Polymyositis: Can a gluten-free diet reduce symptoms?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Polymyositis: Can a gluten-free diet reduce symptoms?


Can a gluten-free diet help reduce signs and symptoms of polymyositis?

No name
No state given


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.

Last Updated: 2011-06-07
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version