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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Antibiotics
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30 posts in this topic

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Gfreeatx    9

Hi All,

Not sure where to post this one, but I recently ended up with a UTI and my Dr. prescribed a drug called Bactrim. Of course to make sure it was Celiac safe I looked it up online and found it was on the gluten-free Drug list, however there were endless horror stories from people about it being the worst drug they have ever been prescribed and I also saw it has been banned in several countries. I usually try natural remedies when possible, but I feel like I need to do the course of antibiotics on this time as I have an issue with my right kidney which makes me especially susceptible to kidney infections. I am extremely sensitive to medications for whatever reason so I am hoping someone who is Celiac and sensitive as well to meds might have a suggestion for an antibiotic they found relatively safe. Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)

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mushroom    1,205

I have had a bad reaction to Bactrim too. I usually take Norfloxacin for UTI's.

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jerseyangel    409

I have allergies to several antibiotics. The one I use and am ok with is the name brand Z-Pack. (Zithromax)

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IrishHeart    1,634

Bactrim and Cipro (and almost all antibiotics)make me SICK and cause awful gut pain.

One member on here told me last year she used Zithromycin antibiotic? Not sure if it is suitable for a UTI.

Maybe it is the same as the one Patti has just posted while I was still composing this??.

Make sure to get the Teva brand --as she knows that one is gluten-free. (I can tell you-- I spoke with someone from TEVA about a med I had to take briefly and she was adamant there is NO gluten in their meds. Corn starch, but no gluten)

I understand it is a pretty tolerable antibiotic and she is sensitive and she did not have any problems with it.

Wish I could help more, but I will suggest dosing with extra probiotics after any course of antibiotics to straighten out your gut.

To avoid UTIs, I have my Mom drink some cranberry juice every day. She was getting them with some frequency.

(or maybe you probably already know all this) :)

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mushroom    1,205

To avoid UTIs, I have my Mom drink some cranberry juice every day. She was getting them with some frequency.

(or maybe you probably already know all this) :)

I take cranberry gelcaps.

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Gfreeatx    9

Thanks all for the suggestions! I really appreciate it! Luckily I haven't had to deal with a UTI in years, but somehow it got me this time. My mom used to get UTI's frequently, but hasn't gotten one in years. She swears that cranberry juice daily and taking alka seltzer if she feels one coming on does the trick. I think I would honestly try anything rather than take nasty antibiotics. Thanks again for your help!

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woodnewt    8

Hi All,

Not sure where to post this one, but I recently ended up with a UTI and my Dr. prescribed a drug called Bactrim. Of course to make sure it was Celiac safe I looked it up online and found it was on the gluten-free Drug list, however there were endless horror stories from people about it being the worst drug they have ever been prescribed and I also saw it has been banned in several countries. I usually try natural remedies when possible, but I feel like I need to do the course of antibiotics on this time as I have an issue with my right kidney which makes me especially susceptible to kidney infections. I am extremely sensitive to medications for whatever reason so I am hoping someone who is Celiac and sensitive as well to meds might have a suggestion for an antibiotic they found relatively safe. Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)

Bactrim is commonly given for UTI and is very effective. It's a sulfa drug and is supposed to be relatively safe, although yes, some people get really sick from it - like with any other antibiotic. When you take antibiotics, they kill all types of bacteria they are effective against - indiscriminately - so that means both the good bacteria in your body and the bad bacteria. This is one reason why many people feel sick when they take antibiotics.

If you have UTI and especially if you have kidney issues, you need to be treated for the UTI quickly. If the infection becomes systemic, it will be very bad. If you have an issue with taking Bactrim, talk to your doctor about alternatives. When the lab tests your urine, they also test for "antibiotic susceptibilty" of the bacteria. Someone could recommend a "good antibiotic" for UTI but it may or may not be effective against the bacteria strain you have in your bladder. There are many classes of antibiotics which may be useful or useless for your infection - it is completely dependent on the bacteria it is used against - so it is important to take the appropriate antibiotic based on lab culture results.

I am going to be really frank here: there is no such thing as a safe antibiotic. Every antibiotic has the potential for bad side effects and everyone will be affected differently. So an antibiotic that gives you minimal problems may be a nightmare for someone else, and vice versa. Zithromax is a macrolide, commonly prescribed for sinus and respiratory infections. It has recently been associated with increase risk of heart attack. Norfloxacin is a fluroquinolone, commonly prescribed for UTI. It also has a "black box warning" for tendon rupture. It is also strongly associated with Clostridium difficile colitis (antibiotic associated colitis).

Ammoxicillin is supposed to be a "very safe" antibiotic commonly given to children and used for gram positive infections (UTI is usually caused by gram-negative microorganisms, although a few cases may be gram positive). Well, when I was 17 and got an ear infection, and I took Ammoxicillin. I got C. difficile colitis, which progressed to something called Pseudomembraneous colitis. I was hospitalized and pumped full of very powerful IV antibiotics. I nearly died from the infection and my colon is permanently damaged because of the infection. Not trying to scare you or anything, but just saying, even the "safest" antibiotics aren't really safe. Have I taken antibiotics since? No. If I had a serious infection that was cultured and had to take antibiotics, would I? Absolutely.

Whatever you decide to do, please discuss it with your doctor, make sure you are treated for your UTI soon. Take care and be well. :)

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Fairy Dancer    10

I was going to suggest cranberry juice...but cranberry stuff has already been suggested.

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IrishHeart    1,634

Not trying to scare you or anything, but just saying, even the "safest" antibiotics aren't really safe.

Well, your story scared the beejeepers out of me. Sorry you had such a rough time. :(

I agree-- they are powerful drugs, for sure. I was dosed heavily myself back in 1998 when I was very ill with constant D and pain. The ridiculous GI doctor was trying them on me ---with the "maybe" that I had giarrdia. :rolleyes: (long ugly story) It was celiac disease.

It upset the gut balance and I was never right again for 13 years. By 2010, testing showed NO detectable GOOD bacteria in my gut at all! I was clueless about probiotics back then, but between the UNDXed celiac and the unbalanced gut flora, I was one sick puppy.

It has taken me a year and a half to get things where they should be. I am a "probiotics- pusher" ever since! :D

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IrishHeart    1,634

Thanks all for the suggestions! I really appreciate it! Luckily I haven't had to deal with a UTI in years, but somehow it got me this time. My mom used to get UTI's frequently, but hasn't gotten one in years. She swears that cranberry juice daily and taking alka seltzer if she feels one coming on does the trick. I think I would honestly try anything rather than take nasty antibiotics. Thanks again for your help!

The cran juice is more of a preventative measure. But if you have a raging infection, and the culture shows it, you may have to give in and take the antibiotic. sorry, hon.

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Gfreeatx    9

Thanks Woodnewt for the info. I know I will need to take the antibiotics this time since there is no way around it to get better. I have to admit I am a big chicken when it comes to taking meds. I had such bad experiences with prescription meds I was given in the past for my other conditions. I am that person who the "extremely rare" side effects seem to happen to when everyone else has no issues with a drug. :)

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Gfreeatx    9

The cran juice is more of a preventative measure. But if you have a raging infection, and the culture shows it, you may have to give in and take the antibiotic. sorry, hon.

Thanks Irish Heart! :)

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mushroom    1,205

Thanks Woodnewt for the info. I know I will need to take the antibiotics this time since there is no way around it to get better. I have to admit I am a big chicken when it comes to taking meds. I had such bad experiences with prescription meds I was given in the past for my other conditions. I am that person who the "extremely rare" side effects seem to happen to when everyone else has no issues with a drug. :)

Hey, Gfreeactx, I am right there with you. Doctors will say, no one has problems with that drug, but I do :rolleyes: The ones that most people don't have problems with, I do. Then there are things that are supposed to have side effects, and I don't! :wacko: And to make it worse, the things that are supposed to put you to sleep keep me awake :P

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Gfreeatx    9

Hey, Gfreeactx, I am right there with you. Doctors will say, no one has problems with that drug, but I do :rolleyes: The ones that most people don't have problems with, I do. Then there are things that are supposed to have side effects, and I don't! :wacko: And to make it worse, the things that are supposed to put you to sleep keep me awake :P

Sheesh, I know! I really wish I could be that average normal patient who tolerates everything well. I'm just thankful my doctors actually believe me when I tell them I am having a weird side effect and don't tell me I am crazy. Well, at least not to my face. ;)

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IrishHeart    1,634

The ones that most people don't have problems with, I do. Then there are things that are supposed to have side effects, and I don't! :wacko: And to make it worse, the things that are supposed to put you to sleep keep me awake :P

Ditto! :rolleyes:

and if there are "rare" side effects, guess who has them? :)

I needed a muscle relaxer so bad this week, but they kill my stomach, make me "tense" in the muscles (and how is that helping???) and keep me up all night. Not to mention foggy, grouchy, wonky , a loss of appetite and what I call the

General "heebie jeebies" :unsure:

I hate that.

How can you relax a muscle if the muscle relaxers make your muscles tense and jumpy? OY

we do not have the same systems as everyone else. My doc says it's the way we metabolize them. Ya think?

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IrishHeart    1,634

I'm just thankful my doctors actually believe me when I tell them I am having a weird side effect and don't tell me I am crazy. Well, at least not to my face. ;)

:lol:

they probably put these in our charts -- :wacko:

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Eastie    2

Hi...I am a new member to this website, but not new to Celiac Disease.  I was born with it and am 73 years old.  Since I was born with Celiac, I had to learn early on about foods, diet and how it affects the immune system.  As you all know, even the best doctors don't know much about prescribing antibiotics.  I am allergic to penicillin, sulphur and just had a total knee replacement which means when I go to the dentist, I have to take an antibiotic an hour before.  I was prescribed Clindamycin and have been sick for two days with stomach cramps, nausea and headache.  I also researched a Lab called Lannett and they supply gluten free pharmaceuticals.  It's a rough journey but with a support system can be much easier.  Thank you.

 

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GFinDC    609

Welcome to the forum Eastie! :)

I have screws in my elbow from breaks.  They do the same thing for me, have me take antibiotics before a dental procedure.  At least my old dentist did, now that I moved my new dentist isn't concerned about it.

I don't like to take antibiotics myself. but Dr's are such nervous Nellies about these things.  Anyhow, I hope you find some support around here.  We have quite a few celiacs with years of experience. but only a few with your experience.  Thanks for sharing and have fun at the dentist! :)

Edited by GFinDC

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Eastie    2
1 hour ago, GFinDC said:

Welcome to the forum Eastie! :)

I have screw in my elbow from breaks.  They do the same thing for me, have me take antibiotics before a dental procedure.  At least my old dentist did, now that I moved my new dentist isn't concerned about it.

I don't like to take antibiotics myself. but Dr's are such nervous Nellies about these things.  Anyhow, I hope you find some support around here.  We have quite a few celiacs with years of experience. but only a few with your experience.  Thanks for sharing and have fun at the dentist! :)

Hi gluten-free in DC

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.  May I ask what antibiotic you take when you do go for procedures.  Also if you can give me the name of the ones that gave you a bad reaction.   So far most of them have given me an upset stomach.  I never joined a blog for Celiac Disease and am thrilled to have some celiac soulmates. 

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GFinDC    609

Hi Eastie,

The dentist I had in DC gave me ciprofloxacin.  It never gave me any bad reactions.  They only gave me a RX for 4 pills at a time, to be taken the day before and the day of the procedure.  Here's a list of common antibiotics.

https://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotics.html

Seems they can cause diarrhea.  I have 5 screws in my left elbow.  The dentist I had in DC wanted me to take antibiotics every time because of the screws, even years after the injury.  My new dentist doesn't think it's important to do that though.  I like my new dentist..

Generally I think it's a good idea to take probiotics after a course of antibiotics.  They can help replace the bacteria that are killed in our guts by the antibiotics.  The bacteria in our guts are important to help us digest foods.

I read once that our stool is 50% bacteria by weight.  That's a lot of bacteria!  That many bacteria have to be doing something important.  Here's a little info on clindamycin.

https://www.drugs.com/clindamycin.html

What is clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Clindamycin is used to treat serious infections caused by bacteria.

Clindamycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Clindamycin can cause diarrhea, which may be severe or lead to serious, life-threatening intestinal problems. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using this medicine and call your doctor.

Before using clindamycin, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, an intestinal disorder such as colitis or Crohn's disease, or a history of asthma, eczema, or allergic skin reaction.

Edited by GFinDC

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Eastie    2
2 minutes ago, GFinDC said:

Hi Eastie,

The dentist I had in DC gave me ciprofloxacin.  It never gave me any bad reactions.  They only gave me a RX for 4 pills at a time, to be taken the day before and the day of the procedure.  Here's a list of common antibiotics.

https://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotics.html

Seems they can cause diarrhea.  I have 5 screws in my left elbow.  The dentist I had in DC wanted me to take antibiotics every time because of the screws, even years after the injury.  My new dentist doesn't think it's important to do that though.  I like my new dentist..

Generally I think it's a good idea to take probiotics after a course of antibiotics.  They can help replace the bacteria that are killed in our guts by the antibiotics.  The bacteria in our guts are important to help us digest foods.

I read once that our stool is 50% bacteria by weight.  That's a lot of bacteria!  That many bacteria have to doing something important.  Here's a little info on clindamycin.

https://www.drugs.com/clindamycin.html

What is clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Clindamycin is used to treat serious infections caused by bacteria.

Clindamycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Clindamycin can cause diarrhea, which may be severe or lead to serious, life-threatening intestinal problems. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using this medicine and call your doctor.

Before using clindamycin, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, an intestinal disorder such as colitis or Crohn's disease, or a history of asthma, eczema, or allergic skin reaction.

Hi Again and thank you for your input and links.  This is very helpful because only taking two Clindomycin an hour before the dentist has given me three days of the worst stomach distress. It was a last minute appointment because I am moving and wanted to get in all my appointment.  The pharmacist even asked me if I ever too it before.  Then, I read the contraindications...wow...too late.   I don't even want to leave the house.  I take pancreatic enzymes daily for digestion and many supplements prescribed by my homeopathic physician.  I didn't see this coming and I probably should have been prepared.  I'm only 5 months with a new knee and very rarely take antibiotics so this is all very new to me.  Fortunately, I have no dental problems;  This was just for a routine cleaning.  Also, if you have any questions I may be able to help you with, please don't hesitate to write...Eastie

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GFinDC    609

Thanks Eastie,

I hope you are feeling better soon! :)

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squirmingitch    495

Eastie, I'm so sorry the antibiotic is hitting you so hard! I have no "body part replacements" nor screws unless you count the loose ones in my head.:lol::lol:

Having said that, I am also allergic to penicillin - I'll die even with an epi-pen - and allergic to sulfa drugs. I did rather recently take doxycycline and had no problems with it for several weeks. I was on an extended prescription of it though & after about a month, it started making me nauseous & then more so & more so & more so until I had to stop taking it because I couldn't stand being so nauseous 24 hours a day. Even probiotics did not help. However, you are asking about something for just 1 or 2 days for dental procedures so you might try doxycycline & see how it does for you. As a side note, as far as I know, all antibiotics can upset your stomach so it just comes down to individuals and their individual reactions. 

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Eastie    2
1 hour ago, GFinDC said:

Thanks Eastie,

I hope you are feeling better soon! :)

Thank you.  I am finally better.  We have to keep ourselves healthy so we don't have to take those nasty antibiotics.  However, they do save people's lives.  I just received a post from "squirming itch."  She mentioned Doxycycline.  Coincidentally I went on line to look up a list of pharmaceuticals that are gluten-free. but as she said, antibiotics mess up the tummy anyway.  I see you are a male.  Were you born with Celiac Disease or were you diagnosed recently for a gluten allergy.  It feels great to feel better.  Have a great weekend!

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Eastie    2
21 minutes ago, squirmingitch said:

Eastie, I'm so sorry the antibiotic is hitting you so hard! I have no "body part replacements" nor screws unless you count the loose ones in my head.:lol::lol:

Having said that, I am also allergic to penicillin - I'll die even with an epi-pen - and allergic to sulfa drugs. I did rather recently take doxycycline and had no problems with it for several weeks. I was on an extended prescription of it though & after about a month, it started making me nauseous & then more so & more so & more so until I had to stop taking it because I couldn't stand being so nauseous 24 hours a day. Even probiotics did not help. However, you are asking about something for just 1 or 2 days for dental procedures so you might try doxycycline & see how it does for you. As a side note, as far as I know, all antibiotics can upset your stomach so it just comes down to individuals and their individual reactions. 

Hi Squirmingitch (I know the feeling)  Thank you so much for your input on antibiotics.  Yes, you are correct.  It's a hit or miss on whether our stomach's are going to act up.  My adult daughter, who does not have celiac disease told me she was very ill when she took  Clindamycin.  She couldn't stop throwing up.  I happen to have a prescription for Clindamycin but it was over a year old and was hesitant to take it.  You are right  I will only need it a few times a year when I go for dental cleanings.  The biggest challenge for us Celiacs, are our doctors who don't take the time to look up gluten-free drugs when they write the Rx's.  I have celiac for 70 years now. The only doctor who was knowledgeable and  saved my life was a doctor named Dr. Haas.  He was called the "banana doctor" because he was the only doctor here in the US that knew what celiac disease was.  It's amazing that I like banana.  I will send you the  link and you can read about him.  I only wish I had met him before he passed away.  He saved hundreds of babies lives.  My mother had a child before me who was not diagnosed properly and she passed away at 5 months old....from dehydration.  We are lucky today that so much more research is being done and that we have sites like this.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Thanks again. Eastie

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