Is There a Connection between Gluten and Fibromyalgia?

· March 5, 2019
Although more studies are needed to substantiate the relationship, the fact of the matter is that reducing your consumption of gluten in your diet can improve fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a health disorder that’s characterized by muscle aches and continuous episodes of fatigue. Those who suffer from it experience tension and tenderness in much of their body, along with other occasional symptoms like stiffness, headaches, and tingling in the hands and feet. A recent study found that there is a link between the consumption of gluten and fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is considered a chronic syndrome. It’s believed that nearly 3% of the population suffers from it, affecting women 10 times more than men. But the most serious cases occur in adults and patients with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, lupus, and aging of the spine.

Some experts believe that the main cause of fibromyalgia is genetic. But it’s also been associated with other factors including trauma from an accident, physical activity, and other diseases.

Patients with fibromyalgia may experience complications just by consuming gluten. This substance found in wheat increases levels of inflammation in the body. Also, it interferes with the relief of symptoms.

What’s the connection between gluten and fibromyalgia?

Woman that knows the link between gluten and fibromyalgia

In a study published by the BMC Gastroenterology it was found that a gluten-free diet produces a remarkable improvement in women diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. While they acknowledge that the cause of fibromyalgia remains an enigma to health professionals, the results are promising for the treatment of those who suffer from it.

Their study suggests that inflammatory processes associated with gluten in the intestinal tract may contribute to the onset or increased sensitivity of the central nervous system. As a result, this is considered to be the primarily responsible for the development of fibromyalgia.

Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Therefore, it’s relationship with inflammation has been studied frequently. People who are sensitive to it often have an inflammatory response.

The relationship between fibromyalgia and gluten comes from inflammation in the cells of the body. This affects the joints, muscles, and other tissues.

Many people are not even aware that they’re gluten intolerant. As a result, this can greatly increase the complications of the condition. That’s why experts are recommending that they eliminate these foods from the diet as a complement to regular treatment of this syndrome.

Do not forget to read: How to Make Gluten-Free Bread: Three Recipes

What other measures can be taken to fight fibromyalgia?

In addition to eliminating all foods containing gluten from your diet, you can also consider other important measures to control your disease.

Changing dietary habits and getting regular exercise are some of the keys to coping.

Get more magnesium

Magnesium is good for fibromyalgia

Consuming foods that are rich in magnesium helps protect your muscles and tendons. Therefore, magnesium reduces muscle tension and joint pain.

Among them are:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Molasses

Take vitamin D

A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the onset of complications in patients who have fibromyalgia. Therefore, moderate consumption of this vitamin can reduce episodes of chronic pain. Also, vitamin D increases your physical performance.

So you should consume:

  • Fatty fish
  • Beef liver
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Mushrooms
  • Enriched milk

Consume calcium

Foods that are rich in calcium reduce muscle spasms. They strengthen bones and joint health.

You can get calcium from:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Soy milk
  • Beans
  • Broccoli

You want to know more? 7 Herbal Treatments for Fibromyalgia Relief

Physical activity

Running is good for fibromyalgia

Getting exercise improves circulation, tones muscle groups, and helps you maintain a healthy weight to avoid additional strain on your body. Therefore, activities like walking, cycling, and swimming are ideal for patients with this disorder.


Massages with relaxing oils reduce pain and other symptoms that are characteristic of this syndrome. However, the key is to use the right amount of pressure to avoid muscle injuries. Therefore, seek a professional’s help.

In conclusion, we can say that while more scientific research is needed to determine the connection between gluten and fibromyalgia, changing your diet is a great way to help control its symptoms.

Isasi, C., Colmenero, I., Casco, F., Tejerina, E., Fernandez, N., Serrano-Vela, J. I., … Villa, L. F. (2014). Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatology International.

Rossi, A., Di Lollo, A. C., Guzzo, M. P., Giacomelli, C., Atzeni, F., Bazzichi, L., & Di Franco, M. (2015). Fibromyalgia and nutrition: What news? Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.

Volta, U. (2014). Gluten-free diet in the management of patients with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia and lymphocytic enteritis. Arthritis Research and Therapy.