Fibromyalgia: Could gluten and wheat intolerances be part of the problem?

By Kristin Thorson, Founder of Fibro Network

Five years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease (allergy to wheat and gluten – it goes by many names but it is a common ingredient in most foods). The doctor gave me a five page list of foods/ingredients to avoid, which seemed to be just about everything in the grocery store. I went most of the day on an empty stomach and developed severe grastritis. The doctor prescribed the PPI drug Prilosec, but it is loaded with gluten! So I ditched the doctor and went to a nutritionist. She was great.

 

A drug-free way to clear up my gastritis and acid reflux was:

  • Eat a third of a cup (or less) of plain applesauce 2-3 times a day to neutralize stomach acids. It may not work for everyone, but it helped me and I still eat 3 spoonfuls before going to bed at night because acid reflux is worst when one is laying down and it interferes with sleep.
  • Sip milk (fat-free or rice or soy) throughout the day. I was lucky that I do not have a milk allergy, but the substitutes will work as well.

It is not easy sticking to a wheat/gluten free diet, but the nutritionist helped me identify foods I could eat. I only had to go to her for two visits and a follow-up phone consultation. It was the best $90 I ever spent.

              

Also, a couple years ago, Fibromyalgia Network wrote an article on how to go about identifying the foods that set off your symptoms with the aid of an elimination diet. Many fibro patients wrote to us to say that tomatoes really flared their fibro. Another thing to consider: tomato sauces are often placed over pasta, which is loaded with wheat/gluten. However, you can purchase rice-based or corn-based pasta that is wheat/gluten free to determine if you have an allergy to the tomato sauce or wheat/gluten.
 
See All Gluten Free Foods Here
 

There are two bonuses to having celiac (got to think positive!):

  • The corn-based pasta is fantastic tasting and does not turn to mush if it is cooked a couple of minutes too long.
  • Most all wheat/gluten free products do not have preservatives in them so it forced me to eliminate most chemicals from my diet.

If you have celiac disease, ask your local grocery stores if they have a list of products that are wheat/gluten free. I am amazed at how many stores are becoming aware of this disease and will hand you a list of celiac-friendly products. Things have improved during the past five years!

 
See All Gluten Free Foods Here

Source: Fibromyalgia Network
10/13/2012

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