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Valeria V

Stiff Finger Joints Ever Since Gluten Free

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Hi!

i live in Eastern Europe where Celiac is considered a rare disease.

ever since diagnosed with Celiac, total villious atrophy, 1 year ago, i got all necessary information on diet and complications only from internet.

i also have type 1 diabetes ever since a child with only very mild diabetes complications.

now i have 2 more problems no local doctor can solve: shortly before being diagnosed with Celiac one morning i woke up with stiff finger joints. it is getting worse every day. i can hardly use more than 3 fingers. i was told it is because of diabetes but i think it's got something to do with Celiac too. i try very hard to keep a very strict gluten free diet.

actually this is my problem number 2: inspite of a very strict gluten free diet i get Dermatitis Herpetiformis only on the tips of two of my fingers. my question is: can DH appeare also without eating gluten?

this is developing into a real trauma to me because i don't know where gluten could be hidden in my food no matter how hard i try to keep "clean".

thanks for any clue,

V.V.

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Hi!

i live in Eastern Europe where Celiac is considered a rare disease.

ever since diagnosed with Celiac, total villious atrophy, 1 year ago, i got all necessary information on diet and complications only from internet.

i also have type 1 diabetes ever since a child with only very mild diabetes complications.

now i have 2 more problems no local doctor can solve: shortly before being diagnosed with Celiac one morning i woke up with stiff finger joints. it is getting worse every day. i can hardly use more than 3 fingers. i was told it is because of diabetes but i think it's got something to do with Celiac too. i try very hard to keep a very strict gluten free diet.

actually this is my problem number 2: inspite of a very strict gluten free diet i get Dermatitis Herpetiformis only on the tips of two of my fingers. my question is: can DH appeare also without eating gluten?

this is developing into a real trauma to me because i don't know where gluten could be hidden in my food no matter how hard i try to keep "clean".

thanks for any clue,

V.V.

Welcome Valeria! Sorry to hear you are having these problems but be reassured that Celiacs the world over have trouble with doctors and their ability to figure out associated health issues.

I think I can point you in the right direction though.....stiff finger joints could possibly be caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an associated autoimmune disease that Celiacs are prone to. There is a blood test for it so maybe you could talk to your doctor about this. I hope you do not have this but it is a possibility. I, too, suffered from aching finger joints before I went gluten-free but that has gone away with my adherence to the gluten-free diet. If you did have RA, the symptoms can be chased into submission by diet.

Now for your problem with the diet....could you post the types of food you eat so we all could see where any cross contamination or mistakes could be? It's very easy to consume gluten at first, without knowing, until you really learn the diet. Also, I know in Europe they have a less strict number they go by for acceptable amounts of gluten in food so maybe you are reacting because you are getting gluten in small amounts....but enough to cause a problem. In the US, for example, many of the European foods would not be considered gluten-free because they do contain up to 200 ppm of gluten. If you are sensitive, you'll react to that.

I hope this helps a bit and we can help figure out the problem.

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Hi Valeria, and welcome to our boards.

You can have DH outbreaks for up to two years after going gluten-free (usually not as severe any more, though, as when still on gluten). The reason is that the gliadin deposits under the skin that cause DH take that long to be gone.

I find that I get stiff fingers and arthritis type symptoms not just from gluten, but other sources as well. Eggs, rice, dairy and potatoes will cause my joints to be stiff and painful as well. You may have other intolerances on top of gluten that cause those problems.

I don't know if anybody told you about unlikely sources you could get gluten from. You can't use your old toaster or colander (that you strained gluten pasta with) any more, as it isn't possible to clean them well enough to be safe. You also need to replace wooden spoons and wooden cutting boards, as well as scratched no-stick cook/bakeware.

You need to check personal care products for gluten ingredients. I realize that in Europe they claim that wheat starch and wheat germ oil can't contain gluten. But lots of people get sick from those anyway. If you are one of those very sensitive people you ought to try eliminating shampoo/conditioner, lipstick, bubble bath, toothpaste, lotion, soap etc. that contains wheat germ oil, barley extract and similar ingredients.

I am now using Dove products (I know you can get them in Europe, I bought them in Germany when visiting there last summer) and my scalp has stopped driving me out of my mind with itchiness.

Also, make sure you find out if any of your medications or vitamins contain gluten.

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HI,

I agree with the previous poster, the aching, stiff joints are most likely Rhuematoid Arthritis. You may be thinking you're too young to have arthritis, but this is a special case caused by your body attacking itself (autoimmune disease) and can affect even kids.

Which brings up another point, if you have one autoimmune disease, you are at risk for having more. (My sister has 3, but she has continued to eat gluten unknowingly all these years. ) The good news is, now that you're on a gluten free diet, you will most likely see an improvement in the symptoms. Maybe not immediately, but fairly soon.

"Hidden gluten" is a newly-diagnosed Celiac's downfall. It can hide not just in the familiar ingredient of "wheat", but also in:

-barley and rye

-cross-contamination of oats (if grown in same field or processed on same equipment as wheat)

-malt

-maltodextrin (unless specifically says made from tapioca or corn)=>This was hiding in my vitamins!

-modified food starch (unless says made from corn)

-Vitamin E (if made from wheat, can come from other "clean" sources, too.)

Also, if someone in your family uses the kitchen to prepare their wheat-containing bread, pasta, or other products, you could be getting it from there.

Going out to eat at a restaurant can be problematic because they may fry or cook their wheat-containg food in the same oil or using the same pans as your wheat-free foods.

Looking for those things is a habit you'll develop pretty fast, don't worry. Also, you may try to find a local support group if there is one in your area. Having a person to talk to face to face and ask all kinds of questions is a great thing.

Good luck and best to you!

~Heather

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Any number of autoimmune diseases could cause stiff fingers, even just plain old osteoarthritis. One that popped into my head that I sure hope you don't have is scleroderma.

I've had really great success with my own arthritic autoimmune disease by follow The Paleo Diet, or one similar to that. You can google that for more info or click the link in my signature.

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Hi,

My son had a similar symptom,he plays consert flute and about 3 months he could not play ,he said he can not move his fingers .I posted about this here aswell.

We found out he reacts like this if he eats beans ,after elimination of beans and chick peas,he got better and better and started to play as before.

last month,my husband who still does not want to believe in elimination diet ,gave him chick peas ,in 2 weeks time ,he had the same problem.

Now that he is back to his diet he has started to play again .no pain at all.

Hope you can find what can make your fingers and joint pain.

Elisabet

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    Oh yes, it could, although to be honest I never got myself so wet with sweat that it would have been a serious situation.  However, I can remember one time when I got caught in a cloudburst while going to my car in a large parking lot, though, and got soaked to the skin, and of course had to wear those soaking-wet clothes while I drove the 45 minutes it took me to get home --- I will NEVER forgot the misery and agony of that drive!  I could just barely keep the car under control, in fact.
    Thanks for your response, Squirmingitch, but I have to almost laugh, as at this point I am not really stressing over these questions at all --- just curious.  I have always been an insatiable question-asker, so please don't take my frequent questions as a sign of my obsessing over celiac disease or DH.  Yeah, admittedly I was rather stressed out for a couple of days two weeks  ago or so, but I am significantly settled down now, even while negotiating the nutritional maze of trying to manage two
Water?! That's… unreasonably inconvenient. Did it happen with sweat?
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