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Joint Pain/swelling - Elimination Diet

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Hi everyone,

I am 31 and have been experiencing worsening joint pain, swelling, and stiffness in both hands, knees, feet, and TMJs for about 2 years. I was diagnosed with celiac in November and have been gluten-free ever since. Since my symptoms have persisted, I gave up dairy in April with no improvement. I then gave up nightshades, corn, egg, caffeine, and chocolate in May and still have noticed no improvement. Desperate to feel better, I started an elimination diet on July 1. I'm now on Day 8 and my symptoms - if anything - have gotten a little worse. Does anyone else have experience with arthritis and/or elimination diets? I know it's common to feel worse before you feel better on the elimination diet, but when should I start to feel better? Also, the diet wants me to start adding back potentially reactive foods (starting with lemons and limes) around Day 10. Should I do that even if I feel no better? I would be so grateful if anyone can offer any help as this has truly been crippling my life and I am very desperate to feel better.

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Are you on any medications or supplements? If so have you checked with the maker to be sure they are gluten free? If not you should do so. Note that some supplements can have wheat and barley grass and still be labeled gluten free so do read all ingredients on them.

It may not be the case for you but for me eliminating soy helped a great deal with joint pain and swelling.

You mention you are on an elimination diet, what form are you on? With my allergist guided elimination he started me off with only five different foods, nothing other than water as a beverage and designed my starting point to ensure that I had adaquate calories and nutrition. My starting point included only foods I very rarely ate as he said I would be less likely to react to them.

Also if you joint pain is related to celiac it can take some time to ease. In my case it was at least 2 or 3 months before I had any noticeable relief but others might notice relief sooner or even later than that.

Do be sure to take the precautions you need to at home, new toaster, strainer, replacing scratched non-stick pans and wooden cutting boards and utensils. Don't bake with wheat flour for others as it will be airborn and can CC you that way. It would also be a good idea to make sure that all toiletries are gluten free.

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Have you looked into the anti inflammatory benefits of certain foods? I find oily fish very good for helping with joint aches and pains. If you google anti inflammatory diet there is a ton of information out there.

Good luck with the elimination diet :)

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I had Rheumatoid Arthritis for two decades before my very recent Celiac diagnosis. From what I've researched and from other folks I know it seems that some people with arthritis and celiac do see some relief of their joint pain/swelling after going gluten-free. Others truly do have both conditions, which would not be unusual, since Celiac is an autoimmune disorder and so is arthritis. One person I know was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was fully symptomatic and taking several common R.A. medications. It took several months but after a while her R.A. symptoms subsided and she's now off all her medications. In other cases, though, the two conditions co-exist and the person truly does have both. Personally, I've only been gluten-free since 6/20/11 - much too early to tell but we shall see if there ends up being any connection for me or not.

Good luck in your efforts! Wishing you (and all of us) all the best on our journey to be as healthy as we can be.

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