Joint pain is undeniably frustrating. It impairs your range of motion and makes it more difficult to enjoy physical activity. Even sitting still with aching joints is uncomfortable. What’s even worse is not knowing what’s causing your pain and how to make it go away. If you’re experiencing stubborn joint pain, it could be caused by gluten intolerance.
What is gluten?
First things first: gluten isn’t a chemical or an additive, it’s actually a collection of naturally occurring proteins. The class of protein that is most often connected with negative side effects is gliadin. Gluten is found in some grains like wheat, barley, and rye. In those grains, the gluten proteins serve important functions like nourishing the embryo of the plant. According to Live Science, they’re also responsible for the elasticity of dough and the chewy texture of baked bread.
How is it harmful?
It’s important to understand that gluten isn’t harmful to everyone. People with celiac disease experience the most severe effects because they have an autoimmune disorder that causes their bodies to treat gluten like a foreign substance invading the digestive system, but they aren’t the only ones affected. Even if you have tested negative for celiac disease, you might still suffer from gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. If you’re experiencing joint pain that just won’t quit, it could be caused by your body’s reaction to gluten.
How does gluten cause joint pain?
Veritas Health explains the link between gluten intolerance and joint pain: “When a person with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity eats gluten the immune system jumps into action, causing inflammation. This inflammation can affect the body’s organs and soft tissue.” You may not be able to see any outward signs of this inflammation, like swelling or redness, but you’ll feel it in the pressure it puts on your joints.
What can I do?Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten-free foods available to help you reduce or eliminate the amount of gluten you consume. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet. The Mayo Clinic recommends grains that don’t contain gluten proteins, including buckwheat, millet, cornmeal, and quinoa, and you can search for easy meal prep recipes that use these options. You may also want to explore if the use of PEMF technology, like the Oska Pulse, is right for you.