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Joint Pain And Celiac Disease
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I am a 39 yr old Indian male. I have just been given the verdict that I have celiac disease. I have seen a rheumatologist about an year ago for joint pain, the investigation led to celiac disease. My doctor also mentioned that celiac disease alone can cause joint pain but Rheumatoid Arthritis is not ruled out even though it's not discovered in the blood.

My question for this forum...

Fingers on both my hand are stiff in the morning, it is little stiff even when I type on the keyboard for a long time. This symptom is there for at least 2/3 years. My vitamin B and D levels are also low.

Did someone feel the same way during the onset or during the course of this disease. I think I have this disorder for a long time even though it's just diagnosed.

Thanks

Tas

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I had bad joint pain for about 12 years before diagnosis. After about a year on a gluten free diet it was gone. My finger joints were so swollen in the morning I had to stop wearing rings. Getting them off was a challenge even in the evening. I had ankle pain that caused me to quit dance classes. I had trouble holding my children in the morning because of wrist pain. Back pain was almost constant. Knee pain too. Now it only comes back with accidental gluten exposure. I hope that yours will go away too. Be patient, I didn't notice any difference for months.

Stephanie

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I had joint problems for more than a year before I was diagnosed with firstly, polymyalgia rheumatica, then rheumatoid arthritis (although blood test is RA negative), and finally, when the psoriasis appeared, with psoriatic arthritis. All of this was since 2000. Went gluten free November 2007. Sadly for me, the joint problems have not resolved; I have months when I am mostly okay and then will have a flare for 3-6 months--the psoriasis so far has not gone away, but I think my latest med. might be making a difference. Here's hoping.

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I am a 39 yr old Indian male. I have just been given the verdict that I have celiac disease. I have seen a rheumatologist about an year ago for joint pain, the investigation led to celiac disease. My doctor also mentioned that celiac disease alone can cause joint pain but Rheumatoid Arthritis is not ruled out even though it's not discovered in the blood.

My question for this forum...

Fingers on both my hand are stiff in the morning, it is little stiff even when I type on the keyboard for a long time. This symptom is there for at least 2/3 years. My vitamin B and D levels are also low.

Did someone feel the same way during the onset or during the course of this disease. I think I have this disorder for a long time even though it's just diagnosed.

not unusual at all. since gluten/gliadin triggers an immune reaction in your body, depending on the type and severity of that response, nearly ANY 'autoimmune' or immunity-related reaction is possible. my wife had similar joint problems as her celiac disease progressed and, now, when inadvertently exposed to dietary gluten gets swollen joints (especially fingers). a particularly bad episode (as we were learning just which foods contain gluten -- labelling in MUCH better these days), her knees were inflamed to the point she could not walk.

i have always wondered about the use of RA drugs (esp those that are interleukin or TNF antagonists) to treat symptomatic celiac patients. curiously, abatacept which acts on T-cells of the immune system, has been used to treat psoriasis. they can't CURE celiac; but, might have a more direct effect on the patients with transient exposure; or, to provide relief to patients just beginning a gluten-free diet (might drasticall shorten the time to relief of symptomology...).

this is just a thought, that's been rolling around my head for a while. i'm sure these drugs have NOT been approved for this use.

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Deficiencies in the vitamins you mentioned - B and D, can exacerbate the joint problems you describe. Some mineral deficiencies can too. If it were me, I'd take a good, strong B-complex, vitamin D3, magnesium, and a separate sublingual methylcobalamin (active form of B12), at least 3mg per day. The last two helped me quite a lot. The difference was seemingly miraculous, and I continue to take them, and others.

The damaged gut basically means malabsorption, making it harder for the body to get enough nutrients to maintain itself. The nutrients mentioned, along with others including calcium, iron, and I suspect more, are quite commonly deficient amongst celiacs. Many report that supplements help even when tests indicate levels within what the medical profession regards as the normal range.

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I had the identical symptoms you mention tas-- still do. My fingers are stiff in the mornings and I have pain in hips, knees and ankles.

Hang in there!

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yes, my joints seemed to suddenly "age" about 9 mos before my diagnosis (ankles, knees, hips, elbows, hands especially - mild to moderate pain, plenty of creaking, some swelling). My hips had been somewhat sensitive long before that, and sometimes my fingers would 'freeze' up - the knuckles not responding to my brain's instructions.

Once gluten-free, all joint issues resolved pretty quickly and close to completely. I do get joint pain when glutened sometimes - it's one of the ways I can tell if it was a glutening or just some run-of-the-mill GI issue.

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magnesium, and a separate sublingual methylcobalamin (active form of B12), at least 3mg per day. The last two helped me quite a lot. The difference was seemingly miraculous, and I continue to take them, and others

Just wanted to say thank you. Your mention lately of the improvement with Magnesium sparked me to read a book on the subject. I have now increased my dosage with very good results. I started the B12 a few months back and that has also been a great change for me. I would recommend any one to check into these supplements and the relief possible from them.

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    • It only takes a minute to make a difference. Celiac disease has been overshadowed by the gluten-free diet fad. Getting diagnosed and staying healthy is no piece of cake – those of us who have celiac disease struggle to stay healthy. We need better. We need to be understood. We need a cure. View the full article
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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
    • Thanks for posting.  I know it is difficult to talk about these sorts of things even on a webforum.  It is good thing for people to be aware though about celiac disease and that it can cause mental problems.  Gluten can cause brain damage and it can cause anxiety. If the brain does heal it may take a long time. I know that gluten can cause anxiety and obsessive thoughts.  My experience has been similar to your experience. When I first quit eating gluten I had a similar constant loop and strong negative feelings. There are lots of people on this forum who get anxiety when they eat gluten. Some people also experience gluten withdrawl where they experience anxiety after giving up gluten. It can take a long time for the body to heal and for obsessive thoughts to go away.
       It is normal for people to socialize with each other and to be comfortable about it. You said you have problems still socializing and being around people. It might be a depressing thought but it sounds to me like you still have problems with anxiety.  I would recommend considering what options you have available to treat the anxiety. When I quit eating Gluten I still had some symptoms, even though I felt much better. I have been slowly recovering over a period of about three years. I had obsessive thoughts even after I quit eating gluten.  Now I very rarely if at all think about those things. My experience is that my mind would latch on to certain things that caused me anxiety and focus on those things. Sometimes my focus would shift and I would latch onto other things. My ability to socialize has also improved greatly with time. I have made some dietary changes which I believe have helped greatly. It sounds to me like you have obsessive thoughts about things and maybe some brain damage. My experience has been that my obsessive thoughts about different things went away with time. I feel my obsessive thoughts were caused by gluten and not by what people did around me or any events. As my brain healed I became more self aware and things became less stressful.  I can't give medical advice on this forum but I can talk about my current diet and my experience with celiac disease. My experience with gluten is different from a lot of other people so it is a good idea to ask other people and to talk to a doctor.  I avoid oats and avoid almost all processed foods. I buy certified gluten free food. I eat healthy and I exercise every day. I take st John's Wort as I have read studies that say it may be as effective as some other anti-depressants for treating certain types of anxiety. It is available over the counter. I started with a small dosage and then stepped it up over time. I think it helps a lot.  This is also something that you should talk to a doctor about first. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Mahoney2/publication/7426926_St._John's_wort/links/540d8acc0cf2f2b29a386673.pdf A lot of people with celiac disease have vitamin deficiencies.  Vitamin b deficiency can cause anxiety. Some people do not process the synthetic form of vitamin b (from normal pills)  very well, and do better on an activated form of vitamin b. I take:
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