We’ve read several online anecdotes from folks who assert that their gluten intolerance was responsible for their angular cheilitis, and once they switched to a gluten-free diet, they were free of perleche. While we’re not ready to make bold claims, or promises, that a diet sans gluten will cure your cheilitis, we feel that this diet change may help to alleviate the skin condition … in some.
Gluten is the protein complex found in cereals, bread, and certain grains. Many nutritionists and holistic doctors believe that too many of us are unable to break down glucose molecules into their component amino acids. This inability to thoroughly digest gluten can lead to gut reactions and intestinal distress, especially for those with celiac disease, characterized by extreme gluten sensitivity.
When folks with gluten digestion issues ingest gluten-containing foods, their body’s defenses literally attack gliadin, a glycoprotein found in gluten. This immense autoimmune response may trigger digestive-related problems, such as bloating, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, mood issues, and inflammatory responses. Of course, another symptom of gluten intolerance may be skin rashes and irritations, such as angular cheilitis.
While cheilitis can be a symptom of celiac disease, it is more likely an infection brought about by harmful bacteria or fungi. A change of diet will not necessarily reduce the offending microbes. However, patient know thyself, and if you suspect that you have gluten intolerance, it’s time to watch what you eat and experiment with gluten-free meals.
The same point can be made with any food-related hypersensitivity that you experience. If you suspect that you’re reacting poorly to any given food staple, simply avoid it. You do not need to go through the accompanying allergic and inflammatory responses.
This is why we cannot universally proclaim that any type of diet is a cure for any given condition. The underlying cause can be completely different from person to person. Your gluten intolerance may be contributing to your perleche, but perhaps my lactose intolerance may be one of the dominoes in creating my perleche.
At Angular Cheilitis RX, we follow orthomolecular medicine, embracing the notion that there is an optimal nutritional environment that each one of us needs to find for ourselves. Our individual body chemistry may be significantly different so it is incumbent upon us to know and address our own nutritional deficiencies, and be mindful of individual (food) allergies.
A gluten-free diet may be worth pursuing if you notice any of the aforementioned gluten intolerance symptoms. Try going gluten-free for a couple of weeks (in consult with your medical practitioner) and see if you notice any skin improvement. The skin is the largest organ and may reflect the health of the GI tract, so for some individuals, there very well may be an angular cheilitis – gluten intolerance connection, worthy of exploring.