The Gluten / Arthritis Connection

Written by Donna Martini

At the age of 20 or so, I noticed a pain deep inside my knee joint. I had no idea what it was for years, but it radiated from inside and made it uncomfortable for me to bend the joint, sit or walk without issue. It took years before I realized it was arthritic symptoms that I was experiencing.

Some 10 years later, I was introduced to the dangers of wheat and dairy consumption, with the understanding that, if one is intolerant of either, symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and water retention could occur. Since I had severe issues with fluid retention, I immediately got off of all wheat and dairy. To my amazement, the swelling subsided, but more importantly, the arthritic pain went away!


I have been gluten free for many years now and experience no arthritic pain to date, some 28 years later. Last year however, my daughter, who was turning 18, started to complain about her leg and knee hurting. She asked to visit the doctor and while on that visit, the doctor suggested it may be arthritis and offered a cat scan, an anti-inflammatory and physical therapy. I don’t know what took me so long to realize it, but at the moment I heard a drug being suggested, my mind snapped back to the age of 20 and my own issues with knee pain. “Doctor”, I said, “Could this be dietary? What if we went gluten free?” The doctor agreed it may be due to a dietary response so I took her off all gluten and within a week, her complaining stopped.

Unfortunately, most doctors do not suggest diet change as the first course of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be yours. Please search out the endless links on line to help convince you of the importance of trying an elimination diet. I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed with the results. And remember my saying when it comes to getting rid of your favorite foods;

“Never deprive yourself of anything.

Instead, change your mind about what you want.” D