Video: Can A Gluten-Free Diet Alleviate Chronic Pain?

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the Clinical Pain Advisor take:

"The video is interesting and insightful. Eliminating gluten can lead to dramatic improvement for some patients. It does not only help with gastrointestinal disorders but is often helpful with painful disorders relating to inflammation.

I would encourage patients to discuss gluten cessation with their physicians. While the data discussed in the video is promising, they are probably not applicable for all patients."

— Dr. David Rosenblum, a member of CPA's editorial board. 

"I have heard of diets such as this claiming an end to chronic pain simply by changing ones eating habit. However, I have not seen clinically where this has proven to be the case with 'most' patients. That is not to say this might work for some, but it most likely will not for the majority of patients who have no issues with dietary gluten.

It is reasonable to say that if someone were gluten sensitive and that component was removed from diet, there would logically be less inflammatory processes taking place with subsequent improvement in generalized pain responses, as these two components (inflammation/pain) affect each other without question. I see this as another possible treatment option if other treatments are not effective or if the patient simply chooses to utilize a more conservative non-pharmacological approach to their pain-management care.

However, this is not a 'top pick' treatment plan that I would incorporate unless I knew the patient had a gluten sensitivity. A specific gluten-free diet outlined in a book intended to specifically treat chronic pain sounds like a moneymaking opportunity."

— Dr. Peter David Pacheo, a member of CPA's editorial board.

Even though millions of Americans depend on long-term opioids to manage chronic pain, there are those in the medical community who have been busy promoting alternatives. Common non-opioid treatments of pain include accupuncture, chiropractic, psychotherapy and physical therapy -- but what about a gluten-free diet?

Peter Osborne, who is both a board certified doctor of clinical nutrition as well as a doctor of chiropractic, believes prescription drugs are not the answer to treating patients with chronic pain. Instead he claims there's a "connection between grain consumption causing auto-immune inflammation and pain."

He said there are studies that support his theory. For example, a 2012 study, published in Minerva Chirurgica, found that painful symptoms of endometriosis decrease after 12 months of a patient undergoing a gluten-free diet.

According to him, taking gluten out of a patient's diet reduces inflammation, but it goes even deeper than just removing gluten — grain should be excluded, too.

It's important to note that Dr. Osborne has a book on this topic coming out in January 2016. He is the co-founder of Nutra-MD and the Gluten Free Society.

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