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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Any Relationship Between Reactive Arthritis And Celiac?
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12 posts in this topic

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease via small bowel biopsy on April 10th 2012. A year prior I was diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome (Reactive Arthritis). I know that both diseases have to do with your bodies immune system; however, my current doctors deny any correlation between the two. My question is if there is anyway either Celiac or Reactive arthritis could of triggered the other to develop? I am 26 years old and this is the first time in my life I have ever had these sorts of problems.

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I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease via small bowel biopsy on April 10th 2012. A year prior I was diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome (Reactive Arthritis). I know that both diseases have to do with your bodies immune system; however, my current doctors deny any correlation between the two. My question is if there is anyway either Celiac or Reactive arthritis could of triggered the other to develop? I am 26 years old and this is the first time in my life I have ever had these sorts of problems.

Currently I am looking into getting diagnosed as Celiac. I have had multiple attacks of symmeterical joint pain in wrists and ankles. There has been lots of misdiagnosis of arthritis before people have been diagnosed with celiac. IIRC. Don't hesitate to hit the search button top right and look for things like Rhuematoid Arthritis, Arthritis etc.

Good luck! Are you on a Gluten Free Diet now? Notice any difference with your arthritis?

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Currently I am looking into getting diagnosed as Celiac. I have had multiple attacks of symmeterical joint pain in wrists and ankles. There has been lots of misdiagnosis of arthritis before people have been diagnosed with celiac. IIRC. Don't hesitate to hit the search button top right and look for things like Rhuematoid Arthritis, Arthritis etc.

Good luck! Are you on a Gluten Free Diet now? Notice any difference with your arthritis?

I have been gluten free ever since being diagnosed. My arthritis symptoms have been under control for a few months now so it's hard to tell if going gluten free had any effect. I do wish there was more research out there on both disorders. From myself doing research it seems many people diagnosed with Celiac have related problems. Who knows how long I could of had Celiac though, maybe I had it for years and it finally triggered other immune responses in my body.

But thanks for your input, I suggest you definitely get tested for Celiac! It's great being able to know for sure. Although I wish no one had to be allergic to anything!

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Did they ever determine an infectious trigger for your 'reactive arthritis'? I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be a stab in the dark diagnosis, rather like IBS when they can't determine any other cause for your symptoms. If there was indeed a triggering infection, okay, could be. My rheumatoid diagnoses progressed from polymyalgia rheumatica to rheumatoid arthritis, to psoriatic arthritis eventually.

You arthritis may well turn out to have been triggered by your celiac.

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Did they ever determine an infectious trigger for your 'reactive arthritis'? I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be a stab in the dark diagnosis, rather like IBS when they can't determine any other cause for your symptoms. If there was indeed a triggering infection, okay, could be. My rheumatoid diagnoses progressed from polymyalgia rheumatica to rheumatoid arthritis, to psoriatic arthritis eventually.

You arthritis may well turn out to have been triggered by your celiac.

Well there is no question I have Reactive Arthritis. I actually was diagnosed with Reiter's syndrome which is a set of specific symptoms. But I was completely debilitated for 4 months, and it took a full year for it to go into remission. I couldnt even walk my joints were so swollen and my left eye was effected too. I am also positive for the HLA-B27 gene which is the same family as Ankylosing Spondylitis. They suspect that an infection triggered the immune response but they never cultured anything. At some point in my life this would have been triggered. My question is if the Celiac and this disorder have any genetic or immunological relationship.

What came first for you, the rheumatoid, or Celiac?

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Well, in retrospect, the celiac but I didn't know it then. The doctors kept telling me I had IBS :P Actually, I have never been tested, I had to self-diagnose. Strangely enough, the builder who was building our house had ankylosing spondylitis, and he was on a gluten free diet which at the time I thought was pretty weird for arthritis. But it seemed to help him and he was very religious about sticking to it, so I decided to try it and see if it helped my arthritis. Unfortunately, it did not, but all those "IBS" symptoms started going away.....:rolleyes: Of course, I was not going to go back on gluten to get tested when they had had 30 years of opportunity to give me the tests and failed to do so. I am quite satisfied with my self-diagnosed status. I also have hypothyroidism. There is a definite genetic relationship between psoriatic arthritis and celiac. I had never heard of Reiter's or Reactive Arthritis which is the reason I asked. Do not give up hope of improvements in your arthritis - stranger things have happened on a gluten free diet. I believe that my arthritis would be worse if I had continued to eat gluten. As it is, I have to take Humira to control it and the psoriasis, but I am pain-free and deformity-free, so that is the good news.

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Yeah Reactive Arthritis is one of the less common immunologic/arthritic conditions. For the past year I have been taking Sulfasalazine which is mainly used to treat Crohns and Juvenile Arthritis, it works now but took months to see results. My doctor was considering starting me on Humira or Enbrel.

Thats great yours is under control though. From hearing peoples stories it gives me hope that going gluten free could have many beneficial effects besides just the Celiac related issues.

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Yes, I have been through methotrexate, sulfasalazine with diclofenac, Plaquenil, before I finally got to Humira. I am lucky to so far have no side effects from it, but I do have to stop taking it if I get an infection which can then allow the symptoms to come back in. :(

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Is reactive arthritis different from AI type arthritis? I have something -still not officially diagnosed, but something along the lines of connective tissue disease (RA, psoriatic, sjogren's, lupus etc) Unfortunately nothing to do with my joints has changed since going gluten free. Doh. Sposed to start methotrexate soon - but I have been putting it off. It scares me to think of having a repressed immune system to be honest.

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Nightshades cause me joint pain. And some other people too. Potato, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are the food nightshades that cause problems. Might be worth a try to eliminate them. Nightshades contain high levels of alkaloids, which may be the cause.

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On 09/05/2012 at 11:43 PM, GLUTEN FREE IN SLC said:

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease via small bowel biopsy on April 10th 2012. A year prior I was diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome (Reactive Arthritis). I know that both diseases have to do with your bodies immune system; however, my current doctors deny any correlation between the two. My question is if there is anyway either Celiac or Reactive arthritis could of triggered the other to develop? I am 26 years old and this is the first time in my life I have ever had these sorts of problems.

Wow, it took me so long to find this post and I'm so happy I did. This sounds so similar to my situation. I was also diagnosed with reactive arthritis which started 9 months ago. It first started in a few fingers, then a week later my knees swelled up so bad I couldn't even walk. I was on Prednisone for 5 months and have been on sulfasalazine for 6 and a half months. The rheumatologist said that the RA was triggered by a bacterial infection in my upper respiratory tract called chlamydia pneumonia. It has been hard for me to find information on this. My symptoms are only the inflammation in the joints traveling between my hands, feet and knees. I don't have the conjunctivitis or eurethritis that I have read also goes with reiters syndrome. I have not been diagnosed with celiac or gluten sensitivity but 2 months ago I tried cutting out gluten to see if it would help with the swelling. I'm not sure if it is a coincidence but that is pretty much when the swelling significantly decreased. I also cut out alcohol and refined sugar.  I mentioned it to my rheumatologists and they seem to believe it has nothing to do with the reactive arthritis. Can I go to a doctor and request them do a test? They do not seem interested in checking for gluten sensitivity or celiac. People have actually made fun of me for going gluten free. I am 27 years old and this started when I was 26 as well.

Edited by BreNicBrait
Had to add more information and rephrase my question.
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It is important to advocate for yourself and insist on tests you think you need, even for no other reason but peace of mind.  Those doctors work for you, not the other way around.   :)  However:  are you willing to go back on gluten for 12 weeks to get testing?  Getting testing done while off gluten will get you nothing but a smaller bank account, sadly.  If not, and you know you feel better without gluten, then be okay with that.  Sometimes the proof of looking at ourselves in the mirror is the only "lab test" we really need.

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