OA and gluten

JJE239 Member Posts: 24
Hi, I've just joined this forum so will introduce myself a little before getting to my question. I have severe OA in both my knees - bone on bone now and some damage to patella and tibia as a result. I am 38, which is apparently quite young for such extreme damage. I'm a sports teacher, so this has come as quite a blow to me and I can no longer run or play the sports I love.

In the past few years have developed an intolerance to gluten which manifests itself in eczema on my elbows. I'm not always brilliant at being gluten free but am prepared to take the consequences occasionally. However, now that I'm trying to manage my OA pain, I'm wondering whether gluten can also contribute to joint pain. I have read some articles about a link with RA, which makes sense to me as an autoimmune response, but I'm not sure about OA.

The reason I'm asking now is that I had a high gluten diet yesterday and am suffering with knee pain today that is more severe than usual, but with only a very small amount of swelling - no more than a normal day.
Does anyone know of a link between gluten and OA?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi JJE239 & welcome to the Arthritis Care Forums.

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    You may like to check the section of the website on Managing Arthritis which has information on diet & possible interactions with arthritis: https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/managing-arthritis/diet-and-exercise/diet

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.
    Best wishes
    Mod Bryn
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,413
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi JJE239

    Thank you for your posting on the forum.

    I can understand how this diagnosis has come ‘as quite a blow’, to you, as life seems to have changed quite a bit, particularly having to leave behind the sports you love.

    The link the moderator has given you may be helpful with regards to exercise and diet.
    For further responses to your post it might be more useful to post on our ‘Living with arthritis’ forum: http://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=8 where I’m sure people will come back to you with their views.

    I’m not aware of a link between gluten and OA, though as you say there may be more of a link with the auto-immune types of arthritis.

    If you would like to talk to us about your arthritis please give us a ring on our Freephone Helpline: 0808 800 4050 (weekdays 10-4). Here we can take the time to talk informally and in confidence, sometimes a listening ear can be helpful

    Best wishes
  • bitsinabag
    bitsinabag Member Posts: 30
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I`ll begin by saying that I have no experience of OA. I had severe RA now some 9 years ago which I now manage without drugs by avoiding trigger foods.
    I identified those triggers by keeping a record on a single A4 for just a few weeks and watching the patterns. At the time there was no information available to me as to what, or if food had any effect!
    Here is what I did;-
    The approach came from my old man which he summarised as;-
    1 Change in wellbeing+/- = opportunity to discover why.
    2 The log of inputs / change of wellbeing = key indicator of what
    3 Be ruthless in avoiding what (for a week at least)
    4 Re-introduce what to confirm if
    5 Monitor and log throughout on a single A4. (Full picture view).

    On a practical level entries for food on the left, 1 line for each. Days of the week, 7 accross the top, a tick in the corresponding box each time a food is consumed. And most importantly how you feel `Wellbeing` 1 to 9 as the last row noted each day. If there is any pattern to be seen check the ingredients to provide better information. From experience, as you have found, none is the only acceptable level of trigger foods. Allurgy testing did not show any indicators in my case.
    I would be pleased to hear if you do try this approach.
    All the best, bitsinabag