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 clearly is not universally truefor all patients with RA, but I have seen a substantial percentageof the over 2,000 patients I have treated for RA improve quitedramatically once they stopped eating gluten. I have seenmany go into complete remission by doing this.
Although stopping gluten is very difficultto do, it is certainly a reasonable approach to consider forsuch a devastating illness. Generally improvement is notedin a week or two.
Please see the otherarticle and comment I wrote in this issue regarding rheumatoidarthritis.