top of page

Common Questions About Medical Expenses: Nutrition, Wellness, and General Health

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Understanding which medical expenses are tax-deductible can be confusing, especially when it comes to nutrition, wellness, and general health. To help clarify these deductions, we've compiled answers to some frequently asked questions based on information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Keep in mind that tax laws may change, so it's essential to consult with a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

  • Are weight-loss programs tax-deductible?

Weight-loss programs may be tax-deductible if they are prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific disease or ailment, such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease. However, programs aimed solely at improving general health or appearance are not deductible.

  • Can I deduct the cost of nutritional supplements?

Generally, the cost of nutritional supplements, vitamins, and herbal supplements are not tax-deductible, as they are considered general health aids. However, if a doctor prescribes specific supplements to treat a diagnosed medical condition, these expenses may be deductible.

  • Are gym memberships and exercise equipment tax-deductible?

Gym memberships and exercise equipment are typically not tax-deductible, as they are considered expenses for general health improvement. However, if a doctor prescribes these items as part of a treatment plan for a specific medical condition, you may be able to deduct the costs. For example, physical therapy to treat an injury can be paid or reimbursed using an FSA, HSA, Archer MSA, or HRA. Alternatively, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, obesity, or heart disease, gym costs can also be written off through these same tax advantaged medical accounts.

  • Can I deduct the expenses for a stop-smoking program?

Yes, the costs of a stop-smoking program are tax-deductible as a medical expense if you have a diagnosis for tobacco use disorder. However, the cost of over-the-counter nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum, is not deductible unless prescribed by a doctor.

  • Are expenses related to childbirth tax-deductible?

Expenses related to childbirth are deductible. However, costs associated with general parenting or child-rearing classes are not deductible.

  • Can I deduct the cost of a gluten-free diet if I have celiac disease?

If you have a medically diagnosed condition, such as celiac disease, that requires you to follow a gluten-free diet, you may be able to deduct the additional costs of purchasing gluten-free foods. To calculate the deductible amount, subtract the cost of a regular food item from the cost of the gluten-free alternative. Keep in mind that you must retain receipts and documentation to substantiate your claim.

  • Are expenses for alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic treatments, tax-deductible?

Yes, expenses for alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic treatments may be deductible if they are recommended by a medical professional as part of a treatment plan for a specific medical condition.

  • Can I deduct the cost of a health screening?

Health screenings, such as those for cholesterol, annual vision and dental exams, blood pressure, or cancer, are generally tax-deductible if they are conducted to diagnose or monitor a specific medical condition. Preventative screenings may also be deductible under certain circumstances. Consult with a tax professional to determine eligibility.


Navigating the complex world of tax-deductible medical expenses related to nutrition, wellness, and general health can be challenging. To ensure you make the most of your deductions and minimize your tax liability, it's essential to consult with an experienced tax professional who can provide accurate and up-to-date guidance.

At Iota Finance, our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the intricacies of tax deductions and maximize your savings. To get personalized advice tailored to your unique situation, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists.


bottom of page