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Gluten-free Diet for Arthritis

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A gluten-free diet is the fad today, with even restaurants claiming to serve a gluten-free menu! It has many benefits such as relieving digestive problems and even joint pain. But the crux of the matter is: eliminating gluten is essential for people with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition. But not everyone who goes gluten-free will find joint pain relief – some may not benefit at all.

Joint Pain and Celiac Disease

In those affected by celiac disease, ingesting gluten sets off an inflammatory response in the small intestine that damages its ability to absorb nutrients. Over time, poor absorption of essential vitamins and mineral, such as calcium, can lead to fatigue, skin rash and even osteoporosis. Joint pain is another symptom.

According to Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the mucosal biology research center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, “The most accredited theory is that gut inflammation triggered by gluten causes activation of T lymphocytes that can eventually migrate to joints, causing local inflammation and, therefore, joint pain. This theory is in line with the fact that celiac disease is now defined as a systemic disease that can affect any organ or tissue, including joints.”

Gluten Substitutes

While it is important that people with celiac disease need to avoid gluten – a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, and rye – all is not lost! When it comes to cooking and baking, there are many interesting substitutes that everyone will enjoy:

Buckwheat: Small and triangular, buckwheat grains aren’t actually related to wheat, but like wheat, they’re widely used in foods around the world – from Japanese soba noodles to French crêpes from Brittany. In America, roasted buckwheat is most popular. It often goes by the name kasha, and has an earthy, smoky flavor that is great for stuffing and side dishes.

Corn: In its dried, ground form, it’s called cornmeal, and can be used to make cornbread or polenta, a rich, naturally creamy side dish. For instant gratification (traditional polenta usually takes more than 30 minutes to cook, and involves plenty of stirring), look for plastic-wrapped tubes of pre-cooked polenta.

Millet: The small, yellow seeds are packed with B vitamins and have a slightly sweet, almost corn-like flavor. They’re as simple to cook as rice, and can be made into either sweet or savory preparations.

If you suspect that gluten is causing or worsening your aches, talk to your doctor today!

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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