Celiac.com 05/28/2009 - Dr. MariaPorpora and her fellow researchers in Italy studied a woman backin 2003 who had chronic abdominal and pelvic pain, deep dyspareunia(pain while having sex), and dysmenorrhea (menstruation pain similar tocramps). When she came in to Dr. Porpora’s clinic, she also haddiarrheaand had lost five kilograms in the last six months.
Her painwas so bad that she completely avoided having sex. She measured the severity ofher pain on a one to ten scale, with one being low and ten being high:
- Dysmenorrhea: 10
- Chronic pelvic pain: 7
- Dysapareunia: 10
The doctors werejustifiably confused, and even performed surgery tohelp relieve the pain, however, after six months her symptoms returned. She wasonly partially responsive to their “analgesic, antispasmodic, andantidepressant” drugs. She had no obvious gynecologic disorder.
During subsequent examinations the doctors discovered an issue related to malabsorption, and the patient was tested forgluten antibodies. The results were positive, and the woman was put on a gluten-free diet. After one year on a gluten freediet the woman’s pain disappeared, along with her other symptoms offatigue, depression, and general intestinal issues.
Accordingto this article, 40% of cases of pelvic pain in women have no known cause, even if they have been diagnosed with irritable bowelsyndrome or inflammatory bowel diseases. According to the doctors: “Celiac disease should betaken into consideration when a patient presents with unexplainedpelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, or deep dyspareunia if these symptoms areassociated with bowel disorders, even in the absence of a knownintestinal disease.”
Reference: Obstetrics and gynecology 2002;99(5 Pt 2):937-9.