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EGD, Colonoscopy and Leaky Gut


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Last January, my EGD (upper endoscopy) & colonoscopy showed villi damage. Regarding the comments about leaky gut, wouldn't my doctor have been able to see if I had a leaky gut and told me then? He did not mention it, and with all the info on celiac I have learned about it. Now I'm wondering if that is why I still do not feel good a lot of the time. Thanks.




Hi Shirley.  I cannot find any reference that describes diagnosing leaky gut with an EGD or colonoscopy, so I personally cannot confirm that your doctor could tell you that you had "leaky gut." Celiac disease is diagnosed with blood work and an endoscopy, not a colonoscopy.  If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease due to the villi damage seen in an endoscopy, then following a strictly gluten-free diet is the only way to heal your intestine.

If you are still having symptoms and have been following a gluten-free diet since January, it may be time to have a look at all areas of your diet. Have you checked labels on the food you are eating? You can call or email manufacturers to ask if their products are gluten-free. The top 8 allergens are required to be listed on ingredient labels which is very helpful in regards to identifying WHEAT in a product, however BARLEY and RYE are not required to be identified on food labels, and still can be included as a “hidden ingredient.” A quick email or phone call to a manufacturer can give you helpful information.

Have you considered areas of cross contamination in your home or when eating out? Sharing condiments, cutting boards, grills, and colanders are just some of the places where crumbs or tiny amounts of gluten may be getting into the food you eat.

While some people start to feel better immediately when they start a gluten-free diet, for others it takes 6 months or more. I would suggest you meet with your physician and request follow up blood work to see if the blood tests are returning to normal levels. You can also discuss your concerns regarding leaky gut with your physician at that time.


Nancy Dickens, BS, RD, LDN

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