Heart inflammationAcute pericarditis (inflammation of the sack surrounding the heart) can be caused by virus or bacterial infection, but 85% of the cases have an unknown etiology (cause).   The common presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the fluid around the heart and antinuclear antibodies (ANA – a blood marker commonly used to help diagnose lupus) in the serum as well as new autoimmune disease diagnosis lead the authors of this paper to suspect that peridarditis itself is caused by an autoimmune process.

Source:

Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Oct;8(1):44-7.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

If acute pericarditis in the absence of infection is indeed an autoimmune process, then we should look to gluten as a potential progenitor as it is the only well known cause for autoimmune disease.  There have been several associations between celiac disease and pericarditis in the medical literature to date.  Some patients have had resolution of recurrent pericarditis on a gluten free diet.

Not all patients with gluten sensitivity will develop celiac disease.  Many studies to date have shown that celiac disease is simply one of many autoimmune diseases caused by gluten exposure in those with HLA-DQ genetic susceptibility.  Is acute pericarditis in the absence of celiac disease one of these gluten induced manifestations?  Possibly yes.

If you suffer from recurring pericarditis and don’t know why, have your doctor perform HLA-DQ testing to rule out gluten sensitivity.

5 thoughts on “Autoimmune Heart Inflammation – Does Gluten Play a Role

  1. Pingback: Medication is not the solution for gluten free lifestyle | Gluten Free Society

  2. Patricia Brower says:

    JUST ABOUT EVERY AILMENT THAT EXISTS IS GLUTEN RELATED, EVEN MY HAVING ASTHMA. BECAREFUL NOT TO GET STOMACH CANCER BY OVER EATING WHEAT. MY LAST ENDOSCOPY SHOWED THAT I WAS VERY CLOSE TO GETTING STOMACH CANCER UNTIL I TOOK MY ILLNESS MORE SERIOUS BUT YES ALOT OF AiLMENTS OUT THERE I READ RECENTLY THAT IT’S CELIAC RELATED. I HOPE THIS INFORMATION HELPS.

  3. Olivia Martin says:

    I had severe pericarditis at 20 – nearly died and spent a month in hospital. All my life I was told I had IBS which was inherited from my family … most of mums side of the family suffered from ulcerative colitis and a few had passed from bowel cancer. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that mum comes from three generations of wheat farmers. It wasn’t until my 30’s that I tried a gf diet to support my two
    little boys who were constantly sick and
    needed to try gf to see if it helped. I have
    never looked back. My boys are healthy and happy and all of my lifelong health problems are gone. I even got my mum on it and she’s never felt so good. Hadn’t been pain free her whole life. Wheat is such a serious health concern.

      • Randy Ellis says:

        November 2016 had my first case of severe pericarditis. Next bout was 10 months later, then 3 months after that, then 1 month after that. The only coincidence? Heavy meals and lots of carbs. All my Cardiologist said was “try to exercise and get healthy or you may have to go on steroids”. After specific prayers, God put it on my heart (no pun intended) to stop gluten. I did. Since that day in April of 2018, no more pericarditis, and close to 40 lbs gone. I also eventually went to a Dr. and got an HLA DQ test and it returned positive for wheat sensitivity. People are DEFINITELY affected by gluten. I’m not saying all people, but a good percentage.

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