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gruten sensitivity and knee pain

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Hi!  My back and nerves in my left leg and left hip and side have been killing me for 25 years to the point  of my quality of life is poor. My knees started aching bad 2 years ago and gotten real bad lately so I do not not want to walk much.  Activity makes the pain worse.  I went to the Hospital for special surgery and they took xrays and said there was good space in my knees and I had mild arthritis and there is nothing they can do to help me.  I am 58.  I cut out all sugar and processed foods a month ago, no change,but I lost weight and will keep it up for a healthy lifestyle. 

I  am off dairy because it clogs my sinuses and I can't breathe and i get sinus infections. no stomach problems or pain from dairy or wheat, but I do have a bloated looking belly even when I am in top shape -maybe it is the gluten.

I have been grain and gluten free for 3 days now and my knees are not aching this morning for the first time in a long time. Could I start to feel better this quick?   Hopefully they do not ache after my walk. Could this be a gluten sensitivity?  Should I stay off all grains like oatmeal, corn, quinoa, etc?   

Thank you!

Brian

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14 minutes ago, brianm1 said:

Hi!  My back and nerves in my left leg and left hip and side have been killing me for 25 years to the point  of my quality of life is poor. My knees started aching bad 2 years ago and gotten real bad lately so I do not not want to walk much.  Activity makes the pain worse.  I went to the Hospital for special surgery and they took xrays and said there was good space in my knees and I had mild arthritis and there is nothing they can do to help me.  I am 58.  I cut out all sugar and processed foods a month ago, no change,but I lost weight and will keep it up for a healthy lifestyle. 

I  am off dairy because it clogs my sinuses and I can't breathe and i get sinus infections. no stomach problems or pain from dairy or wheat, but I do have a bloated looking belly even when I am in top shape -maybe it is the gluten.

I have been grain and gluten free for 3 days now and my knees are not aching this morning for the first time in a long time. Could I start to feel better this quick?   Hopefully they do not ache after my walk. Could this be a gluten sensitivity?  Should I stay off all grains like oatmeal, corn, quinoa, etc?   

Thank you!

Brian

Welcome to the forum community, Brian!

You seem to be practicing a healthier lifestyle in general. Cutting out wheat, dairy and sugar has eliminated a lot of calories from your diet most likely and you mention that you have lost weight. Some of your feeling better and health improvements could be attributed in part to the weight loss alone. But the improvement in your sinusitis would more likely be tied to eliminating dairy and/or wheat. By the way, gluten is not only found in wheat but also in barley and rye. And for about 10% of people who are gluten sensitive, oat protein produces the same effect. And dairy can damage the lining of the small bowel just like gluten can. 

I would not eliminate quinoa as it is considered a safe grain and packed with nutrition. 

In addition to the weight loss, eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar may have reduced the amount of general inflammation going on in your body. A  good thing.

Most or all of the symptoms you describe could be cause by gluten sensitivity but can also be caused by other things you had been eating. Nerve damage is one of the health issues that can be experienced by people who are  gluten sensitive.

Some people have gluten sensitivity and others have what's called celiac disease. Celiac disease is classified as an autoimmune disorder rather than an allergy since the body is attacking it's own tissues. With celiac disease, there is actual damage to the lining (the "villi") of the small bowel from the constant inflammation in that part of the  gut. You mention you are bloated much of the time so it makes me wonder if you have celiac disease. Otherwise, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease produce many of the same symptoms.

It would be helpful if your were to get blood antibody testing done for celiac disease but it would mean going back to eating wheat daily for 8 weeks in order for the test to be valid. On the other hand, whether for gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the remedy is the same: total avoidance of gluten. Not just major amounts but even traces of it. You may feel better by eliminating most of the gluten in your diet but until you totally eliminate all of it your belly may not heal.

Having said all that, the medical problems you mention have been going on for years and you are now at an age where even if you correct things in your diet some of your issues may not completely resolve.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for your thoughtful post!  

I was less than 10 pounds overweight, so I do not think the weight loss has done much.  I was off sugar and processed foods before for long periods of time ( over a year) and did not notice much change in symptoms, just a small amount of weight loss. I have been off dairy for 20 years.   I notice a big difference in symptoms in just 3 or 4 days of totally gluten free. just seeing this happen makes me very optimistic.  I will continue to stay off sugar and processed foods.  I think gluten is the biggest culprit right now.

I think I will forego the testing and if I stay pain free on a gluten free diet it is a no-brainer that I am either sensitive or celiac.  I could always re-introduce it for a day and see if the pain comes back just to prove it, but feeling well will be proof enough for me.

thanks for your answer, I will start adding quinoa to my diet again. I did not know 10% of people are sensitive to oat,  but I have read that oat is processed in the same plants as wheat and there is cross contamination. The only reason I asked if I could eat rice, quinoa, corn is because some people on youtube say to go grain free and not just gluten free.

Do you think I should eat rice or corn?

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When I say that 10% of celiacs react to oats the same way as they do the gluten in wheat I am not referring to oats that have been cross contaminated with gluten containing grain. I am talking about gluten free oats. The protein in oats is very similar to the gluten protein in wheat, barley and rye.

From the additional information you have provided it does seem that gluten may be the culprit. Just keep in mind that gluten is hidden in may ways in our food supply, including terminology used in labeling, such that it requires a concerted educational effort and diligence to really avoid it consistently.

Rice should  be safe. Corn can cause some people issues. Actually, in the bigger picture, the fact is that grains in general have become over represented in our diets. There are experts who say that grains in general are not good for us because of the natural defense chemicals they contain and other inflammatory biochemical agents. Somebody wrote a book some years ago called "Dangerous Grains" pushing that theme. I wouldn't go that far but it is probably true that we eat too much grain based food. If nothing else, it's high in calories. 

I would also recommend you take a gluten free multivitamin and a gluten free B-complex. Costco has a great selection of gluten-free vitamins, supplements and foods as well if you live near one.

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Rice and corn are gluten-free, so it's your call how far you want to take your elimination diet. You may want to limit certain things for 2-3 weeks at a time and keep a food diary when you add them back. Given that it sounds like your symptoms are improving on the gluten-free diet, it probably makes sense not to add gluten back unless you want to get a blood panel for celiac disease done.

Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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3 hours ago, trents said:

When I say that 10% of celiacs react to oats the same way as they do the gluten in wheat I am not referring to oats that have been cross contaminated with gluten containing grain. I am talking about gluten free oats. The protein in oats is very similar to the gluten protein in wheat, barley and rye.

From the additional information you have provided it does seem that gluten may be the culprit. Just keep in mind that gluten is hidden in may ways in our food supply, including terminology used in labeling, such that it requires a concerted educational effort and diligence to really avoid it consistently.

Rice should  be safe. Corn can cause some people issues. Actually, in the bigger picture, the fact is that grains in general have become over represented in our diets. There are experts who say that grains in general are not good for us because of the natural defense chemicals they contain and other inflammatory biochemical agents. Somebody wrote a book some years ago called "Dangerous Grains" pushing that theme. I wouldn't go that far but it is probably true that we eat too much grain based food. If nothing else, it's high in calories. 

I would also recommend you take a gluten free multivitamin and a gluten free B-complex. Costco has a great selection of gluten-free vitamins, supplements and foods as well if you live near one.

Thanks so much for your post, a lot of great info, I will look for hidden sources of gluten and I will look for the B-complex.

I just went for a long walk and my knees are now aching me again. I hope I continue to improve on a gluten free diet. It has only been 4 days.

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3 hours ago, Scott Adams said:

Rice and corn are gluten-free, so it's your call how far you want to take your elimination diet. You may want to limit certain things for 2-3 weeks at a time and keep a food diary when you add them back. Given that it sounds like your symptoms are improving on the gluten-free diet, it probably makes sense not to add gluten back unless you want to get a blood panel for celiac disease done.

Thanks Scott, I will add rice. I will take your advice on the journal. I hope I continue to improve.

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I see that some other people recommended a vitamin B complex, that's definitely what I first thought about while reading your post. Also, anything made from corn is a really great thing to try. Of course, not products that are too processed, because those usually contain gluten. For the knee though, have you tried looking into a knee brace? I can link you to here https://dunbarmedical.com/product-category/orthopedic-bracing-support/knee-brace-support-splint/ to take a look at some braces. I have a friend that got one for a while to help with cope with the sensitivity. I think you should really look into the option.

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Hi Brian,

I am dairy free also.  But, did you know that calcium is the largest mineral by % in the body?  So it's important to take a calcium supplement if you are dairy free.  Calcium citrate is a good form to take as it is more absorbable.  Other important supplements to take are boron and vitamin D.  They are both helpful in the chemical process of storing and retrieving calcium from bones.  It is probably a good idea to take a multi-mineral supplement of some kind.

The best way to start the gluten-free diet IMHO is to stick with non-processed foods.  Eat whole foods like meats, veggies, eggs, nuts and fruit.

You may still have enough antibodies to be detected in a blood test.  If you did want to get one, ask for the full celiac panel, not just the screening test.

Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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3 hours ago, GFinDC said:

Hi Brian,

I am dairy free also.  But, did you know that calcium is the largest mineral by % in the body?  So it's important to take a calcium supplement if you are dairy free.  Calcium citrate is a good form to take as it is more absorbable.  Other important supplements to take are boron and vitamin D.  They are both helpful in the chemical process of storing and retrieving calcium from bones.  It is probably a good idea to take a multi-mineral supplement of some kind.

The best way to start the gluten-free diet IMHO is to stick with non-processed foods.  Eat whole foods like meats, veggies, eggs, nuts and fruit.

You may still have enough antibodies to be detected in a blood test.  If you did want to get one, ask for the full celiac panel, not just the screening test.

Thank you!

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6 hours ago, vduicc said:

 I have a friend that got one for a while to help with cope with the sensitivity. I think you should really look into the option.

You have a friend who got a knee brace to help cope with gluten sensitivity? Really? 

Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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Certainly one effect of both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in general can be all manner of joint pain...even various forms of arthritis are strongly linked.  Therefore, your knee could be the site that is impacted.  I had hip pain on one side that went away on a gluten free diet.  This was also true for my sister-in-law, who unknown to her at the time, was also celiac.

CAROLE

-------------

Enterolab 1/2006 - IgA & tTg Positive

DQ2-0201 (celiac) + DQ1-0604 (gluten)

Casein IgA positive

Mom has 2 celiac genes, both kids have a celiac gene.

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4 minutes ago, CMCM said:

Certainly one effect of both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in general can be all manner of joint pain...even various forms of arthritis are strongly linked.  Therefore, your knee could be the site that is impacted.  I had hip pain on one side that went away on a gluten free diet.  This was also true for my sister-in-law, who unknown to her at the time, was also celiac.

thanks!  how long did it take for your hip to feel better?  my knees are killing me again.

 

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