Posted on Mon, 28 Apr 14
A series of case reports describes striking improvement in symptoms such as fatigue and pain in people suffering from fibromyalgia with a gluten-free diet, even though they did not have celiac disease.
Currently a research group is investigating, for the first time, whether or not non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be a treatable cause of fibromyalgia.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity has been recently receiving more attention medically and is characterized by symptoms of celiac disease (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, pain, fatigue, brain fog and depression), even if coeliac disease has been refuted with the usual tests.
To see if a gluten-free diet might help, the research group are studying a large group with fibromyalgia and have already found it can be very helpful for some people.
In an early release of findings in 20 people on the study they describe remarkable results; chronic pain, the major symptom of fibromyalgia, “improved dramatically for all patients; for 15 patients, chronic widespread pain was no longer present, indicating remission of fibromyalgia. Fifteen patients returned to work or normal life. In three patients who had been previously treated in pain units with opioids, these drugs were discontinued. Fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, migraine, and depression also improved together with pain.”
For some people improvement occurred rapidly, within just a few months, but for others the improvements were very gradual and took several months.
“To our knowledge, this degree of improvement has not been reported previously for fibromyalgia” commented the study investigators. This promising study suggests that, for some people at least, a gluten-free diet may be a very effective way to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, and in some cases completely resolve the illness.
Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, Tejerina E, Fernandez N, Serrano-Vela JI, Castro MJ, Villa LF. Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int. 2014 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print] - link to free full text