Gluten Free Diet and Arthritis

December 9, 2009

It should surprise you to learn that going on a gluten free diet can reduce or eliminate Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms.

For example: in 2001, one US study confirmed that going gluten free clinically benefits rheumatoid arthritis patients. In this study 66 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned to either a vegan gluten free diet (38 patients) or a well balanced non-vegan diet that included gluten (28 patients). The tests subjects participated in the study for 12 months and were assessed at the start of the test, as well as at 3, 6, and 12 month intervals. Researchers also measured levels of antibodies against gliadin.

These were individuals who had rheumatoid arthritis. Prior to the study none of them had been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. The results of the study showed that, 22 patients in the gluten free group and 25 in the non gluten free group completed 9 months or more on the diet regimes. Of those who completed the study 40.5 % (9 patients) in the gluten free group experienced significant improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, compared to 4 % (1 patient) in the non gluten free group. Also the anti-gliadin antibody levels decreased in the gluten free group but not in the other group.

Going gluten free may also help individuals who have osteoarthritis the most common and oldest type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis exists as two different types: primary osteoarthritis and secondary osteoarthritis.

Primary osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” form of osteoarthritis. As each of us gets older, it is likely that we will have some degree of primary osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis is widespread and can be traced to the dawn of human kind (Ice Age skeletons showing osteoarthritis have been found), its causes are not known. It is thought to be genetically linked, and some researchers speculate it could also be autoimmune in origin.

Secondary osteoarthritis is arthritis that has an apparent cause, such as an injury, heredity, obesity or something else. That “something else” might easily be gluten sensitivity.

Whatever researchers have to say, individuals with osteoarthritis who have tried a gluten free diet give testament to its effectiveness.

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  1. Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity – Neurological Diseases Part 2

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