ZocdocAnswersCan Celiac Disease cause severe joint pain?

Question

Can Celiac Disease cause severe joint pain?

I am 14, and I think I've had it for about a year or so, but I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a little over 3 months ago and I have been reading stuff like it cause osteoporosis and whatnot. But I didn't know if it caused joint pain? Because I don't do the Gluten-Free diet ( Although I should but I can't because no one else in my family will eat it, they're all overweight and wont pay all that extra money and im allergic to fruit) But I am experiencing extreme pain in my hips, lower back, my shoulders/neck, and sometimes knees & ankles. Do you think it could be the Celiac Disease causing this?

Answer

Celiac disease can cause many symptoms, including the nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea that you might have had which led to your diagnosis. And, you are correct that over time, celiac disease can be linked to a host of other health problems. However, new celiac disease itself does not typically cause joint pain, particularly in the joints that you mentioned (hips and lower back) in someone of your age. You should definitely see your physician to discuss this further, as celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that can sometimes be associated with other autoimmune diseases that do cause inflammatory arthritis in young patients. In particular, some of the hip/lower back pain you describe can sometimes be due to a condition called ankylosing spondylitis. Your doctor will want to discuss your symptoms further and definitely do a thorough physical exam to look for any overt skin or joint changes, as well as to assess the degree of limitation in range of motion that you might have from the joint pain. Finally, to protect your health you do need to be on a gluten-free diet, even though it can often be difficult. Please speak to your doctor and he or she can help connect you with resources to make that easier. Hopefully you'll be feeling better soon!

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