Effect of The Gluten-Free Diet on Quality of Life, Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Immune System in Patients with Fibromyalgia and Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity. Fibromyalgia and Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity

Author(s): Claudia Schinocca, Diana Di Liberto, Pasquale Mansueto, Marianna Lo Pizzo, Giulia Grasso, Emilia Messana, Francesco Dieli, Francesco Ciccia, Giuliana Guggino and Antonio Carroccio

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a clinical syndrome characterized by chronic pain. FM patients complain hyperalgesia and allodynia and they are frequently affected by Non Celiac Wheat Sensitivity (NCWS), a condition where gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms are triggered by gluten and/or wheat ingestion. The gluten-free diet (GFD) impact was evaluated on fibromyalgia-related and gastrointestinal symptoms, health-related quality of life and immune response of patients with both FM and NCWS in order to detect a possible pathogenetic role of wheat/gluten in the triggering of the inflammatory process. Peripheral blood from 8 FM patients, 10 FM and NCWS patients (FM+NCWS patients), 13 NCWS patients and 14 healthy subjects (HS) was taken before and after 8 weeks of GFD and used for cytofluorimetric analysis. In all FM+NCWS patients after GFD almost all the clinical parameters used to evaluate musculoskeletal and systemic symptoms related to FM were reduced as well as intestinal symptoms present before GFD. Moreover, pro-inflammatory cytokines production (IFN-γ, TNF- α, IL-17 and IL-22) by T helper (Th) cells of FM+NCWS patients was reduced after GFD. Our findings suggest that gluten/wheat could represent one of the triggering factors of the inflammatory condition playing an important role in the etiopathogenesis of both FM and NCWS.

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