Investigators describe the case of a patient with a two-year history of adult dermatomyositis. This is a relatively rare form of rheumatoid arthritis that has many skin symptoms. The patient had malabsorption and had celiac disease.
Their observation raises the question of an association between dermatomyositis and celiac disease as part of a continuum, suggesting that celiac disease may be included within the spectrum of the gastrointestinal manifestations of dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
This is a very interesting case report that strongly suggests a correlation between the consumption of gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) and rheumatoid arthritis.
This clearly is not universally true for all patients with RA, but I have seen a substantial percentage of the over 2,000 patients I have treated for RA improve quite dramatically once they stopped eating gluten. I have seen many go into complete remission by doing this.
Although stopping gluten is very difficult to do, it is certainly a reasonable approach to consider for such a devastating illness. Generally improvement is noted in a week or two.
Please see the other article and comment I wrote in this issue regarding rheumatoid arthritis.