Have you experienced joint pain that just won’t go away? If so, your diet might be to blame. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It can cause inflammation of the joints if it is consumed regularly or not digested properly.
While gluten isn’t always the culprit, at our pain clinic, we often find that reducing or eliminating it provides pain relief. Find out how gluten impacts joint pain and what you can do about it below!
The Relationship Between Gluten and Joint Pain
Gluten is found in many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis. With so many people touting gluten-free diets as cures for all sorts of ailments, you might be asking yourself: does gluten cause inflammation in joints? The answer is that it can, but this depends on the individual.
In order for gluten and joint pain to be connected, the person experiencing the pain needs to have either gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. For these individuals, when they consume foods containing gliadin and glutenin proteins, the immune system is a trigger, and it turns on the inflammation response.
This can result in the joints becoming swollen. People might notice that their joints are painful, or they might even see redness and swelling.
Many patients assume that they do not have a sensitivity to gluten since they do not notice an inflammation response every time they consume foods containing proteins. However, joint pain from gluten sensitivity may be intermittent, and in some cases, the swelling can be low enough that the patient doesn’t quite pick up on its presence.
What to Do if You Suspect Gluten Is Hurting Your Joints
The first thing we suggest is to set up an appointment with a pain management specialist. Depending on the circumstances, it could take a while to get in, but this is OK; in the meantime, you can give a gluten-free diet a test run. Then, by the time you see the specialist, you’ll be armed with more data that can help them make a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan.
You may or may not be able to reduce your pain levels by cutting out gluten and other common food allergens. But it’s worth a shot! No matter the source of your pain, we are here to help. Our pain management doctors will go over the basics of what you need to know about a gluten-free life as well as offer personalized recommendations for how we can help you manage your chronic pain symptoms at home (and maybe even get rid of them altogether).
Why spend another day in misery? Get started on your journey towards health now. It never hurts to try something new!
Want to learn more? Here are the facts you need to know about joint pain.