Gluten Free Diet Can Relieve Neuropathic Pain

Gluten Free Diet Can Relieve Neuropathic Pain

Gluten-sensitive people on a gluten-free diet suffer less from neuropathic pain, according to a preliminary study.

Gluten-sensitive people often suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a peripheral nerve disorder that affects the feet and hands. It results in symptoms such as weakness, pain, tingling, and numbness.

What the study shows

The study included 60 people with peripheral neuropathy and sensitive to gluten. Their average age was 70, three-quarters were men. Participants answered questionnaires about their pain intensity, symptoms, mental health, and diet.

33 people, 55%, had neuropathic pain but those on a gluten-free diet suffered less than the others. After adjusting the results according to different parameters (age, sex …), those who ate gluten-free were 89% less likely to suffer pain than others. People with neuropathic pain also had poorer mental health.

This preliminary study will be presented next April in Los Angeles at the 70th Annual Congress of the American Academy of Neurology. It has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Directed by Panagiotis Zis at the University of Sheffield in the UK, the study shows an association between a gluten-free diet and a decrease in pain, without actually showing the link of cause and effect. The number of people studied is very low too.

For the researcher nonetheless, “this study is promising because it shows that a gluten-free diet can help reduce the risk of pain for people with neuropathy. In MedPage Today, the researcher explained this phenomenon as follows: ” The ingestion of gluten causes an immune response that, in this case, damages the nerves, which can be painful. A strict gluten-free diet eliminates the primary factor triggering inflammation, allowing the immune response to subside and relieve neuropathic symptoms, including pain.

In practice

Gluten is present in all products made from wheat, rye or barley. Read the labels and recognize the products that contain them: quiches, pizzas, breaded fish, nuggets… many ultra-processed products have gluten!

Many organic shops and supermarkets offer gluten-free rays. If some products are quite expensive, they can still help from time to time (pasta, bread crumbs …). At home, replace your usual wheat flour with other gluten-free flours. It is the moment to discover new cereals, if it is not already done (quinoa, millet…) and to experiment with new cooking recipes.

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