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

Responses: 22


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.

Share Your Story

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


I was having pain and inflammation in my big toe and fingers. I was diagnosed with gout. My son 12 year old was soon diagnosed with the same issue even though the doctors never saw the crystals in our blood. I stayed away from all gout trigger foods to avoid gout episodes but would still get them. Three years later we were both diagnosed with celieac disease. It has been 8 months and I have not had a single episode since going gluten free, even though I have eaten lobster and shrimp which are high gout trigger foods. Turns out it was not gout, but a symptom of our celiac disease.
—Guest Kerri B

Celiac joint pain

My joint pain started simultaneously with the diarrhea about 2 mos. ago..it has been terrible. I was diagnosed for celiac disease about a month ago. I take about 2 800mg ibuproffen tablets a day for the pain and it helps a lot...although I read that it should probably be avoided. If anyone has a better solution for the pain..I'd love to hear from you.
—Guest Bob Willingham

RA vs. CD

I'm going to RA Dr. today. My hands are almost worthless at age 52 due to stiff fingers and joint pain. Shoulders, feet back and hands spike in pain within 30 minutes of eating anything with sugar. My RA factor is 44 what ever that means. After reading this it makes a fair amount of sense. I did the atkins diet 10 years ago and felt better than any other time in my life. However, my Dr. and friends got all over me that I was killing myself on that diet. I'm thinking of starting it back or similar lots of veggies and balance protein. No wheat, potatoe, or sugar. I'll let you know in a few weeks.
—Guest Todd

Intense neck pain

My celiac disease was latent until age 32 when it came on suddenly with pregnancy. About that same time the chronic neck pain began. I was not diagnosed until 24 years later when my daughter went gluten free and became healthy. I've been gf for 5 years. Now if I have the smallest bit of gluten (or alcohol) I will get occipital pain so severe and whole body poisoning feeling I wll vomit for hours. I have chronic neck pain (chronic myfacial syndrome - self diagnosed) have broken a hip, and had the other replaced, yet I don't have excessive osteoarthritis. Oddly the neck pain can be somewhat controlled by Maxalt a migraine medication. Before GF I had horrible migraines, now only with gluten. I have had periodic relief from the neck pain, for 6 months to two years, but it does return. Any illness now brings on intense (10 on scale) to my occipital joint. I've tried every therapy there is. Diet helps the most, Chiropractic and PT quite a bit.
—Guest Lauren

Joint pain with gluten

I was getting swollen joints periodically and woke every day with backpain and stiffness. Since going totally GF I have none of the pain anymore unless accidentally glutened. I'm looking into other food intolerances too and found site fedup.com.au really useful. Your info really helpful, nice to not feel alone in this
—Guest Chris

Shoulder Pain

I've noticed that when I consume more gluten (I don't have CD but have family who do) my shoulder joint pain acts up. When I go GF, shoulder pain goes away. Even without CD, I notice the negative affect of gluten on my body.
—Guest mom2three

Joint pain back

I have been gluten free for over 2 years. My son is celiac and in doing research for him, I found out that joint pain could be a symptom of celiac. My diet changed when I re-married and our diet included a lot more gluten than we had eaten before. The joint pain in my shoulder, elbows, fingers and hips was so bad. Within a few days of going gluten free, I was pain free. Lately, due to high stress, I have been eating some gluten. Now the pain is unbelievable in my shoulder and hip. I self-diagnosed celiac and am returning to a gf diet today! It works. Going gf also cleared up my skin problem that I have had since I was a teenager. I have seen many drs and naturopaths and had many diagnoses but no one really knew what it was. It atypical dh. My skin broke out in open sores and it itched and burned all the time. Going gf took all that away.
—Guest Jamie

Nothing stopped the pain!

I have been suffering almost all of my life (late 30's). As a teen, I used to take 3-5 hour naps every single day. I was always at the doctors or in the hospital. All this time, the doctors had the test results that would lead to the conclusion that I had CD. I finally started investigating when I fell asleep within 3 minutes of eating cake - a deep deep sleep. Less than a month before the cake incident, any time I ate gluten, every joint in my body would become inflamed like I had RA. It felt like my bones were going to shatter. I just accidentally glutened myself tonight and the joint pain came back just as strong. I have meds for pain but they haven't helped much in the past. The only fix is time, liquids, and rest. When GF, I am pain free, my head is clear, and I'm rarely tired during the day, and it's only been a month! Yes, doctors blamed my weight too. This always angered me. Who is going to be extra active when they are in great pain and exhausted? Duh!
—Guest Wendy

Makers Diet

going gluten free for only a few weeks now has eliminated the spams in my hands and the incredible pain in my hips incredible gas and diarrhea and pain I have had all my life to name a few things but still get tired. I am told the GM Wheat varieties and chemical flavours colours stabilizers emulsifiers sweetners much of it not derived from food has had free reign in our bodies. Food Combinations invented in the last few hundred years when potatoes arrived and sandwiches were invented cause bad digestion - meat needs different enzymes from the starches so we get gas and fermentation that also attacks the gut wall letting chemicals and acids directly through into our blood - add coeliac disease into the mix and we feel really bad , but it happens to everyone. We are not designed to eat a mix of everything - after eating fruit let the stomach settle then eat some carby starches but not with meat. Meat with green veges is ok. You will feel better. We are completely organic now and love it.

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

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