Q. For years I suffered from chronic angular cheilitis (painful cracks at the corners of my mouth). I also had chronic irritable syndrome (IBS).
Doctor after doctor dismissed any relationship between the two. I finally saw a nutritionist and she correlated the problem with B vitamin malabsorption because of the IBS.
I started taking sublingual (under the tongue) B vitamins. This bypasses the GI tract and allows for absorption. I have not had any cheilitis for more than a year and a half. I also started a gluten-free diet that has stopped my IBS symptoms.
After 20 years of symptoms and countless doctors, one nutritionist knew the answers.
A. Angular cheilitis (also called perleche) can be extremely painful. We have heard from people who were healed when they corrected their vitamin D deficiency. Low levels of zinc, iron or B vitamins, especially riboflavin, are also thought to contribute to this problem.
Not everyone with IBS will benefit from a gluten-free diet, but it may well be worth a try. First, sufferers should discuss the possibility of celiac disease with their primary care provider. Going gluten free prior to testing for celiac disease could throw off the accuracy of the test and contribute to a delay in diagnosis. Some people who do not have celiac disease are sensitive to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. They also benefit from adopting a gluten-free diet, just as you have.