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Arthritis and Celiac Disease

Arthritis may be an allergic response to materials in the food supply. Diet revision may be helpful in reducing the activity of inflammatory arthritis and in some instances may halt the progression of the disease. There are many patterns of arthritis. A group of related joint and connective disorders have been called rheumatic diseases. All these diseases are immune-mediated, and all are expressions of inflammation in connective tissues. Inflammation damages joints and surrounding tissues resulting in loss of function and deformities. Variations in the patterns of these diseases reflect the many possibilities for immune damage to disturb and distort structure and function. Severity ranges from mildly painful, chronic activity to drastic, disabling disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, often severe and disabling, is the dominant rheumatic disease that can attack all joints in the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often considered to be an autoimmune disease. Our idea is that no disease is just internally generated and must involve outside contributions. Arthritis is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease. The mechanisms of food allergy link abnormal Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) function with immune attacks on connective tissue. In all arthritic patients, normal GIT function should be rigorously sought by adaptive dietary adjustments.

Simple allergic arthritis is a definite entity that is often not recognized as a food allergy. Typically, a dramatic, acute, and painful swelling develops in one or more joints asymmetrically. Eating a food, either an unusual food eaten for the first time or sometimes a regular food eaten in excess usually brings on the joint inflammation. This presentation is similar to and often confused with gout. Any food can cause allergic arthritis. Staple foods such as milk, eggs, and wheat (rye, oats, barley), coffee, beef, pork, and food additives are the most common food triggers. Carinini and Brostroff reviewed the concepts of and evidence for food-induced arthritis. They stated:

Despite an increasing interest in food allergy and the conviction of innumerable patients with joint disease that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms, relatively little scientific attention has been paid to this relationship. Abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract are commonly found in rheumatic disease...Support for an intestinal origin of antigens comes from studies of patients whose joint symptoms have improved on the avoidance of certain foods antigens, and become worse on consuming them. These have included patients with both intermittent symptoms, palindromic rheumatism and more chronic disease.

In another study, 33 of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis improved significantly on a hypoallergenic diet. The authors concluded: Increasing numbers of scientific studies suggest that dietary manipulation may help at least some rheumatoid patients and perhaps the greatest need now is for more careful and well-designed research so that preconceptions may be put aside and role of diet, as a specific or even a nonspecific adjunctive therapy, may be determined.

Unfortunately, dairy products, wheat and its close relatives, oats, barley, and rye, have proved to be a major problem in the diets of our patients. There are many possible reasons for cereal grains to become pathogenic. Hypersensitivity mechanisms triggered by grain proteins, collectively called Gluten, are the likely cause of the illnesses related to intake of cereal grains. Gluten is a mixture of individual proteins classified in two groups, the Prolamines and the Glutelins. The prolamine fraction of gluten concerns us the most when grain intolerance is suspected. The prolamine, Gliadin, seems to be a problem in celiac disease; gliadin antibodies are commonly found in the immune complexes associated with this disease. Recently marketed grains, spelt and kamut, are wheat variants (despite claims to the contrary) and are likely to cause problems similar to other wheat varieties.

A wheat gluten mechanism has been studied in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The clinical observation is that wheat ingestion is followed within hours by increased joint swelling and pain. Little and his colleagues studied the mechanism, as it developed sequentially following gluten ingestion. Dr. Parke and colleagues concurred with this explanation of the gut-arthritis link in their report of three patients with celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The mechanism involves several stages:

  • GIT must be permeable to antigenic proteins or peptide fragments, derived from digested gluten.
  • The food antigens appear in the blood stream and are bound by a specific antibody (probably of IgA or IgG, not IgE class), forming an antigen-antibody complex, a circulating immune complex (CIC).
  • The antigen-antibody complex then activates the rest of the immune response, beginning with the release of mediators - serotonin is released from the blood platelets.
  • Serotonin release causes symptoms as it circulates in the blood stream and enhances the deposition of CICs in joint tissues.

Once in the joint, the immune complexes activate complement, which in turn damages cells and activates inflammation. More inflammation results in more pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility.

Arthritis is usually treated with salicylates or related anti-inflammatory drugs generally referred to as NSAIDs. These drugs alleviate the terrible pain of active arthritis but do not favorably affect the outcome of the disease. All anti-arthritic medication can produce asthma or chronic rhinitis and a variety of allergic skin rashes. Gastrointestinal surface irritation, bleeding, and ulceration are routine problems of anti-arthritic medication.

The first attack of joint swelling and pain should be treated as an urgent problem to be solved. Inflammation may damage joints. Often NSAIDs and physiotherapy are the only treatments prescribed and inflammation is given every opportunity to ravage tissues. We have seen countless patients, just treated with NSAIDs, who progressed rapidly to a severe disabling disease, often with poor pain control. In unlucky patients, severe deformities of joints accumulate in the first few months of a severe attack. There is a trend to recommend more aggressive treatments, using drugs that impair the immune response. The best drug is prednisone, but it is seldom used because it has long-term side effects which scare both physicians and patients. Prednisone is often a magic drug that relieves terrible pain and suffering often in the first 48 hours of therapy. Beyond prednisone, there is a grab bag of immune suppressant drugs to treat arthritis-chloroquine, penicillamine, gold and methotrexate have emerged as the favored drug therapies. All these drugs have impressive side effects and great potential for toxicity.

Our preference is to try to stop the inflammatory activity as soon as possible with diet revision. All inflammation is likened to a fire. You get out the fire-extinguishers and go to work. No matter what pattern the immune attack assumes, our standard defense can be tried first. The Core Program method of diet revision is used. Food is replaced with an elemental nutrient formula, ENFood, for a clearing period of 10 to 20 days. Prednisone and/or NSAIDs are drug options during the clearing period and then the dosage is reduced after pain and swelling have subsided. Improvement is followed by slow food reintroduction (see Core Program). Each returning food is carefully screened for arthritis- triggering effects. You hope that food allergy caused the problem and that food control can be successful controlling the disease in the long- term. Nothing is lost by taking this approach and complete control of the disease can sometimes be obtained. If strict food control proves to be inadequate, then other drug treatments can be instituted.

End Notes/Sources:

  • Carinini C, Brostroff J. Gut and joint disease. Annals of Allergy 1985;55:624-625.
  • Darlington et al. Lancet Feb 1 1986;236-238.
  • Keiffer M et al. Wheat gliadin fractions and other cereal antigens reactive with antibodies in the sera of of celiac patients. Clin Exp Immunol 1982;50:651-60.
  • Little C, Stewart AG, Fennesy MR. Platelet serotonin release in rheumatoid arthritis: a study in food intolerant patients. Lancet 1983;297-9.
  • Parke AI et al. Celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Annals of Rheum Dis 1984;43:378-380.
  • Voorneveld CR, Rubin LA Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: early use is better. Medicine North Amer. Oct 1991 3177-3184.

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60 Responses:

 
Nelda Fletcher
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said this on
01 Nov 2007 9:01:31 AM PST
My daughter suffers from celiac and rheumatoid arthritis, and I read anything I can on this subject. She has recently changed rheumatologists, and this doctor suspects that her arthritis is food-related. When she was diagnosed 13 years ago, there was no information on this connection, so I'm grateful that this is being studied!

 
mayra
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said this on
28 Jul 2009 11:40:40 AM PST
was her RA food-related? i didn't even know that excisted. thank you.

 
liz thornber
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said this on
22 Dec 2007 3:31:54 AM PST
Good article, where can I get information on the core plan in your article, as I have celiac disease and chronic arthritis?

 
Marybeth
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said this on
30 Sep 2012 8:20:44 PM PST
Try reading "Wheat Belly", written by a doctor. I have arthritis and suffer from constant joint inflammation. I'm also addicted to wheat products and sugar. I've been noticing that when I eat certain foods, my inflammation flares up badly. I am going to go wheat-free and see how I feel. Good luck to you.

PS - my physical therapist recommended this book - said it's terrific. He suffered from terrible arthritis, and his wife had debilitating knee pain most of her life. Her pain is barely there now, as is his, because they have been wheat-free for several years. I am very curious about this and want to learn.

 
Afifah
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said this on
04 Jan 2013 1:26:24 PM PST
I just want to say that it isn't enough just to be wheat-free Marybeth, you must be gluten-free i.e. no wheat, rye, barley or oats, and on top of that keep all other carbohydrates to a minimum, including potatoes, rice, quinoa, buckwheat etc. Though they are gluten-free there is evidence that simply high carb foods are inflammatory. Obviously that includes all sorts of sugars, including honey and maple syrup, which I should have mentioned too. Do it properly and you will reap the benefits.

 
Emma
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said this on
02 Jun 2014 12:29:34 PM PST
Afifah I fully agree. After a while one recognises the paste like quality of the food as poison. Even sweet potatoes, tapioca and chestnuts are problematic. For years I tried to fool myself that wheat re-placer was ok, but it isn't. One has to change one's diet to a much simpler paleo style. We recently found cheesecake sans sugar made with an almond base, cream cheese and gelatin and topped with fresh or frozen berries delicious as a healthy birthday treat. It has a lovely rich quality. Giving up baked goods is a big one. Also I agree regarding sugar, honey etc.
When giving up sugars there will be dizzy periods where one will feel panicked and needing to eat sugar. My advice is to try exercise and then to eat a small amount of white rice with one's food. Cutting out all carbs can be very stressful. Also I have discovered Tai Chi as a way to relieve the joint pain.
specifically the flicking swinging chi exercises.
The other thing I like to mention is something I'm suffering right now which is a painful flareup from literally a lick of gluten paste in the form of caramel sauce. I have been strictly gluten free for about six months and that tiniest lick was like dynamite. That's why I am here I suppose. I had the works: five days of complete shut down of the bowel. Pain in the gut, hives all over, and now the arthritic elbows, knees, fingers and toes and excruciating wrists. The caramel didn't even taste that nice even if it had been made by a famous chef, (groan).

 
jennifer
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said this on
07 Jan 2008 8:12:23 PM PST
After countless doctors visits with little help I have come to the conclusion that I most likely have celiac disease. I have taken myself off gluten while my new rheumatologist confirms this diagnosis. While conducting my own research I have found that many celiacs have a low B12 level causing anemia and many of the problems associated with celiacs. I have been taking 100% Himylain goji juice (no I do not sell it) and have experienced great relief from the symptoms. It is expensive but it has been well worth the cost. I suggest anyone with joint and muscle pain to try it. I have tried some of the less expensive generic brands but the don't seem to work. It is amazing the roller coaster ride I have been on for the last year and I am so thankful that there is so much information available on the internet. If not for the web I think I would still be in a great deal of pain and not able to function from day to day.

 
Lizz
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said this on
04 Jul 2011 9:53:14 AM PST
PLEASE go back on your gluten they can NOT diagnose you is yo are gluten free it needs to be in your body for a correct diagnoses. Look up the celiac diagnosis pages and it will explain.

 
Theresa Schaefer
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said this on
19 Oct 2011 10:16:32 AM PST
My husband was on gluten and the blood test was negative yet WE went gluten free and 4 days later the 25 lbs. of water he was carrying left. It is a digestive problem and that is why it rarely shows up in the blood. As its not a blood problem.

 
Cerise
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said this on
16 Jun 2013 1:12:36 PM PST
I would like to know more about what Theresa Schaefer commented on. You said your husband went gluten free and in 4 days lost 25 lbs of water? What? Tell me more. I was thinking I had gout at one time and the doctors thought gouty arthritis. Then they said they thought something more was going on and that was the end of that. Anyway, now my ankles swell up as big as softballs & my feet are as big as mens rubber boots.I feel like my skin is going to tear & the pain is ridiculous.Tried water pills and all I did was pee. The only thing that makes them go down is sleep & then it starts all over again from sitting all day.

 
Cat
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said this on
19 Mar 2012 1:32:23 PM PST
Even if not diagnosed with celiac you can still be gluten intolerant and have the same problems. My daughter had problems for years, she was so sick and in pain. We tested everything. When she spent a week with her cousin who has celiac and ate like her all week, my daughter's symptoms vanished. I was just diagnosed with RA and I think I am going to go gluten free as well.

 
Ellen
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said this on
01 Feb 2008 9:45:15 AM PST
Well done!!! As a person with personal and hereditary Celiac and Rheumatoid Arthritis and as a professional who often assists others with these conditions via homeopathy & diet I know the info out there well. Yours is the best, most comprehensive article I've seen. Wish you would suggest seeing a qualified alternative practitioner - homeopath, ND, herbalist... whatever a person feels will help them best, in addition to diet. Best, Ellen

 
Oliver Mendez
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said this on
18 Apr 2008 7:14:21 AM PST
Good article! I'm celiac and I didn't know that arthritis was related to this...thanks.

 
Anna Dzondzua
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said this on
30 Apr 2008 6:02:45 AM PST
Great article, thank You very much for this. I'll send it to my son's rheumatologist. Pity that in our country celiac is completely ignored...

 
Helen
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said this on
04 May 2008 6:45:54 PM PST
I found out that I have the celiac disease three years ago. I watch my diet carefully to avoid gluten. Last fall after being on a trip in which I walked allot, I had pain in my knees. I didn't know that it had anything to do with the celiac disease. In March I took another trip in which I walked a lot. My knees have been hurting allot. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. I'm glad I read this article - I'm going to print it and show him. Thanks!

 
Kathy
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said this on
10 Jun 2008 10:56:18 PM PST
I have celiac and thought I was doing well on my diet until joint pain in my hands, elbows, knees and feet slowly joined in about six months ago. Good to read this info.

 
Kung Fu Man
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said this on
11 Jun 2008 8:04:47 AM PST
Firstly, great article. I have been suffering for about 2.5 years now and the medical system failed me. I have done a lot of self research and thanks to articles like this I have learned that my pain (knees, elbows, ankles, wrists, shortness of breath, bloating etc.) is due to my diet. I have eliminated dairy, soy, gluten and eggs in the past week or so and I am feeling a lot of relief. I am planning to take a food intolerance test soon to confirm. Thanks again and best wishes to all.

 
Patricia Coxhead
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said this on
03 Jul 2008 4:28:18 AM PST
What an excellent article. I have been diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatism and it is now under control with eliminating Gluten from my diet.

 
Stewart Edgington
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said this on
01 Aug 2008 11:47:31 AM PST
About one year ago I developed psoriatic arthritis. I pointed this out to my internist who insisted that I just was having discomfort with osteoarthritis. I pointed to all the appropriate symptoms and correlations and so she looked it up and asked one more question. Then she said, 'oh, you have psoriatic arthritis.' I was sent to a rheumatologist who wanted to put me on methotrexate. I have type I diabetes and did not feel I needed any addition suppression of my immune system. Then I a new client came into my office. She is a widow whose husband had had rheumatoid arthritis. She is a widow because of the methotrexate. I have two sisters with full blown celiac disease. So I consulted a naturopathic doctor. She suggested several possibilities including an auto immune response to gluten. I tried going gluten free and my symptoms have decreased by about 90%. Any time I have inadvertently consumed even a tiny amount of gluten the arthritis returns. Then this past Sunday I decided to test a single beer. Alas, the symptoms returned severely for two days and only now, 5 days latter am I approaching becoming symptom free again. I suspect there are other things I should eliminate but gluten seem to be the monster for me.

 
rob secker
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said this on
08 Oct 2008 2:32:50 PM PST
Very helpful...I have just been diagnosed with Celaic and after two days gluten free my joint pain has improved greatly

 
Paul R. Dierks
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said this on
29 Oct 2008 7:01:39 PM PST
Anyone with passion cannot be ignored for a noble effort. You all will soon learn my name. Sheer genetic dietary evolution and genetic markers do not lie. The riddle is solved. My apologies if I offend the Vegans, but we are evolved carnivore. Not omnivore. We eat herbivore and fish. Without these accurate proteins, we as a species will suffer. This will no longer be hidden.With just the 2 markers of DQ2 and 8 make up nearly 40% of the USA. They now have at least 10 markers that are known gluten intolerant. DQ1 through 9 and a possible HLA A24. The only thing that can kill me is glutonite!Any nutritionist will tell you, mimic the diet of the bear, only add potato and rice! Follow the diet of your evolutionary origins. Paul R. Dierks. Proud celiac!

 
Linda
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said this on
03 Mar 2009 12:15:57 AM PST
I am finding that diet is such an important factor in solving health issues. I have become lactose intolerant in my middle years. I have found that my three children are all lactose sensitive. Two of my brother's children have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease. My sister who helped our family identify our lactose issues has gone gluten free. I am seeing that there may be more than dairy issues with me as I hit my funny bone in the summer and now 7 months later I still have 'tennis elbow'. After reading this article I will be watching carefully to see what happens to my elbow pain as I cut out the gluten.

 
Christie
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said this on
08 Mar 2009 7:11:34 PM PST
I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis two years ago. I was in so much pain and suffered for 18 months. I am was on Enbrel and Methrotrexate. They helped but did not do enough. I soon realized I also had Candida and went on a strict diet - no sugars, no gluten for 6 months. Alas, the pain went away, my chronic fatigue disappeared! I got my life back! In the past 3 months, I have added just a little bit of sugar back - mostly in the form of fructose. I also experimented with bringing back the gluten and every time I did the aches and the flair-ups came back. No doctor ever told me to consider eliminating gluten to help my arthritis during the first 18 months of misery! Cutting out the gluten and the night shade vegetables (which I did too) has been life changing! Anyone with arthritis needs to give it a try. This is a great article. I wish I had read it 2 years ago.

 
Anna
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said this on
12 Aug 2009 1:03:10 PM PST
Is the nightshade thing an absolute???

 
Bill Harding
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said this on
23 Mar 2012 9:56:50 AM PST
Absolutely YES! Many years ago, thirty plus years, I heard this and experimented, Tomatoes are the worst, and Green Peppers, I feel badly for days if I consume these. Potatoes are alright for me used sparingly. Any acidic fruits also make me feel bad for days, including oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons. I once ate some cookies with a lemon glaze on top and felt bad two days later. I can use some wine watered down 1/2 is tolerable but other beers and alcohols do affect me at times. I have arthritis really bad, have had 6 operations due to arthritis, and replacement joints, and still suffering, GET on a gluten-free diet, good luck you all.

 
Paula Mann
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said this on
24 Apr 2012 8:22:26 PM PST
I would say you should try giving up the nightshades and see if it applies to you.
I am ANA and rheumatoid factor negative but positive for the anti-CCP test and have elevated C Reactive Protein for at least 5 yrs. In 2002, I was positive for celiac on blood test and got rid of 30 yrs of irritable bowel when I gave up gluten.
I also have received considerable relief from joint and muscle pain and stiffness by giving up gluten. If I get contaminated or cheat I really pay for it.
Recently I thought about nightshades and decided to try giving them up. Within a few days my joints were feeling looser and moved more freely. I tried eating tomato sauce again and before too many hours my fingers felt fat and achey. Tonight I ate potato salad which I have missed and my feet are feeling swollen and itching. I used to eat nightshades every day in some form, but when I am off them for a week or so I really start to feel like my old self. There is RA in both of my parents families.
My daughter who is also celiac, has ulcerative colitis and throat burning has given up the nightshades and she has gotten rid of most of that reflux-like feeling of inflammation in her throat.

 
Tess

said this on
31 Oct 2013 9:09:54 AM PST
My daughter has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as well and also has GERD, she has never been told she has celiac, however, they tell her that she cannot eat fiber. So, if you have celiac with ulcerative colitis - what kind of a diet would you eat. She also has a lot of knee pain.

 
merryweather
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said this on
08 Jun 2009 2:03:29 AM PST
Taking proteolytic enzymes, such as Wobenzym, or serrapeptase or nattokinase can also help eliminate unwanted protein fragments and circulating immune complexes. There has been quite a lot of research into this. People suffer less pain after taking proteolytic enzymes instead of NSAIDs for these conditions. I can testify to this from personal experience. I have a little arthritis in one hand and am now trying a bread-free experiment to see if this helps.

 
Anna
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said this on
12 Aug 2009 12:58:53 PM PST
Did this regime help you? I have severe RA and now after being on Enbrel and Methotrexate for over a year am looking for another answer besides these toxic drugs. Also, I have had severe cramping the past 4 months and am trying an experiment today. Please let me know how it helped you.

 
Michelle
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said this on
15 Sep 2009 9:55:28 AM PST
I've had severe RA from the onset, nearly nine years ago. I've been on nearly every drug out there for RA, most recently a combo of Enbrel and Mobic, which worked amazingly. I'd been told repeatedly that stress contributes greatly to the severity of RA, but didn't really believe it much, till I switched jobs nearly a year ago. Since then I have been able to slowly go off of the Enbrel, while adding Omega-3's to help control the symptoms. It worked great until about a month ago (month 5 of no Enbrel). I have also had severe allergies most of my life, I broke out with a serious rash yesterday and have an appointment with my PCP later today. I'm planning to ask about a correlation with celiac or other food allergy. I have a good friend who was diagnosed with celiac about two years ago, and hadn't known about it before then, but after researching it have wondered if maybe that's been my problem all along. Does anyone know if an elevated SED rate is linked to celiac?

 
Lisa M
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said this on
18 Feb 2011 8:26:48 PM PST
Elevated SED (aka. ESR) is a very NON-SPECIFIC indicator of inflammation. While it can detect inflammation in the body, it does not detect the source of that inflammation.

If the inflammation associated with celiac is severe enough, then it can cause an elevated ESR.

 
melissa
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said this on
20 Jun 2012 6:08:02 PM PST
I am celiac and lactose intolerant. PLEASE do NOT take these dangerous meds. No one knows the long term effects. Look up the story of Jordan Rubin. He is totally healed from Chron's Disease by eating raw whole foods and enzymes. Talk to health food store owners, etc. Do your own research and save your life and so many others.

 
bill
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said this on
01 Jul 2009 6:23:56 PM PST
Specific Carbohydrate Diet -- Check in out -- It works -- Whole food diet -- No gluten, no grains, no sugars, no starches. Eat whole, natural meats, vegetables and fruits.

 
Linda
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said this on
06 Jul 2009 8:35:34 AM PST
It was February since I came upon this article for my severe elbow pain. With in 3-4 days of changing my diet, my pain was 90% better.
I had been suffering for 7 months and came upon this article in the night when I could not sleep because of the pain. I painted my daughter's room on President's Day and didn't think till the next day that my elbow didn't hurt. In addition I had what I called a brain fog where I was so scattered and forgetful that I thought I was in the early stages of memory loss. I was anxious and worried more than I use to be. Now I seem to have more clarity again. I did not test high on a blood test for celiac yet still had symptoms. The last thing I wanted to do was change my diet especially after being told by my sister that I might have some concerns. Her blood test was insignificant as well but had high numbers on a stool test. She changed her 4 year old son's diet as he had very aggressive behavior. He is now a pleasant yet still active child after finding additional corn, soy, sugar and additive triggers in addition to gluten and lactose.
I know I keep going on but there is more. In March we found that I am pregnant! An unexpected blessing! I am 45 and our youngest is 7 years old. We have been relying on 'timing' for birth control and all of the sudden I change my diet and I'm pregnant. I do have a history of endometriosis, which is inflammatory. I have been sensitive to wheat in my previous pregnancies but never thought to exclude it from my diet. I usually vomit the first 3-4 months of pregnancy with a revisit to pukesville about every two weeks until delivery. I have not thrown up even once. Just lucky? I'm not going back to gluten to test it. It's not worth the health risks to me or the baby. I'm also interested to see if this baby will be a 10lb or 10lb + like my last two. Lots of speculation on my part but the results cannot be ignored.

 
Mechal Sobel
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said this on
17 Nov 2009 9:20:18 AM PST
I think this is a fine article. The notes mention an article by Gail Darlington, however I strongly recommend Darlington's book DIET AND ARTHRITIS: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO CONTROLLING ARTHRITIS THROUGH DIET. Darlington details the way in which to test your reactions to foods, and build a healthy individualized diet, a way that proved very successful for me.

 
Doreen
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said this on
26 Nov 2009 7:26:41 AM PST
Great site...so informative.

 
George D.M.
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said this on
05 Feb 2010 11:42:59 AM PST
Excellent information, great site.
Oats, kidney bean and Beer flares up my joint pain. I will have stiff finger and palm, starts with left hand first and then right foot. If we keep off these items then there will be no pain.

 
Sheree Leonard
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said this on
09 Feb 2010 8:24:28 PM PST
I was also suffering from elbow pain and then pain in my hip. I had attended several sessions of physical therapy and was not buying the arthritis diagnosis. After eliminating gluten from my diet for one week I noticed a difference; I was healed! I tried the gluten based foods again and even a small amount triggered the pain again. I have shared this information with everyone who has been having problems. Thank you for sharing this information. These testimonies confirm my beliefs. Thank You.

 
Teri Tossey
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said this on
23 Mar 2010 1:34:24 PM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 7 years ago after being anemic for about 35 years. I thought I had a lactose intolerance but when I went gluten free, the lactose intolerance went away. I do have some type of arthritis that causes swelling that comes and goes. However being gluten free has not helped the swelling problem so I wonder if another food group could be causing it. No doctor has been able to figure it out but then again they haven't tested me for any other food intolerance. (Being gluten free did get rid of my anemia.) Any suggestions?

 
RoyNJ
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said this on
02 Apr 2010 8:04:13 AM PST
To test allergy to wheat or dairy ELIMINATE IT ALL with an ''ELIMINATION DIET'' of only SWEET POTATOES for a few days, they are filling and usually safe.

Then add back a food per day and see what happens.
Read Eat To Live book, they are anti-wheat mostly and anti-dairy. Or try a RAW FOODS vegetarian diet, it cures many things too.

 
Crystal
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said this on
24 Aug 2010 5:05:42 AM PST
My 4 year old son is suffering with swelling in the knees and ankles.. other symptoms include swollen eyes and dark circles. Neck pain and stiffness as well. I am going to try this and see what happens. He already avoids Dairy. Thanks for sharing!

 
Carolyn
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said this on
25 Oct 2010 6:11:15 PM PST
My husband has been on a strict gluten-free diet ever since being diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago. Now he was recently diagnosed with RA! He is terrified of the drugs they want to put him on. But seriously, more dietary restrictions? I can't even imagine -- the poor man already watches everything he eats and is so limited! Ugh. This is just depressing.

 
gord
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said this on
03 Jan 2012 7:22:13 PM PST
Get him on Minocycline ASAP!! www.roadback.org they saved my life!

 
stephanie
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said this on
02 Nov 2010 7:22:44 PM PST
Very interesting

 
jyothikumar.k iyer
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said this on
11 Feb 2011 9:42:25 AM PST
Excellent article apart from persons suffering from celiac disease even normal medical practitioners need to read this lest they do not keep prescribing pain killers instead of chaning the diet and relieving the pain of patients.

 
Allen
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said this on
02 Mar 2011 5:41:20 AM PST
This article confirmed what I have been suffering for years without knowing the cause. I start my day with a cup and a half of oatmeal and suffer form knee joint aches and taking acetaminiphen whenever there is a flare up. stopped eating oats knee joints are fine.

 
Susan
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said this on
20 Mar 2011 1:04:15 AM PST
I discovered this link 2 years ago on the net and everyone thought I was mad! So pleased that it is becoming more well recognized. On the whole I have improved but am looking into other potential allergens with a naturopath. Feels good to read these articles.

 
Sarah Calcagno
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said this on
08 Jun 2011 8:34:08 AM PST
At age 45, I was healthy, slightly above average in weight and in fair health. I had just entered nursing school and found that I could not lift my arm. Strange! Weeks later, I could not walk as the pain was so acute on both feet. I was soon diagnosed with R/A and my Rheumatologist placed me on a daily regimen of Methotrexate and Folic Acid (Folic Acid protects the liver and should always be taken with Methotrexate). The medication allowed me my mobility again, but did not eliminate much of the pain and swelling. Sadly, I was forced to leave nursing school.

Last year in 2010 (three years later), I began changing my diet. I eliminated beef, pork, most nightshades, and most processed foods. This reduced the pain and swelling further. Then I began aerobic exercising 2-4 times a week, working up to 45 minutes per session while greatly increasing my water intake. This reduced things further. In October, 2010, I additionally began a gluten-free diet. Since November, 2010, (seven months now) I have been off of the Methotrexate all together, and drug free. Traditionally, this would signify only a temporary period of remission in R/A, however; with what we now know about maintaining a TOTAL health program, I think the odds of sustaining a remission period for a decade or more are greatly increased, and may even significantly reduce the long term effects and outcome of disease progression, both for celiac and R/A.

My recommendation for others would be to incorporate a total health program of:
1. daily AEROBIC exercise, increasing time length as able.
2. water (four to six 8 oz bottles per day),
3. reduce beef, pork, dairy, eggs, and nightshades
4. go gluten-free
5. get 8-9 hours of sleep per day if possible.
6. recommend having several positive, social external interests and goals to help motivate oneself, help others, and add meaning/purpose/joy to living.

Having now graduated at age 50 with a bachelor's in business, my new goals are to continue on towards a graduate degree and on a person health note....reduce my sugar intake to possibly eliminate the occasional slight remaining swelling and minor discomfort. What a phenomenal relief from being formerly unable to walk under excruciating pain!

 
Liliana
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said this on
23 Nov 2013 9:20:17 PM PST
Thanks for all your recommendations and your encouragement. You really gave a complete program on what a person suffering from autoimmune diseases must follow. I loved point 5. as I myself have experienced how important an uninterrupted sleep is, specially if done in the first night hours and in complete darkness

 
Lizz
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said this on
04 Jul 2011 9:58:22 AM PST
I think I have celiac and I am ANGRY my doctors have not mentioned this to me I have a GP doctor I have IBS and I have have several test I have RA and I have terrible stomach pain. I am not to the point where I can not eat at all. Anything I eat make me hurt I end up in a ball in pain. I have diarrhea or I am constipated and I was in tears when I read you wrote the book cereal kills. I LIVE off of cereal I love it and for some reason I do not hurt after I eat it well lets say it doesn't seem like it the pain comes later so it must take awhile to effect me. I am in tears reading an writing this I NEED help I am losing weight I am so depressed I need someone to diagnose me so I can get my life back.

 
Ace Gil

said this on
07 May 2013 7:40:09 AM PST
I so understand you! I too went through this... I was diagnosed with mesenteric panniculitis, osteoarthritis, and celiac disease. I have eliminated most nightshades from my diet, and all wheat and gluten containing products. No bread. No pizza. No cookies (I used to be a cookie monster! No pastries!). I discovered Rudi's gluten-free bread, and gluten free peanut butter. I discovered CHEX cereal, which is gluten-free (GF). I discovered the Schar products which are delicious. I discovered Glutino's chocolate cookies which are just like Oreos! And I added a lot of Mediterranean foods to my diet (lentils, garbanzo beans, rice, hummus). I discovered Heartland pasta, which is delicious and gluten-free. I started to eat more fruit and green veggies. I limited the soda and eliminated the wine. Limited the fatty cheeses and switched to gluten-free cheese (do your research!) And I am 90% better! You ought to try! Snack foods like Cheetos, Frito Lays, Tostitos, and Hershey bars are gluten-free. Do not eat gluten! I no longer curl up in a ball. Change your diet, and you will see!! Good luck to you.

 
Robyn Grey
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said this on
01 Aug 2013 6:55:15 PM PST
Liz, this is in case no-one has replied. From all that I have read people usually crave those foods that are making them ill. Organic foods are expensive but it is usually what is done to the food and the chemical used in the processing that make us ill. Raw Garlic, Raw Ginger, Ceylon Cinnamon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Raw Coconut Oil, and local Raw Honey and Black Strap Molasses (not sulphur treated) are all ingredients that should help your tummy to heal. Coconut oil has amazing health properties and cooking with it will not produce trans fats. Your body will be deprived of the essential nutrients it needs. You could also add a little rock salt, turmeric and some cayenne pepper for seasoning. The foods above are filled with nutrients. If you use sugar make it raw sugar. The white sugar and salt that are available in supermarkets are chemically treated and have their nutrients removed. Your body is telling you that the food you are eating is harming you. Many do not get this warning (no tummy troubles) and so continue to eat the contaminated foods in our supermarkets only to learn that they have a chronic life threatening illness. The pain you have experienced is your body attempting to warn you and keep you safe from further harm. If possible use only natural treatments if you require medication as the side effects from prescription and over the counter medications will add to your toxin overload.

 
Tanya Horgan
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said this on
17 Aug 2011 10:23:48 AM PST
I was diagnosed with suspected rheumatoid arthritis nearly 2 years ago. I was prescribed Plaquenil for the pain and swelling. The Plaquenil worked but I started to experience side effects after 5 months. It was due to a posting like this that I saw the connection to RA and eating gluten free.

My father has celiac disease so I started eating gluten free within a week. I bought an excellent book called Dangerous Grains and got in contact with the author who incidentally, is a friend of my fathers. The RA went into remission though it took 6 - 9 months for my joints and swelling to return to normal.

Any ingestion of gluten including gluten free oats (Bobs Red Mill) induces arthritic pain. Large amounts such as what I ingested before the small bowel biopsy also cause problems with what I call a mind/body connection, something like brain fog.

I just did a 4 day gluten challenge before a colonoscopy and small bowel biopsy which showed I don't have celiac disease. The arthritis hit me like a wall and 3 1/2 weeks later, I am still limping, having joint problems but I can already feel myself getting better.

The gastroenterologist said that I have a manifestation similar to celiac disease which just does not affect my small intestine. I have seen it called "gluten sydrome" in a book I read recently by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan. I look at the arthritis as being equivalent to problems that gluten causes such as gluten ataxia which can occur without damage to the small intestine.

I just consider myself so lucky to have seen information on line and whenever I can, I try to pass the information on.

 
Ann
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said this on
20 May 2012 8:35:23 PM PST
I have been struggling with gluten & dairy intolerance symptoms for almost a year now. I have had joint pain (rheumatoid arthritis, I suppose) in my hands for almost 5 years, but never knew what it might be from. I've been mostly gluten/dairy free for about 9 months now. For a while I started feeling better, but recently took a turn for the worst again. I feel as though my body is not digesting properly, and I feel tired with headaches all of the time on top of rheumatoid arthritis.

Could I have something else besides celiac/gluten intolerance? I tested negative for the celiac blood test. Not sure what to do now : / Please help!!!

 
von
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said this on
18 Sep 2011 2:31:07 PM PST
Excellent article.

 
Lisa in San Diego, Ca
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said this on
19 Sep 2011 6:39:00 PM PST
Excellent article, thank you. I was ill for 30 years, and thought I just had bad genes, but it turned out to be true. I am celiac, my brother has RA, and my other brother has arthritis and celiac and IBD. All were told it was many other things, for many years. A gluten free diet saved my life - actually. Celiac made me so anemic, my hemoglobin was down to 7.0 HGC- I was almost dead. When you have celiac, you cannot digest iron, because your upper intestine is ruined, so you can drink iron liquid, take iron pills, eat steaks - all to no avail. I finally found a doctor that knew of it and taught me about celiac disease and then sent me to a Hematologist/Oncologist, and he gave me IV drip Iron, 13 bags time 13 weeks. My Hemoglobin went back up to 14.00 and now my body functions like normal- you know, walking, standing, healing, thinking well, breathing, all that good stuff - living - that I was unable to do well when I was so sick for so long. The celiac diet keeps celiac symptoms at bay, and may heal my digestive tract over time - you must be diligent forever. Now I will try deleting nightshade vegetables too, as I've read that they are harmful to your immune system if you are celiac, have RA, IBD, and other AI problems. Good luck to all, keep reading, keep trying, keep searching out really good Doctors - they are out there.

 
Sharon
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said this on
05 Dec 2011 1:44:40 PM PST
I cured my RA through the elimination of diary, eggs and yeast. I was already on a gluten free diet as I have celiac disease. I've now come off all 9 of the medications I was on and manage my illness through diet. I'm shocked at how little support and information there is out there to help people try to find the right solution. Unfortunately there is no funding for alternative approaches as there is no big money making drug at the end of it. Great article though. I did the York test and it changed my life.

 
Angie
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said this on
13 Feb 2012 3:29:09 PM PST
I'm glad I found this article. In the past few years I've had terrible hip and knee pain, especially in the fall. I was diagnosed several years ago with IBS too. This past fall the tops of my shoulders have also hurt as if I were trying to lift heavy weights and were tearing the muscle from the bone.

A couple of years ago I went on the Atkins diet for 4 months and never felt better. This last summer my aunt was diagnosed with Celiac. I finally, after trying the gluten free diet put two and two together and realized that Atkins made me gluten free. When I am 100% gluten free all my joint and muscle pains nearly vanish. When I've had a lapse in the gluten free diet, the pains return within hours and even worse than before. So, I'll remain gluten free. With that diet, my pains go away and all IBS symptoms also disappear. Imagine that! Now I'm moving to an area that has few gluten free foods available so am very happy for the Internet and online ordering.

 
Vanessa
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said this on
03 Oct 2013 11:17:39 PM PST
Great article, thank you. I have RH and suspect that I have celiac as well. It's been 7 years now....the doctors keep telling me to take the medication, but I prefer organic / bio-dynamic foods, so went off the medication and most of the symptoms went away, but some still lingered. All this time I have been asking if there is a link between food and RH, but felt like I was being laughed at by the Medical Professionals! I recently watched a documentary about how the pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors to recommend there products! The rich get richer!.....The doctors said to me that once I have been on the methotrexate and prednisone and folic acid for a few months, I would have other symptoms starting to show, that would need treating with stronger drugs to counteract those reactions and so the cycle would continue. They said that these drugs would probably take 10 years off my life, but that was a price I should pay for a better quality of life! Obviously I didn't agree, now that I have read your article I will get tested and try being totally gluten free and see what happens with the last of the symptoms. Thank you. There is one more thing I would like to comment about and that is that my son has a mild case of asthma / eczema, so we watch what ingredients are in the foods we buy, numbers, colors and preservatives all make his face go red, immediately, so we avoid these foods. My comment is if you actually research what the additives are you will find that a lot of the additives are banned in most countries, yet will still use them. Just one example is the number 133 brilliant blue, it causes adverse reactions, hyperactivity, asthma, aspirin intolerant people should avoid use, suspected carcinogen, skin rashes and chromosomal damage! How do the owners of these companies sleep at night!
133 is mainly used in children's lollies! The rich get richer and we pay them....then suffer the consequences, then go to the doctor for help and get prescribed medication.....and so the cycle continues!

 
George

said this on
18 Apr 2015 8:00:24 AM PST
Every day I had stabbing pain in my toe knuckles to the point I couldn't sleep. For about 3 years it got steadily worse. Cortazone injection helped a lot but was not recommended as a long term solution. I am 53 and walk 10 km/day. Xrays showed arthritis had set in. Other joints were also starting to become painful. I had no stomach issues when ingesting gluten. I was desperate, so I tried gluten free diet for 21 days. The pain got worse on the the 3rd day. By the fifth day the pain dramatically declined to nil. After 21 days I tried a beer and bread to ensure this was not wishful thinking and the pain returned and was as intense as before about 6-7 hours after eating gluten products. I did another 2 weeks of no gluten and returned to pain free days. Not only did the pain disappear, movement in my joint improved and I could actually crack my toe knuckle again after not being able to for several years. To confirm the result as I was still in disbelief that the pain could be so significantly reduced, I went back on gluten and then off two more times with exactly the same results. I am not suggesting it will work for everyone however in my case, there is a definite direct correlation between joint pain, resulting inflammation and ingestion of gluten. Avoidance of gluten must be absolutely 100% for this to work. If you endure daily chronic joint pain, Its worth trying.




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