September 24, 2010

Sensory Nerve Pain Resolved with a Gluten Free Diet


Gluten has been shown to damage nerve tissue in multiple research studies.  Dr. Hadjivassilliou and colleagues have published yet another study on the damaging effects of gluten on nerves.

The study links sensory ganglionopathy (damage to nerve bundles that can lead to numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, burning sensations, poor balance, and dizziness) to gluten exposure.

A gluten free diet led to stabilization of the neuropathy for many of the patients in this study.


Neurology 2010;75:1003-1008.

Gluten is a known neurotoxin.  It comes as no surprise that yet another research study links this toxic peptide to nerve damage.   It has been speculated that gluten effects the nervous system in many different ways.  If you missed this critical interview on gluten and brain damage with psychiatrist, Dr. Chales Parker, go watch it now...

The screen capture below depicts the gluten-nerve connection by displaying a search on the National Library of Medicines Database:

Gluten can contribute to autoimmune antibody production against nerve cells, myelin (the coating around nerves), as well as the receptors on cells that bind neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow nerves to communicate).

Gluten has been shown to contribute to the break down of the blood brain barrier.  This allows chemical toxins to leak into the blood supply of the brain itself .

Gluten Sensitivity can cause malabsorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.  The consequences of these deficiencies can lead to neurological disease.  For example, vitamin B vitamin deficiency can prevent the body from producing important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and epinephrine.

Neurological Disease Linked to Gluten:

  1. Migraine
  2. Depression
  3. Anxiety
  5. Carpal Tunnel Sydrome
  6. Autism
  7. Sensory Neuropathy
  8. Vertigo
  9. Tinnitus
  10. Cerebellar Ataxia
  11. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  12. Myasthenia Gravis
  13. Bipolar
  14. Schizophrenia
  15. Gastroparesis
  16. Parkinson’s Disease
  17. Multiple Sclerosis
  18. ALS
  19. Cognitive Decline

I commonly hear other doctors say that their is no scientific evidence to make the claims above.  My reply is usually “Have you picked up a medical journal lately?”  Below are a few more simple searches using the National Library of Medicine Database on gluten and select nervous system diseases:

Have you gone gluten free but still remain sick? Find out why now…

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14 Responses to “Sensory Nerve Pain Resolved with a Gluten Free Diet”

  • Anne says:

    I have small fiber peripheral neuropathy and 7 yrs ago went on a gluten free diet. My pain level dropped to from 10 to 0-1. I still have some residual numbness but I have noticed in the past year that I am beginning to sense temperature in my feet. Nerves heal very slowly.

  • Anne,
    I see this type of problem resolve all the time in patients. One of these days I will have to collect and publish the data from my clinic. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tatian says:

    I would like to try the diet. I have ms. Sensory Peripherial Nuropathy. Other health issues as well a dialysis patient. Is this diet for me?

  • Tatian,
    This diet may be for you. You may want to consider being genetically tested for gluten sensitivity to confirm this.

    All the best,
    Dr. O

  • SoulInThe Sun says:

    Fibromyagia? CFS? Diabetes?

  • debbie says:

    i suffered for several years, dizziness, and falling, and my right eye began to turn inward, so much so, that i went to the top university here in germany, and had eye surgery to “straighten” the eyeball..along with a special lens that helped with the double vision, i continued falling and feeling dizzy (also MRI’s and spinal taps, etc..). Later, after a diagnosis of Celiac, and total gluten free, my dizziness, falling, all went away, and my eye returned to normal, and no need for a special lens..
    usually a sign that i have been “glutened” by accident, is my eye will become weak and i feel somewhat dizzy…along with many other symptoms, a breakout of eczema, mouth sores, and of course stomach pain and bloating..the list goes on..
    i am sooooo sooo thankful that i am not gluten free, i feel like i have a new life !!

  • debbie says:

    oops i meant, im sooo soo thankful that i AM gluten free!!

  • Mark says:

    Anne, are you all grain free and dairy free? Or are you still eating gluten free products which are all rice and corn?

  • Sarah says:

    How long does it take for the pain of Peripheral Neuropathy to go away? I’ve had it for four years now. I just turned 50. The pain in my feet is unbearable at times. I also experience a lot of fatigue and sometimes dizziness which could be from the 10 mg. of Nortriptyline I take for the pain. I’ve been gluten-free and casein free (right down to my lipstick) for seven months today, and it’s not getting better yet. I’m trying not to get discouraged. :(

  • Sarah,
    Watch the following video and apply all of the concepts to your life. Get back to us after a few months of implementation and let us know how you are doing:

  • George De Angelis says:

    Four years ago I had a numbness and tingling in my right foot and when slight pressure was
    applied to the point between my big toe and the next toe, a sharp agonizing pain shot up my foot. Currently, I have the same symptoms in my left foot. This started about one year ago. I have been gluten free for 5 years which has made me feel better in a number of other areas. The doctors have preformed a number of tests and have never mentioned neuropathy. Through my own research, I have found that my symptoms do resemble neuropathy. I have also read that the symptoms may be reduced, but no cure. Suggestions from “authoritative experts” have been from becoming lactose free, increasing B-12 & B-6 with D3 intact. There is a website that encourages the taking of whole grain,barley to minimize inflammation!!!!

    Not for me.

    Normally, when wearing shoes, the numbness does not bother me, but I do try to walk around the house without shoes as to promote the muscles in my feet. I wish that someone could direct me to an place to get an expert diagnoses and hopefully a relief from these symptoms. The numbness seems to be advancing, slightly further up both feet.

  • Heather says:

    My Doctor doesn’t think or believe in a “gluten” or celiac disease. Yet around 2004 I went gluten free and was very difficult but the pain was almost gone. Now.. I’m looking back cause I had my feet go out from under me.. I fell on my face. The numbness, tingling, migraines, pain, it’s unbelievable at times… I rather be starving and pain free.. than what I am today.. I have a polyp in my sinus cavity that could go to my eye.. What do I do? How do I start to take things slow? With my Diet? Please Help. Heather

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