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Polymyositis: Can a gluten-free diet reduce symptoms?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polymyositis/AN00572
- With Mayo Clinic rheumatologist
April Chang-Miller, M.D.read biographyclose window
April Chang-Miller, M.D.April Chang-Miller, M.D.
Dr. April Chang-Miller is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and is a consultant in the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Dr. Chang-Miller's primary field is rheumatology with special interests in inflammatory joint diseases called seronegative spondyloarthropathies, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. She also cares for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica.
The New York City native is a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Chang-Miller joined the Mayo Clinic staff in Rochester, Minn., in 1991, and in 2002 she relocated to Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She is a fellow in the American College of Rheumatology and has been on the board of directors of the Arthritis Foundation North Central Chapter.
Polymyositis: Can a gluten-free diet reduce symptoms?
Can a gluten-free diet help reduce signs and symptoms of polymyositis?
from April Chang-Miller, M.D.
Polymyositis (pol-e-mi-o-SI-tis) is a rare muscle disease that usually affects adults. A few studies that looked at small numbers of people with polymyositis over a number of years found that a gluten-free diet was linked to symptom reduction.
Without stronger evidence, though, having polymyositis doesn't mean you need to eliminate gluten from your diet — unless you also have celiac disease, which may be more common in people with polymyositis than in the general population.
In celiac disease, an abnormal immune system reaction keeps your small intestine from absorbing gluten, which is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. Eating these grains invariably causes digestive distress, as does eating processed foods containing gluten. A gluten-free diet is the basic requirement for living with celiac disease.
If you have polymyositis and you develop persistent iron deficiency anemia with weight loss and frequent bouts of diarrhea, your doctor may recommend testing for celiac disease.
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