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  • Question about gluten-free or dairy-free diets helping with dry eye

    Hi everybody! The last time I wrote was April 2012 three months after my dry eye started. I won't go into the things I have tried and to what extent they worked or didn't, but I was wondering if anyone has tried a gluten-free or dairy-free diet and if it has helped with their dry eye symptoms.

    Thanks for any responses or thoughts.


  • #2
    Hi Warren,

    I think some people here have tried.

    The son od eye_allergy_kids did a naturopath treatment, including gluten free, dairy free, raw vegetables diet, and after one year was cured or almost cured.

    Well, I'm vegetarian fo 16 years and since january i'm in a gluten free and dairy free diet, The diet I'm in was made by a nutritionist.

    My eyes are better. I don't feel they inflammed as I used to feel. But maybe it's just the season. Whe winter comes (july) I think I can tell fur sure if it helped.


    • #3
      Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Some people cannot process gluten and thus have a condition called celiac disease. There is a test called the anti-gliadin test to determine if you are intolerant to gluten, otherwise, why avoid gluten if you're not intolerant to it?

      Dairy is a different story for ALL of us. Okay, I like the taste of milk, it's the fat and sugar (lactose) that makes it nice and flavoured milk is heaven. BUT, it is really bad news in terms of possibly (now I did say 'possibly' so please don't attack me here) to auto-immune diseases, cancer and obesity. Do a google search, learn why it's been dubbed "white poison", here is a website to get you started:


      • #4
        Originally posted by DCRdryeye View Post
        There is a test called the anti-gliadin test to determine if you are intolerant to gluten, otherwise, why avoid gluten if you're not intolerant to it?
        That test ONLY tests for celiac disease. But some people are allergic to wheat... think of those that have anaphylactic reactions to it... but they test negative to celiac.

        I suspect that wheat intolerance, wheat allergy, and celiac disease are related... Maybe a mere wheat intolerance is a mild form of wheat allergy... or a mild precursor to celiac disease (and probably not all people who are intolerant will go on to develop full-blown celiac or anaphylactic reactions to it, but I bet a wheat intolerance increases the odds... nothing scientific to my opinion mind you... just speculation on my part)

        So, the point to all this is, that there is no way to know 100% for sure how you'll react to going gluten-free unless you try it. If you do it and don't notice any difference, then for sure, I'd probably find it hard to justify going hard-core gluten-free. But if you DO notice a difference, and you can repeat the results by going on and off gluten several times, that increases the odds that whatever you noticed is not a coincidence.

        It's just one more option to consider if all of the easier mainstream treatments haven't worked well enough for someone.


        • #5
          It can take years to fix the damage gluten does if you are one of the individuals with a sensitivity to it or celiacs. My sister went off gluten two years ago and still has a lot of symptoms, however she has grown 1 1/2 inches and she is 25! So it just goes to show you how food sensitivities can affect you and how the inflammation disrupts your body's healing and growing processes. There is also literature out there that shows that people who went off gluten had decreased seasonal allergies, and those of us with ocular allergies know how they affect our eyes.


          • #6
            My gluten connection to dry eye/SLK

            Originally posted by Warren View Post
            Hi everybody! The last time I wrote was April 2012 three months after my dry eye started. I won't go into the things I have tried and to what extent they worked or didn't, but I was wondering if anyone has tried a gluten-free or dairy-free diet and if it has helped with their dry eye symptoms.

            Thanks for any responses or thoughts.

            I am a 48 year old woman. After many years of suffering, I was diagnosed with SLK (superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis) last year. It was constant inflammation which flared up painfully in conjunction with my monthly hormonal cycles. I also suffered from filamentary keratitis, which is a byproduct of SLK...painful filaments on my cornea that would hit me like a needle in my eyes. This is very hard to diagnose. It took 4 ophthalmologists in 12 years before I found one to make the call and create a plan for treatment. The four different eyedrops (restasis, durezol, mucomyst and OTC lubricants) helped the intensity, but did not take away the flare ups that were the core of my discomfort. They would go on for up to a week at a time, interfering with my ability to drive and focus at work.
            Quite by accident, earlier this year, I read an article on gluten sensitivity and referred to the list they had of symptoms...keratoconjunctivitis was on the list. There was also several other symptoms I was experiencing; depression, anxiety, leg cramps, muscle aches, nausea, low B12, fatigue and bloating. So, I decided to give it a try since there is no test for gluten sensitivity. It took awhile to be rigid on the's very hard, but once I did, every one of those symptoms went away...EVERY one of them.
            I did not use gluten-free substitutes...I just omitted it from my diet. Bread, pastas and foods containing gluten products in the ingredients were no longer on my menu. Within 2 weeks, I began to notice a change. After a month, the flare ups stopped...completely. Though my doctor says the SLK is still there, it is "calm" and we both believe, the gluten-free diet has allowed my hormones to become more balanced, therefore they don't trigger the dry eye when I menstruate or ovulate.
            I truly feel like I've been freed of a torture I have endured for decades. And with this diet, issues I just thought were part of aging and a life full of stress have disappeared. AND, I'm losing weight without even trying. I still eat eggs, bacon, cheese, fatty meats, skin on chicken, butter, salt, mayo, some sugar, potatoes, rice, creams, fish and shellfish...fresh veggies...even potato chips, chocolate and ice cream. The only thing I've added is I eat more nuts than I used to because they are easy to snack on. I eat pepperoni, salami and french fries. I do find, though, that it's better when I cook it all myself so I know exactly what's in it. I never feel like I'm starving and never feel I'm stuffed. I've learned to listen to what my body needs rather than what it wants. It's truly been amazing. When I look at a piece of pizza or bowl of pasta, all I see is intolerable sharp pain and gritty eyes that feel like they are on fire.
            Honestly, I've encouraged a lot of friends and family to try this and see what a difference it makes for them. I've done a lot of research and it makes a lot of sense to me why gluten would cause these problems. If there is no change, you can go back to eating bread. It's way better than medication and it means you have a choice governed by you. But you HAVE to be rigid on the diet...there can be no cheating in any way. I cheated for awhile, but as soon as I went rigid, it made all the difference in a month's time.
            I'm hoping the inflammation of the SLK is going to be eliminated completely as I continue this diet change. It is an autoimmune disorder and as my body heals from a lifetime of gluten bombardment, I'm betting it will eventually subside.

            Hope this has been helpful to anyone suffering the way I have with my eyes...and other things.


            • #7
              Congrats on the new found success! Do you think if you took it even further and eliminated dairy, sugar, ect. You would get even better?! Diet has also been slowly affecting my eye inflammation as well but I am doing an even more strict version. Are you using any prescription drops still? Has your need for tears gone down?


              • #8
                I've been gluten free for some time because of Hashimoto's disease. Immune system doesn't distinguish well between thyroid and gluten so eliminating gluten helps to reduce autoimmune attack on thyroid. You might want to check for thyroid disease, although if things have calmed down considerably just by eliminating gluten, that is terrific.

                Before being diagnosed I could gain 3 pounds in one day by eating one piece of bread. Makes sense if the autoimmune system was attacking the thyroid more.

                Dairy-free has helped my complexion. I can only imagine how much being dairy free has also helped all the other sebaceous glands e.g. meibomian glands.


                • #9
                  Same here. I have Hashimotos and Raynauds..both autoimmune diseases. I was told long ago to try gluten free but I was quite thin back then and was afraid to. Now, I am getting really serious about it and I think it is helping. My doctor also said you can't do it half way and you must be aware that some of the "gluten free" products are manufactured in a facility that handles wheat products. Read labels! It won't hurt to try it...I believe it is a healthier way to eat regardless of the eye issues.


                  • #10
                    Yes, reading labels is important. I believe it will become even more important because the FDA, in August, announced its food labeling rule.


                    FDA Gluten-Free Food Labeling Information Page
                    Posted on August 4, 2013
                    in Celiac Disease in the News

                    On August 2, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its long-awaited gluten-free food labeling rule.

                    According to the rule, when a manufacturer chooses to put “gluten-free” on food packaging, the item must comply with the new FDA definition of the term – less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Manufacturers are encouraged to comply with the rule immediately, but have until August 5th, 2014. There is no requirement that gluten-free foods must be labeled “gluten-free.” Any food product conforming to the standard may be labeled “gluten-free” even if it is naturally gluten-free (i.e., water or fresh produce).

                    After August 5, 2014, what food products may be labeled gluten-free?

                    A food product regulated by the FDA may be labeled gluten-free if:

                    1. It does NOT contain wheat, rye, barley or their crossbred hybrids like triticale (a gluten-containing grain) OR

                    2. It contains a gluten-containing grain or an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

                    The FDA adopted the standard based upon the recommendations of the scientific and medical communities, and because there are no analytical methods available that are scientifically validated to reliably detect gluten below 20 ppm. The CDF Medical Advisory Board supports the < 20 ppm of gluten standard for gluten-free labeling. According to Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, “The 20 ppm is a scientifically determined level of gluten that has been shown to be tolerated by those with celiac disease. It is in line with standards in other countries.”

                    As a result, for those of us who must be 100% gluten-free, the new gluten-free label may mean 100% gluten-free or it may mean "almost but not completely gluten-free."

                    Reading labels is, and will continue to be, very important.


                    • #11
                      I'll start a diet free of gluten and sugar. I basically eat chicken, scaly fish, sweet potato, cassava, cassava, lentils and other foods and fruits. but the basis is this. Also I can only eat sea salt and stevia to sweeten.

                      As I also work out and run, I can only supplement with sunwarrior, gluten free supplement.

                      Let's see the results, I'm hopeful.

                      If not at least lose my belly = D


                      • #12
                        I had gluten free diet for about six months this year.

                        I don't think it made difference, so I stopped it. But I lose weight, what was not a good thing for me.