Celiac disease and difficult to treat joint pain

Marion Hauser Celiac disease and difficult to treat joint painMarion Hauser, MS, RD

We treat joint pain by repairing the whole joint environment. For instance, meniscus repair will not be long lasting if you do not address the knee instability caused by ligaments and other supporting structures which will constantly compromise the healed meniscus with unnatural stress force.

You cannot stabilize a spine without addressing the problems causing herniated discs such as the instability of damaged spinal ligaments. In some patients you cannot bring healing to their chronic joint pain without stabilizing their general health

In this article we will concentrate on the problems of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.

Before you read on, if you have questions about Celiac disease and difficult to treat joint pain, you can get help and information from our Caring Medical staff.

We see a large number of patients  with symptoms of GI disturbances such as gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and the like. They also may notice that they experience joint pain when they eat certain foods like pizza or pasta. When we suggest testing for food allergies, we often find that the patients have allergy to wheat and/or gluten.

Celiac disease is an intolerance of the small intestine to gluten. Celiac disease is also referred to as gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), gluten intolerance, or celiac sprue, is considered to be one of the most under-diagnosed common diseases today.

Doctors in the Czech republic recently presented their research in their paper: “Bone and Joint Involvement in Celiac Disease.”

Here are the bullet points of their research:

The Czech researchers recommend that the orthopaedist or trauma surgeon should be aware of suspected celiac disease in patients who do not respond adequately to the standard treatment of pain related to the musculoskeletal system, in patients with recurrent fractures of the limb bones and in young patients with suspected secondary osteoporosis.

Further that a long-life gluten-free diet in these patients results in the alleviation of metabolic related  joint and muscle problems, in reduced requirements of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs as well as in reduced risks of fracture.1

How Celiac Disease attacks joints

University medical researchers in Italy publishing in the journal Clinical rheumatology write about patients with pain originating from the enthesis attachments of joints.

Not all joint pain is driven by Celiac Disease

As mentioned above Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance is underdiagnosed in many difficult to treat joint pain patients. However, just as it is under-diagnosed, self-diagnosis and starting a gluten-free diet may not be the answer to all joint pain.

A November 2017 paper in the Annals of medicine entitled: “Gluten-related disorders: certainties, questions and doubts” comes from Italian researchers and gives this warning:

In our many years putting together information on guiding patients to healthier eating, we found that one diet type did not fit all. Some patients are okay with wehat and grain products and in fact can thrive on them, some cannot. A patient who tolerates and absobs gluten well can be compromised if they go on a gluten-free diet.

Decisions about going gluten-free should be made with advise from your health care giver.

If you have questions about Celiac disease and difficult to treat joint pain, you can get help and information from our Caring Medical staff.

1 Hoffmanová I, Sánchez D, Džupa V. Bone and Joint Involvement in Celiac Disease. Acta chirurgiae orthopaedicae et traumatologiae Cechoslovaca. 2014 Dec;82(4):308-12.

2 Atteno M, Costa L, Cozzolino A, Tortora R, Caso F, Del Puente A, Cantarini L, Scarpa R, Ciacci C. The enthesopathy of celiac patients: effects of gluten-free diet. Clinical rheumatology. 2014 Apr 1;33(4):537-41.

3 Valenti S, Corica D, Ricciardi L, Romano C. Gluten-related disorders: certainties, questions and doubts. Annals of Medicine. 2017 May 11:1-3.



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