Try a glutenfree diet; it freed me from my pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by reginaregina, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. reginaregina

    reginaregina New Member

    I've had the symptoms of fibromyalgia for 22 years, beginning at age 12, with the diagnosis coming only five years ago. Since my diagnosis, I have been prescribed or have tried the following, without seeing any real substantial abatement of my symptoms:

    --Elavil (Amitriptyline)
    --Vioxx (before it was pulled, of course)

    I finally went to an allergy doctor at the suggestion of an acquaintance, and subsequent tests found that I have a severe gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Since I have been eating a gluten-free diet, my fibromyalgia symptoms, most especially my PAIN, have disappeared. Whenever I eat gluten-containing products accidentally, the pain returns. Whenever I eat anything with MSG in it (full of gluten), the pain returns. I've been following the gluten-free diet for the past three months, and this is what I found.

    I believe that fibromyalgia and gluten are linked. There are some medical studies that are beginning to investigate this link. However, because there is no pharmaceutical money to be made off telling people to eliminate gluten from their diets, the word will probably get out very slowly, and the media will continue to perpetuate the myth that having celiac disease means being underweight and having constant diarrhea. Please see the following studies:

    Presentations of adult celiac disease in a nationwide patient support group.

    Zipser RD, Patel S, Yahya KZ, Baisch DW, Monarch E.

    Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, USA.

    Recent epidemiological studies primarily from Europe document that adult celiac disease often lacks the classic presentation of steatorrhea and weight loss. There are few surveys of adult celiac disease in the United States. We surveyed the large population of a nationwide patient support group to determine their disease presentations. In the initial survey (N = 1032 respondents), the median age at onset was 46 years, and the diagnosis of adult celiac disease was often delayed (median 12 months, with 21% delayed over 10 years). Only 32% of adults were underweight, and only about 50% reported frequent diarrhea and weight loss. A second survey documented that common presenting symptoms were fatigue (82%), abdominal pain (77%), bloating or gas (73%), and anemia (63%). Initial physician diagnoses were often irritable bowel syndrome (37%), psychological disorders (29%), and fibromyalgia (9%). These initial presentations are similar to those in Europe and often resemble irritable bowel syndrome.

    PMID: 12741468 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Celiac disease symptoms in a female collegiate tennis player: a case report.

    Leone JE, Gray KA, Massie JE, Rossi JM.

    Department of Physical Education, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1075 S. Normal Avenue, Carbondale, IL 62901-4310, USA.

    OBJECTIVE: To present the case of a collegiate tennis player with celiac disease symptoms. BACKGROUND: Celiac disease is a common intestinal disorder that is often confused with other conditions. It causes severe intestinal damage manifested by several uncomfortable signs and symptoms. Failure by the sports medicine staff to recognize symptoms consistent with celiac disease and treat them appropriately can have deleterious consequences for the athlete. DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS: Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn disease, Addison disease, lupus erythematosus, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lactose intolerance, herpes zoster, psychogenic disorder (depression), fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, hyperthyroidism, anemia, type I diabetes. TREATMENT: The athlete underwent a series of blood and allergen tests to confirm or refute a diagnosis of celiac disease. When celiac disease was suspected, dietary modifications were made to eliminate all wheat-based and gluten-based products from the athlete's diet. UNIQUENESS: The athlete was able to fully compete in a competitive National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I tennis program while experiencing the debilitating effects associated with celiac disease. The immediacy of symptom onset was notable because the athlete had no history of similar complaints. CONCLUSIONS: Celiac disease is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects more people than reported. A properly educated sports medicine staff can help to identify symptoms consistent with celiac disease early, so damage to the intestine is minimized. Prompt recognition and appropriate management allow the athlete to adjust the diet accordingly, compete at a high-caliber level, and enjoy a healthier quality of life.

    PMID: 16404460 [PubMed]

    Fibromyalgia: the gastrointestinal link.

    Wallace DJ, Hallegua DS.

    Cedars-Sinai/UCLA School of Medicine, 8737 Beverly Blvd., Suite 203, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

    Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) frequently have gastrointestinal symptoms and signs. This article critically reviews the available literature and concludes the following: evidence that inflammatory bowel disease is associated with FM is contradictory, but should be looked for in patients taking concomitant steroids; patients diagnosed with celiac disease often have a history of FM or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that may or may not be present; reflux, nonulcer dyspepsia, and noncardiac chest pain are common in FM patients; medications used to manage pain, inflammation, and gastrointestinal complaints confound the management of FM; and IBS affects smooth muscles and the parasympathetic nervous system, while FM patients have complaints of striated muscles and dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system. Of those patients with FM, 30% to 70% have concurrent IBS. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is associated with hyperalgesia and IBS-like complaints, is common in FM, and responds transiently to antimicrobial therapy.
  2. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    I've been tested for allergies and am highly allergic to dairy but my wheat/gluten test was low. I still think there is a connection because my brain fog and muscle problems are better when I eliminate gluten. I'm still have constipation problems though. I have to say, I haven't eliminated it 100% but am close.
    Glad you have found your problem.
    Take care, Theresa
  3. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    what type of dr. tests for gluten?
  4. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    is gluten free. You probably react for other reasons.

    I have been diagnosed since 2001, gluten free since. There was so much damage done to my body my pain will never go away, but I'm glad it wasn't too late for you.

    Hope this helps.

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