Could some people diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually be suffering from celiac disease? The National Fybromyalgia Association seems to think so. The May-August issue of its magazine Fibromyalgia Aware includes an overview of celiac disease written by Elaine Monarch of the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Available on PDF, the article--"Are You the One?"--cites nationally recognized research to establish how nearly 3 million Americans are estimated to have undiagnosed celiac disease, then states
A study by one nationwide celiac disease support group* indicated that among adults ultimately diagnosed with celiac disease, 9 percent were orginally diagnosed with fibromyalgia and 30 percent with IBS. Since many patients with CD have muscle aches, joint pains, GI symptoms, and fatigue, it is understandable that those people might get a label of fibromyalgia.People diagnosed with celiac disease typically experience greatly improved health when excluding wheat, barley, and rye from their diets. Diagnostic testing for celiac disease should, however, take place while one is still eating those foods.
In addition to the tender points exam, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is based on a number of symptoms that can be due to other conditions--celiac disease among them. This is further evidence that different so-called "silent" symptoms need to be taken seriously by physicians and thoroughly evaluated before a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (or IBS) is given.
* Cited in Dr. Peter Green's book Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic.