Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition where the heart muscle becomes inflamed and the heart does not pump properly.
There is a little-known connection between cardiomyopathy and gluten. It is called celiac disease. While not the cause in the majority of cardiomyopathy cases, gluten and celiac disease is a significant cause of cardiomyopathy.
There are three types of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive.
Cardiomyopathy can be caused by infection. It can also be caused by autoimmune disorders. In the second case it is called myocarditis.
Cardiomyopathy symptoms include shortness of breath, swollen angles, palpitations (fluttering) in the chest, and chest pain.
Cardiomyopathy is generally treated with drugs. But of course Cardiomyopathy is not caused by the deficiency of a patented medicine.
It turns out that dilated cardiomyopathy can be caused by celiac disease, an adverse reaction to gluten. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a form of congestive heart failure.
One study found that 5.7% of patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy have celiac disease.
In these cases, a gluten-free diet may reverse symptoms. Myocarditis may also improve with a gluten free diet in some cases. One study showed that 4.4% of myocarditis patients had celiac disease. All patients in the study with celiac disease improved when put on a gluten-free diet.
So is a gluten-free diet the magic bullet to treat cardiomyopathy patients? It would appear that in the majority of cases, the answer is no. On the other hand, since cutting out gluten is in no way harmful to anyone, it is well worth trying a gluten-free diet.
Certainly in a significant number of cases – 4 to 6 per cent, gluten is the underlying cause of cardiomyopathy.
In these cases, not only does a gluten-free diet deal with the cardiomyopathy problem, it also deals with many other potential or actual problems that the patient may be experiencing, or will experience, such as bloating, being under-weight, a general feeling of being unwell etc.
Just as gluten can cause cardiomyopathy in some celiac patients, it can equally affect any major organ in an equally catastrophic way.