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Bad Taste in Mouth & Gluten-Free Diet Confusion

 

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5/24/2011

Question:

I want to know what this horrible taste is in my mouth all the time, and what supplements I should take. I have osteoporosis, so I have calcium tablets, but I also think I have a leaky gut. Also, can you explain why celiacs are told not to eat processed food or - I’ve been told - most fruits, vegetables or grains, too. This is hard.

From,

Tracy

Answer:

Hi Tracy. I'm very sorry to hear about the problems you've been experiencing. Also, it sounds like you've been given some bad advice if someone told you not to eat most fruits and vegetables.

As far as what foods to eat, I recommend the same diet to celiac patients that I do to anyone else, minus the gluten. Your health should improve by consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables; lean protein, including eggs, beans, and legumes, plus lean meat and fish if you consume it; nuts and other healthy oils, such as olive oil, low-fat dairy products; and whole gluten-free grains, such as corn, rice, quinoa, millet and teff, just to name a few.

In regards to the bad taste in your mouth, I'm not aware of any connection directly to celiac disease; however, I have heard anecdotal reports from other celiac patients reporting a bad taste in their mouth. Some possible medical reasons for having a bad taste in the mouth include: dental or gum problems; a yeast infection in the mouth; dry mouth related to various medications or Sjogrens disease, an autoimmune condition; chronic sinus infections; or post nasal drip related to allergies or a respiratory tract infection.  There may also be other health reasons for a bad taste in the mouth as well, so if it persists, I recommend you see your doctor to rule out any other medical issues.

Finally, as far as supplements are concerned, I just answered a recent Ask the Dietitian question regarding supplements and you can read my recommendations here.

Additionally, for osteoporosis, you should make sure you are getting a total of 1000 mg (for ages 19-50) or 1200 mg per day (for ages 51+) of calcium from your diet and supplements (if needed). I also recommend you ask your physician to test your vitamin D level, as adequate Vitamin D is also critical to bone health.

Finally, regarding “leaky gut” issues, you don't say how long you have been following a gluten-free diet, but strict adherence to a gluten-free diet should vastly improve any leaky gut symptoms you may be experiencing.

With a healthy, well-balanced and strict gluten-free diet, your symptoms should greatly improve.  However, if they don’t, you may want to meet with a registered dietitian who specializes in celiac disease to make sure your gluten-free diet is on the right track.

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD

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