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Can Gluten Affect Joints & Is Gluten Free Diet Good for Arthritis?

Wheat has caused many dietary problems for many people and studies have shown that for some people gluten aka wheat[1] can cause joint pain and other health problems.

For people who have a gluten intolerance, it’s usually because they have an inner inflammatory reaction when consuming anything with gluten, due to the proteins that are found in wheat.

This can cause inner inflammation that is very harmful to the body and overall very painful as well. While anyone at any age can experience a gluten intolerance, sometimes it does target certain people.

Sometimes older individuals that already suffer from arthritis and the various form of this disease, it can be much easier to develop a gluten intolerance.


This has encouraged many studies to take place to try and figure out if gluten can be caused by joint problems such as arthritis, or if it’s the other way around.

In recent studies it’s been agreed upon that there is a possible link between the joint pain and gluten, many people suspected this, but it’s finally getting its time in the spotlight so we can see what we need to change and what we need to keep doing to move forward and be healthy.

In this article, we’ll be going over the various reasons as to why gluten can cause different types of joint pain [2]. While this isn’t always the case for everyone, it is something that deserves some time to be explained for those who do feel like they are going through this issue on their own.

We’ll also be discussing preventative steps so you can avoid this happening to you in the future. From figuring out how to alter your diet to learning more about this topic in general, everything helps bring you one step closer to inflammation free lifestyle

How Gluten causes Joint Inflammation?

Joint Inflammation

There are individuals who suffer from joint inflammation, weakness, swelling, and stiffness, simply because of the allergic reaction their whole body has as a response to gluten being in their system.

Most individuals don’t realize that this unique joint pain is caused by this very harmful ingredient, especially if you deal with arthritis regularly, but this can occur even if you don’t suffer from any variant of arthritis.

If you happen to have a gluten allergy, the first signs you should look for are the symptoms of inflammation. This response from your immune system is because your body is trying to attack the allergens.

When you consume anything that has wheat or gluten of any sort, this will trigger your body to set off the response that ends up leading to the inflammatory response which causes the joint pain.

When the allergy is this severe, it is much more than simple gluten sensitivity, it is called celiac disease. When this occurs it’s very common for the triggering of the allergy and inflammation to cause a build up of synovial fluid in your joints, causing pain and swelling.

What is Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten Free Bread

When someone has celiac disease, the disease that causes an individual to be intolerant to gluten, it can cause some major damage to the intestines and specifically the small intestines. But when someone just has a sensitivity to gluten which is entirely different, it will cause little to no damage to the intestines.

When this damage occurs, when someone has celiac disease[3], it can cause major pain if the problem isn’t treated. Below we’ll walk you through the process you should take if you feel like you’re experiencing this kind of pain and problem with your lifestyle.

You might be able to find the answers by following these steps. A healthy diet can help encourage your bodies immune system to regulate itself overtime, causing the inflammation to calm down so you body can heal and absorb the nutrients you need from the healthy foods you introduce to your system.

How To Change Your Diet?

How To Change Your Diet

When people who have problems with gluten and experience regular joint pain[4] continue with their normal diet it can only make things much worse. Below we will be walking you through the steps you should be taking so you can better your diet and cut out those gluten filled foods.

It might be hard to make a change in your diet overnight, but you can take the right steps forward and still notice a difference every single day, less inflammation and more options with your diet.

  • First you need to reach out to a professional, your trusted doctor or a dietician. This way you’ll be able to have a list of foods you should be eating, so you won’t be depriving yourself of the nutrients you need in your day to day life.
  • Secondly, you should work on cutting out as many processed foods as possible. You should only choose to eat unprocessed foods as often as possible. Even things that are labeled as GF or gluten free, they still contain unhealthy fats and sugar that you don’t need in your diet, ever.
  • Stick to whole foods like fruits, veggies, and rice as much as possible to give yourself the right amount of food and nutrition.
  • Lastly, you need to make sure that you’re helping your joints heal by finding the balance in your exercise routine. This will help to keep you on track and it will also help you heal your joints over time. Speak to a personal trainer to understand the benefits of specific exercises for your joints. This will minimize joint pains and aches.

Read NextWhat Not To Eat When You Have Arthritis?


Overall, joint pain and gluten can be very harmful[5]for your body whether or not you have a gluten intolerance. Which is why taking the time to read through this guide hopefully helped to point you in the right direction moving forward.

What changes are you planning to make for the future?

Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com

Contributor : Janice (Joint Health Magazine)

Janice Carson is a freelance journalist who specializes in Joint health issues and provides treatments and solutions to the sufferers. She is having medical writing experience of many years. She is contributing her work to jointhealthmagazine.com.

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