If I Have Celiac Do I Need to Take Probiotics?

Dr. Cynthia Rudert, Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance expert, answers your questions on celiac:

If I have celiac do I need to take probiotics? PROBIOTICS PRO = for; BIO=life (the definition of probiotic)

Dr. Rudert answers:

Generally I recommend probiotics to most of my celiac patients. With few exceptions they are usually well tolerated and help patients that have continued gas and bloating. These ongoing symptoms may be due to SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Probiotics provide "good bacteria" which often have been depleted. Another source of good bacteria can be found in yogurts and other fermented products. Continued symptoms in patients with celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) always warrent further investigation.

What probiotics should I take if I have celiac?

Dr. Rudert answers:

There are a variety of probiotics on the market and selecting one can be confusing! I individualize my recommendations based on the patient's symptoms. Some probiotics need to be refrigerated and others do not. They all vary in the type and amount of bacteria or yeast (good yeast) that they contain. There is definitely more to learn about which probiotics may be better suited to a specific problem or disease state. Ongoing studies may be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov. For example multiple studies have been conducted looking at the efficacy of VSL #3 in patients with Ulcerative Colitis and in children and adults with "IBS". The use of bifidobacterium infantis, as well as other probiotic mixtures, has also been studied in celiac patients.

How can I be sure a probiotic is gluten-free?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Most probiotics are gluten free; however, I always recommend checking all medications and supplements. Some may contain a small amount of dairy and therefore may be unsuitable for individuals with lactose intolerance. The website www.glutenfreedrugs.com is a fabulous source of information regarding the gluten free status of medications.

What if I feel worse after taking a probiotic and have more digestive distress?

Dr. Rudert answers:

If you feel worse after taking a probiotic you need to contact your healthcare provider. In my experience approximately 10% of patients tell me that their gas and bloating worsened prior to improving. In some individuals a change in dosage or switching to a different strain(s) may help.

How long should I continue taking probiotics?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Unless you are improving with yogurts or fermented foods I recommend taking probiotics long term.

Should I continue taking probiotics if I am also on an antibiotic?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Most probiotics will have decreased efficacy if taken close to the time of an antibiotic. The probiotic saccharomyces boulardii lyo (ex. Florastor) can be taken with an antibiotic since an antibiotic will not kill a yeast probiotic!

Can taking probiotics prevent celiac disease?

Dr. Rudert answers:

No one knows nor have they fully studied this question. It is known that in genetically predisposed individuals something triggers celiac disease. I think of it like a lock (your genetic predisposition) and a key (the trigger). To "turn on" celiac you have to have a key fit in to the lock. The key may be one or more of a variety of factors including the use of antibiotics.

EXTRA! Coming soon! Stay tuned for the latest updates from Dr. Rudert from the 4th Triennial Yale/Harvard Workshop on Probiotics, Marh 20, 2015, New Haven, CT!


Featured Posts

Dr. Cynthia Rudert

Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter App Icon

To Schedule An Appointment

Call 404.943.9820​


No advice

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or medical condition.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

Limitation of warranties

The medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.  Dr. Cynthia Rudert makes no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information on this website. 

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, Dr. Cynthia Rudert does not warrant that:

the medical information on this website will be constantly available, or available at all; or

the medical information on this website is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

Professional assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.  If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention.  You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.


Nothing in this medical disclaimer will limit any of our liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law, or exclude any of our liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.

© 2014 by SVL for Dr. Cynthia S. Rudert. Proudly created with Wix.com