Print Print

Ask the Doc: Celiac triggered by abdominal surgery?

Posted on March 21st, 2009 by Alison Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

questionmarkgreen1.jpg Q. I noticed your answer to a question about celiac disease that its onset could be caused by abdominal surgery. How is this possible? How often does it happen? I have just recently started seeing a homeopathic MD and one of the tests showed a borderline gluten allergy and thyroid imbalance. All of my symptoms have worsened through 2 pregnancies that resulted in post partum induced thyroidism and an ectopic that ruptured requiring surgery. Your comment about surgery causing celiac disease is interesting. Thank you for any info you can share.

A. Many with latent celiac disease will have activation of the disease after any abdominal surgical procedure; the mechanism is obscure, but is thought to be a result of an intense inflammatory response to the operation.  Non-celiac mimicking conditions such as the Irritable Bowel Syndrome are similarly activated.

Health and happiness,
Dr. Aron

Have a question for the doc?

Spread the love


  1. I had surgery for diverticulitis in 2006. I have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After my operation in 2006, various doctors informed me that I needed to eat healthier (of course) and add more fiber to my diet, which I did. Too bad none of my doctors mentioned the possibility of Celiac Disease being triggered by the abdominal surgery. In the three years since the surgery, I have often felt bad after eating foods with a high fiber content (for example, wheat pasta). I tried to tell my doctor(s) about this and they all ignored me. If I had been informed about Celiac Disease prior to the surgery or if any of my doctors had taken my complaints seriously after the surgery about the fiber diet, I might have been spared alot of abdominal pain and discomfort now.

  2. Carl,
    I’m wondering if the diverticulitis was caused by celiac, not that the surgery triggered it. I have heard so many times that people are told to eat more fiber to deal with digestive issues, especially constipation which can be a symptom of celiac or gluten intolerance. So you are told to eat more of the very thing that is making you sick! We have a long way to go, don’t we?

  3. I’m 63 and have recently been diagnosed with Celiac. In retrospect, looking back at all the various symptoms I’ve had to deal with, they are all ‘classic’. They all began showing up when thirty years ago I had a hysterectomy. The first symptom came very quickly afterwards … dermatitis herpetiformis, and I’ve suffered with these lesions ever since. When I went to a doctor about it I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I had a STD, Herpes. I knew it was not yet I felt the disapproval in his demeanor. I never went back. NOW I’ve been vindicated… if little else. So yes, abdominal surgery in my case caused Celiac. I’m hoping the damage after thirty plus years can be reversed.

Post a Comment