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Readers Respond: Did you have joint pain as one of your celiac disease symptoms?

Responses: 10


Updated October 06, 2011

Although there's no medical research showing exactly how many people with celiac disease have joint pain, anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers are high. And, many people report their joint pain started long before they experienced the digestive symptoms that indicated a problem with gluten.

Did you have joint pain as one of your celiac disease symptoms? If so, when did it start, and was it prior to the onset of digestive symptoms? When you went gluten-free, did your joint pain subside? Share your story with other readers.

severe arthritis gone.

I have had celiac disease and didn't know it. I was recently diagnosed. I have went on a strict gluten free diet. My joint pain consisted of every joint in my body ached, tremendously. I have digestive problems and in the past doctors would say I wasn't eating enough fiber which was causing bloating, bouts of constipation and diarrhea. The doctors told me to use Metamucil, but it only made matters worse. The positive side of things today are I have no more joint pain. I have regular bowel movements and I feel 30 years younger. I only wish I would have been diagnosed many years sooner. After going to many doctors in the past, I finally found a doctor at the VA hospital who finally helped me. I am now happy and my life has changed forever.
—Guest Pete

Hip & back pain and restless sleeping

I had hip and back pain and restless sleeping for YEARS! I had a celiac test 8 years ago which was negative, and I assumed that I had to live this way, because blood panels were normal. At Christmas I had stomach pain, and my GP recommended going gluten free. My joints and ability to sleep were wonderful after 4 days gluten free. FINALLY--wonderful relief!
—Guest Emily

knee pain

Before being diagnosed with CD, my left knee kept hurting more and more. I had injured it many years ago so thought it was just age and arthritis. After I was diagnosed with CD (after going to 3 different doctors when I developed DH), I noticed that the pain went away after I went gf. In fact, many other "weird symptoms" disappeared. I didn't know the digestive problems I had been suffering were symptoms My restless leg syndrone hasn't disappeared completely but has lessened a great deal. My energy level has increased. My skin has cleared up. I try to be so careful to keep from being glutened but if I'm accidentally glutened, I can sure tell. It makes me feel like I'm 20 years older than I am!

Celiac Joint Pain

As a pain reliever, I've had success with NOW Foods Bio-Curcumin Phytosome.
—Guest Bill

hip pain prior to diagnosis

I suffered from right hip pain for a decade and a half. the doc's did the usual, xray, cat scan MRI, Physical therapy, nothing helped. I finally badgered one doc so much to test me for celiac disease that he did the blood test. It was positive, had the scope also positive, as soon as I eliminated all gluten from my diet the hip pain was gone in 2 weeks...maybe sooner I just noticed one morning that it was gone. Now if I get glutened it comes back full force. I am now in the process of eliminating all other grains as well as I notice a bit of a reaction...Good luck out there and keep after your doctors to listen to you! It is worth it to feel better...
—Guest peacefuldb

joint pain

My mother and brother are diagnosed with CD. I am self diagnosed. Mom was told for 10 years she had IBS. My brother had the rash. My lifetime symptoms are: keratosis pilaris, constipation, hashimotos thyroiditis, late mensis age 14 and early menopause age45, dx with RA in my 20's , but didn't have RA. Tried gf diet and joint pain went away. Not willing to eat gluten to have biopsy. My mom and I do not have positive blood tests even though she had the biopsy and it was positive. Went to a Chinese restaurant two months ago and had accidentally gluten ingestion. Every joint so sore I could hardly move but it took about 36 hours to take hold. Couldn't stand from a chair without help. Took 2days to dissipate.
—Guest Jean

Hip and foot joint pain

I suspected that I had gluten sensitivity a couple of years ago. I went on the gluten-free diet, and my joint pain completely disappeared. The hip pain was so painful that I couldn't sleep at night, and the foot joint pain so bad that I could barely walk some days. Those problems are gone! I also had painful skin eruptions which I have had since my early 20's. This has also disappeared. Last week, my doctor (a new one) came to the conclusion that I had celiac or gluten sensitivity after I told him about the above symptoms disappearing on a gluten-free diet.
—Guest S Barringer

Pain too severe for OTC medication

More than 15 years ago I broke my back in several places. And many years went by before my celiac disease was diagnosed. By then the damage had been done (developed diabetes, anemia, a rare skin disorder and muscle and joint pain throughout my body). My disease went unchecked for so long I developed scarring from my villi repeatedly breaking off. So many of my symptoms are permanent regardless of how careful I am about eating food that contains gluten. I had so much chronic pain and depression that my primary physician sent me to a pain management doctor. At first we tried physical therapy and a mild narcotic pain killer with little success. I am 55 years old and had to close my engineering and general contracting business because I could no longer function at work. I am now on social security disability and am greatly limited to what I can do. A walk around the block is about all the exercise I can handle. My quality of life is not good and it's all because of my celiac disease.
—Guest Rick Gipson

Every Joint in My Body Hurt

Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease and went gluten free I suffered with joint pain. I told my Doctor that it was as if I woke up one day and every joint in my body hurt. She sent me to a rheumatologist who did not find anything significant. Interesting that the specialist did not think to test for celiac. It could be that he asked me if I had any digestive symptoms, but since I did not, at that point, he didn’t bother to test. I have not had a return of joint pain since going gluten free except for the “garden variety” arthritis I have in my hands. More weather related than anything!
—Guest Sue

One of My Main Symptoms

Joint pain was one of my main complaints before I was diagnosed. I saw FIVE different doctors (endocronologists, family practice AND a GI doc) and told them all that my joints hurt. The answer I got from 4 of them was that it was because I was overweight. I told them, "My elbows don't hurt because I'm a few pounds overweight!" They still didn't listen to me. I started having symptoms of CD when I was 16 and I wasn't diagnosed until I was 28 and that was only because I got sick of feeling so bad all the time and I did an elimination diet to figure it out (heartburn was a big symptom too). Even then the GI doc didn't believe me even though my primary doc did the blood test. He kept telling me I couldn't possibly have CD because I wasn't skinny. But he agreed to do the scope anyway. Boy was he shocked when he saw that I was right!! Now I don't have any of the joint pain I used to have and even my arthritis in my knees (from sports injuries) has improved since going gluten-free!

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