Gluten Free Diet and Arthritis | Allergy

Gluten Free Diet and Arthritis

by Allergy Guy

Arthritis is generally thought of as “painful joints”.  The connection between a gluten free diet and the reduction of arthritis is very interesting.

While a gluten free diet does not help everybody with all types of arthritis, it is certainly the magic bullet for many, if only they knew it.

Arthritis – What Is It?

Arthritis is a collection of diseases that primarily affect the joints.

There are many types of arthritis – over 100.  Some types are a result of an injury to the joint, or an infection.  “Wearing out the joint” seems to play a big part for many people.

Another type of cause for arthritis is autoimmune disease.  This is where the gluten free diet comes in.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease

Certain types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, are the result of an autoimmune disease, where your body’s immune system attacks your own body.  As counter-productive as it sounds, autoimmune diseases are relatively common.

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the autoimmune disease associated with it attacks the joint lining  and cartilage, causing pain and deformation of the joints.

Conventional wisdom states that there is no known cause of rheumatoid arthritis. 

In fact, there is a very sizable proportion of people with rheumatoid arthritis who have a very directly related cause: celiac disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Beyond Joints

Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than just the joints.  The autoimmune disease that drives it also affects other organs in the body.  Examples are reduced output of tear glands and saliva glands (Sjögren’s/Sjogren’s syndrome), and inflammation around the heart and lungs (serositis).

Celiac Disease, Gluten Free, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

For a significant number of people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, the force driving the autoimmune condition is celiac disease.  One study found that 26% of rheumatoid arthritis patients had celiac disease. 

That study was a while ago.  Celiac disease is better understood, and there are better and more sensitive tests for detecting celiac disease.  No doubt the same study today would show an even higher proportion of rheumatoid arthritis patients with celiac disease.

Curing Rheumatoid Arthritis With a Gluten Free Diet

If you have celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis, going on a gluten free diet is likely to cure the arthritis.  The existing damage may not be reversed, but it should prevent any further damage.

How do you know if you have celiac disease? 

The fact that you have rheumatoid arthritis is your first clue.

You can get tested for celiac disease.  This is a good idea, although not all tests for celiac disease are 100% accurate.

The best advice I can give you is to cut gluten from your diet and see what happens.

There is lots of information about the gluten free diet and gluten allergy on this website.

Good luck with your arthritis and gluten free diet.

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1 Billie J Wade Hord September 29, 2014 at 21:16

I have been on a GF diet for over 25 yrs and have not had joint pains until recently. I am having pain in my right hip, helped only by
cold ice packs and pain pills; sleeping only four hrs at night.


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