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Joint Pain Caused By Gluten Intolerance?
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Howdy,

I'm new to the forum, and I'm hoping to get some answers for my symptoms over the past year. I've been having joint pain in my hands, wrist, hips, knees, and most recently in my shoulders. Over the last six months I've been to five different doctors (two rheumatologists). They've checked RA factor, uric acid levels, Vitamin D levels, blood sugar, CBC, CRP, and sedimentary rate. I've also had a bone scan done. All tests have come back negative. I am still feeling like I may be sero-negative RA, and they just can't detect it. Pain started in my hands coming and going over a period of about 3-4 years. This last year it's progressed to wrists, hips, and knees. I'm to the point of not being able to bike without a lot of discomfort, so I swim a lot.

Recently, I visited a nutritionalist and I'm having a food allergy test done over 96 different foods. The nutritionalist told me on my first visit that she would bet that I am allergic to gluten and that it is causing my joint pain. She claimed that gluten intolerance is on the rise and that she sees rashes in children and joint pain in adults. I hadn't really heard much about food allergies causing joint pain, but I am learning more and more that people with RA and other autoimmune disorders are usually gluten intolerant.

I'm just wondering if there are other people dealing with RA or other joint pain symptoms on this board and if they have any insight on where I should go next or how to address these issues. I don't have stomach pain, just joint pain with no visible swelling.

Thanks in advance.

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Oh, my--MANY of us have suffered from RA and general joint pain. Celiac and gluten sensitivity appears to cause it. I agree that you should try a gluten-free diet (but you have to be strict!), and you may be need to take magnesium, manganese, silicon, and collagen. Believe me, if you do, you should see a vast improvement in your joint health.

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I grew up with so much joint pain (and no real cause other than an occasional doctor who would suggest arthritis) that I only recently realized just how often I thought being uncomfortable was normal. Joint pain is the only Celiac symptom I'm positive I had since earliest childhood, since it's the identical joint pain I still get if I have even the slightest crosscontamination. (I was also extremely thin, but I think people over-excuse that in girls.... the thinness may have been caused by celiac disease.)

My mother took me to numerous doctors, none could figure out what was wrong. No swelling either. Healthy x-rays.

The serious gastrointestinal symptoms and everything else came much later in my 20s and during/after having troubled pregnancies.

So if you're wondering whether the joint pain could be a stand-alone symptom from gluten, I'm a witness that it can be.

It's worth it to try and stick to the diet, good luck!

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Howdy,

I'm new to the forum, and I'm hoping to get some answers for my symptoms over the past year. I've been having joint pain in my hands, wrist, hips, knees, and most recently in my shoulders. Over the last six months I've been to five different doctors (two rheumatologists). They've checked RA factor, uric acid levels, Vitamin D levels, blood sugar, CBC, CRP, and sedimentary rate. I've also had a bone scan done. All tests have come back negative. I am still feeling like I may be sero-negative RA, and they just can't detect it. Pain started in my hands coming and going over a period of about 3-4 years. This last year it's progressed to wrists, hips, and knees. I'm to the point of not being able to bike without a lot of discomfort, so I swim a lot.

Recently, I visited a nutritionalist and I'm having a food allergy test done over 96 different foods. The nutritionalist told me on my first visit that she would bet that I am allergic to gluten and that it is causing my joint pain. She claimed that gluten intolerance is on the rise and that she sees rashes in children and joint pain in adults. I hadn't really heard much about food allergies causing joint pain, but I am learning more and more that people with RA and other autoimmune disorders are usually gluten intolerant.

I'm just wondering if there are other people dealing with RA or other joint pain symptoms on this board and if they have any insight on where I should go next or how to address these issues. I don't have stomach pain, just joint pain with no visible swelling.

Thanks in advance.

Have you read the lab values yourself? Not slamming physicians but they are busy folk, and will generally look to see if everything falls into a normal range, but CRP for instance might be high normal, and may be higher yet since your last CRP reading. That was my issue. CRP wasn't high but was going up on each annual exam. I didn't have bad values either, but i did have a RBC of 4.7 with lower normal being 4.7. I'm a smoker so that value should tend to be high. I also had a high MCV. If you had a CBC, you should take a look at the values, and see where you might be high normal or low normal. Sometimes we just have to take some of the diagnostic parts into our own hands..

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I grew up with so much joint pain (and no real cause other than an occasional doctor who would suggest arthritis) that I only recently realized just how often I thought being uncomfortable was normal. Joint pain is the only Celiac symptom I'm positive I had since earliest childhood, since it's the identical joint pain I still get if I have even the slightest crosscontamination. (I was also extremely thin, but I think people over-excuse that in girls.... the thinness may have been caused by celiac disease.)

My mother took me to numerous doctors, none could figure out what was wrong. No swelling either. Healthy x-rays.

The serious gastrointestinal symptoms and everything else came much later in my 20s and during/after having troubled pregnancies.

So if you're wondering whether the joint pain could be a stand-alone symptom from gluten, I'm a witness that it can be.

It's worth it to try and stick to the diet, good luck!

First, let me say thanks to all the replies. This is interesting b/c I've always been very thin as well. I guess it might help to tell a little more about myself. I'm 38, male, and have been experiencing joint pain for the last 4-5 years. After seeing doctors this year, I'm thinking that the aches and pains I've had in my hips and shoulders (popping) over the years could have been early onset to what I'm experiencing now. My wrists pop a lot, and my shoulders are popping a lot as well. I also notice that my skin is sensitive around my knees when I wear pants and jeans. No rashes or anything that would appear abnormal on the skin though.

I have pain in my hands and wrist daily, and the other joint pain moves around my knees and hips on different days.

I've also gotten ulcers off and on in my mouth since I was a kid. Never really knew what caused them and not sure they are related to current symptoms.

Up until the last 5 months, I was the posterboy for poor diet. Starbucks coffee almost daily, fast food, salty chips/salsas, cokes, tea, chocolate and sugar all the time. All of a sudden, I'm trying to start over, and it's VERY DIFFICULT!

It's nice to be able ask questions and get some feedback from people with similar experiences.

Also, I will check my bloodwork more closely and may request another CBC and RA Factor test on my next visit to the Rheumatologist. I don't know many other men experiencing these problems, but I've been able to contact several women with RA or other autoimmune disorders. Only a couple of them are managing RA without medication. Strict diet and exercise is what I've been told helps.

This is all new to me though, so it's taking some time. I'm not sure what is okay to eat and what's not and if I have RA or something else. Just trying to manage the symptoms and find a way to combat it naturally.

Thanks again for the advice and keep it coming.

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You mention allergy testing. Have you had a full celiac blood panel? I agree you should remove all gluten for at least three months to see if your joint pain improves, but think it wise that you get the full celiac panel done first. Once you remove gluten you lose your best opportunity for accurate celiac blood work.

With several possible symptoms of Celiac Disease it makes sense to get the blood tests. If positive you know you have Celiac Disease and HAVE to remove all gluten for life. If blood is negative you should still remove gluten to monitor symptom improvement.

I had minor joint pain as a child, moderate by my late 20s, major during 30s and could no longer move in my early 40s and never had any positive blood work for inflammation.

I can not suggest strongly enough - rule out both Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance as a source of your symptoms.

Oh...one of my sons always had frequent canker sores in his mouth - sometimes once a month. Since he removed gluten three years ago he has had one or two total.

Welcome to the forum -- read as much as you can and ask questions as often as you'd like.

Good luck :)

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It sounds as though you're a strong candidate for having celiac or gluten sensitivity. I should have mentioned that I had horrible joint pain from the time I was a young child--the doctors thought I probably had Juvenile Arthritis....but, of course, they were wrong. Mouth sores are very common with celiac, and my daughter (who refuses to get tested for celiac) has suffered with them her whole life. My son was diagnosed with celiac, and his joint pain (especially wrists) resolved on a gluten-free diet.

By the way, the popping you describe in your shoulders and hips may indicate a problem with your tendons and ligaments (common in celiacs). You might try taking the following supplements: chelated manganese and chelated zinc. If you're deficient in either of these nutrients, you can have soft-tissue problems--and tendons and ligaments keep your joints working right. I had this problem, and my tendons and ligaments got better after only a few days of taking these supplements.

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It sounds as though you're a strong candidate for having celiac or gluten sensitivity. I should have mentioned that I had horrible joint pain from the time I was a young child--the doctors thought I probably had Juvenile Arthritis....but, of course, they were wrong. Mouth sores are very common with celiac, and my daughter (who refuses to get tested for celiac) has suffered with them her whole life. My son was diagnosed with celiac, and his joint pain (especially wrists) resolved on a gluten-free diet.

By the way, the popping you describe in your shoulders and hips may indicate a problem with your tendons and ligaments (common in celiacs). You might try taking the following supplements: chelated manganese and chelated zinc. If you're deficient in either of these nutrients, you can have soft-tissue problems--and tendons and ligaments keep your joints working right. I had this problem, and my tendons and ligaments got better after only a few days of taking these supplements.

Thanks for the advice. Where is a good place to find the chelated manganese and zinc, and how many mgs of each?

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Oh, my--MANY of us have suffered from RA and general joint pain. Celiac and gluten sensitivity appears to cause it. I agree that you should try a gluten-free diet (but you have to be strict!), and you may be need to take magnesium, manganese, silicon, and collagen. Believe me, if you do, you should see a vast improvement in your joint health.

Same question for these supplements as above? Can I buy these supplements at any grocery store with a pharmacy, or should I look elsewhere?

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Same question for these supplements as above? Can I buy these supplements at any grocery store with a pharmacy, or should I look elsewhere?

You'll probably have you best luck at a natural foods store like Whole foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, etc.. You can also grab them online. I typically use Vitacost. The dosage will be on the label. Some vitamin/mineral supplements can cause deficiencies or increased levels in others, so you may want to seek some medical advice.

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While you are supplementing vitamins and getting tested for Celiac, do some reading about Nightshades. Many people with joint pain and arthritis symptoms find that the symptoms disappear when they eliminate nightshades. I had severe joint pain and the cracking and popping joints since childhood. It can definitely be caused by gluten. The only way I know is that after a year of being gluten free, I don't crack and pop anymore and my joints don't hurt. I tried the nightshade elimination and couldn't tell a difference so for me it was gluten all along. I just wanted to mention nightshades because it seems to relate particularly to joint pain. Good luck figuring this out..and gluten free is the way to go in spite of what your testing shows. :)

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I buy most of my supplements at a specialty healthfood store, and I buy others online. As for the chelated forms of manganese and zinc, I believe I buy Bluebonnet brand, and I just take one capsule of each. Only take the zinc for a few weeks....but if you feel you're getting better by taking it, simply add a little copper to your list of supplements. Believe me, if you have a manganese and/or zinc deficiency, you should start feeling much better very soon.

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I buy most of my supplements at a specialty healthfood store, and I buy others online. As for the chelated forms of manganese and zinc, I believe I buy Bluebonnet brand, and I just take one capsule of each. Only take the zinc for a few weeks....but if you feel you're getting better by taking it, simply add a little copper to your list of supplements. Believe me, if you have a manganese and/or zinc deficiency, you should start feeling much better very soon.

The last two days my wrists and hands have been hurting pretty badly. My wrists pop constantly. I didn't realize that the cashews I've been eating from the self bins, the organic oatmeal, and the granola bars could have gluten in them. Again, I don't have stomach pain other than gas and bloating sometimes. But, I eat a lot of beans and rice. Anyway, I'm going to try the manganese and the zinc and see if that helps. Couldn't get to a healthfood store today though. Tired of hurting.

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Yep. I've always had issues with my knees. Now, after i've gone gluten free, the only time they act up is when a storm is coming in or if i've walked to much. Yay!

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The last two days my wrists and hands have been hurting pretty badly. My wrists pop constantly. I didn't realize that the cashews I've been eating from the self bins, the organic oatmeal, and the granola bars could have gluten in them. Again, I don't have stomach pain other than gas and bloating sometimes. But, I eat a lot of beans and rice. Anyway, I'm going to try the manganese and the zinc and see if that helps. Couldn't get to a healthfood store today though. Tired of hurting.

I think someone already mentioned how nightshades (tomoato, potato, peppers and eggplant) are connected to joint pain. When you mentioned eating a lot of beans and rice I thought I'd mention again. Are there spices in either? Peppers of all types fresh or dried spice all cause severe joint pain in me. Any salsa with the meal -- tomato with pepper and spice. If these are in your diet regularly, you might want to remove for a week or more to see if your joints improve.

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I grew up with so much joint pain (and no real cause other than an occasional doctor who would suggest arthritis) that I only recently realized just how often I thought being uncomfortable was normal. Joint pain is the only Celiac symptom I'm positive I had since earliest childhood, since it's the identical joint pain I still get if I have even the slightest crosscontamination. (I was also extremely thin, but I think people over-excuse that in girls.... the thinness may have been caused by celiac disease.)

My mother took me to numerous doctors, none could figure out what was wrong. No swelling either. Healthy x-rays.

The serious gastrointestinal symptoms and everything else came much later in my 20s and during/after having troubled pregnancies.

So if you're wondering whether the joint pain could be a stand-alone symptom from gluten, I'm a witness that it can be.

It's worth it to try and stick to the diet, good luck!

 

Hi Finally@45. Your symptoms sound so similar to mine. I am certainly feeling hopeful having read your post. I have so many questions for you, if you don't mind.

 

How long long did it take for your joints to heal after you went gluten free? How long does it take to get over it when you accidentally eat gluten? Did you have aching legs at night as a child? Do you get migraine-type headaches?

 

Sorry to bug you bet I hope you get time to reply.

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