lead to the formation of stomach ulcers. Chronic inflammation triggered by gluten ingestion can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines, potentially leading to the development of ulcers. Stomach ulcers can cause abdominal pain, indigestion, and even internal bleeding if left untreated. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of inflammation, including gluten sensitivity, to promote healing and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.


Leaky Gut

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a worrisome secondary condition of celiac disease. With leaky gut, the lining of the intestines becomes compromised, allowing harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream. Celiac disease, particularly when undiagnosed or untreated, can contribute to the development of leaky gut. This condition not only impairs nutrient absorption but can also lead to systemic inflammation and trigger autoimmune responses. Functional medicine employs specialized testing and personalized treatment plans to heal the gut lining, restore proper function, and reduce inflammation.


Nutrient Deficiencies

The damage caused by celiac disease to the small intestine can impair the absorption of essential nutrients, leading to various deficiencies. Common nutrients that may be affected include iron, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, and vitamin D. Over time, these deficiencies can result in anemia, osteoporosis, and other health complications. Functional medicine practitioners address these deficiencies through targeted nutrient supplementation and personalized dietary strategies, helping individuals with celiac disease regain optimal nutrient levels and improve overall health.



Celiac disease and secondary conditions involve an immune system response to gluten, leading to chronic inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can compromise the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and may contribute to the development of other autoimmune diseases. Functional medicine approaches celiac disease by focusing on reducing inflammation, supporting immune system health, and promoting overall wellness through personalized lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques, and appropriate supplementation.

Functional Medicine’s Approach to Celiac Disease

We’ve already covered the functional medicine response to specific celiac secondary conditions, but let’s unpack the general approach.

Functional medicine offers a comprehensive and individualized way to address the long-term effects of celiac disease. Through advanced testing, including genetic markers and specialized blood panels, practitioners can accurately diagnose celiac disease and identify underlying factors contributing to its progression. A gluten-free diet remains the cornerstone of managing celiac disease, but functional medicine takes it a step further by tailoring nutritional recommendations based on an individual’s unique needs. Nutrient deficiencies are addressed through targeted supplementation to support healing and restore optimal levels. Moreover, lifestyle modifications such as stress reduction techniques, exercise, and sleep optimization are recommended to support overall well-being and promote gut health.


Looking to Manage Your Celiac Responses? Work with True Life Medicine

Celiac disease and its secondary conditions can have a significant impact on your health, leading to skin issues, stomach ulcers, leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies, and compromised immunity. 

Functional medicine provides a comprehensive and personalized approach to address these long-term effects. By combining advanced testing, nutrition-focused interventions, and lifestyle modifications, individuals with celiac disease and secondary conditions can rebuild their gut health. You can significantly improve your quality of life. Speak with our team to learn how!

Let True Life Medicine develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

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