Fibromyalgia and coeliac disease: a media hype or an emerging clinical problem?
ABSTRACT Fibromyalgia (FM) association with autoimmune diseases has been widely reported in literature. Coeliac disease (CD) is a small intestine immune-mediated disorder triggered by gluten ingestion in genetically predisposed patients. In recent years, the Internet and the non-medical press have reported a correlation between gluten-related disorders and fibromyalgia-like symptoms. The aim of our study was to verify a possible association between FM and CD, by assessing the prevalence of CD in a cohort of FM patients and vice versa.
90 consecutive subjects from our Rheumatologic outpatient clinic who had been diagnosed with FM were serologically tested for CD and positive patients underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy to obtain duodenal biopsies. A second group of 114 consecutive subjects from our Coeliac Disease outpatient clinic were investigated for the presence of FM-like symptoms through a questionnaire. Patients reporting chronic widespread pain were addressed to a rheumatologist for further evaluation.
The overall prevalence of CD in our FM patients was identical to that expected in general population (around 1%). In our CD group 17 patients (14.9%) reported chronic widespread pain at the questionnaire and 13 (11.4%) satisfied ACR 1990 criteria for FM. Their symptoms had not been modified by GFD.
A serological screening for CD is not recommended in FM patients but rather a case-finding strategy should be performed. At the same time, proposals of GFD in FM patients, in absence of a well-established diagnosis of CD, should be rigorously avoided.
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ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by chronic generalized pain accompanied by a broad symptomatologic spectrum. Besides chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and cognitive dysfunction that are extensively described in the literature, a considerable proportion of patients with fibromyalgia experience gastrointestinal symptoms that are commonly overlooked in the studies that are not specifically dedicated to evaluate these manifestations. Nevertheless, various attempts were undertaken to explore the gastrointestinal dimension of fibromyalgia. Several studies have demonstrated an elevated comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among patients with fibromyalgia. Other studies have investigated the frequency of presentation of gastrointestinal symptoms in fibromyalgia in a nonspecific approach describing several gastrointestinal complaints frequently reported by these patients such as abdominal pain, dyspepsia and bowel changes, among others. Several underlying mechanisms that require further investigation could serve as potential explanatory hypotheses for the appearance of such manifestations. These include sensitivity to dietary constituents such as gluten, lactose or FODMAPs or alterations in the brain-gut axis as a result of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or subclinical enteric infections such as giardiasis. The gastrointestinal component of fibromyalgia constitutes a relevant element of the multidisciplinary pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying fibromyalgia that need to be unveiled, as this would contribute to the adequate designation of relevant treatment alternatives corresponding to these manifestations.Rheumatology International 08/2014; 35(3). DOI:10.1007/s00296-014-3109-9 · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome associated with numerous somatic symptoms including gastrointestinal manifestations of nonspecific nature. Celiac disease and nongluten sensitivity frequently evolve in adults with gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms similar to those found among patients with fibromyalgia. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the presence of celiac-type symptoms among patients with fibromyalgia in comparison with healthy subjects and with those experienced by adult celiac patients and subjects with gluten sensitivity. A list of typical celiac-type symptoms was developed, comparing the frequency of presentation of these symptoms between patients with fibromyalgia (N = 178) and healthy subjects (N = 131), in addition to those of celiac patients and gluten-sensitive patients reported in the literature. The frequency of presentation of every celiac-type symptom, excepting anemia, was significantly higher among patients with fibromyalgia compared to controls (p < 0.0001). Regarding the existing data in the literature, the prevalence of fatigue, depression, cognitive symptoms and cutaneous lesions predominated among patients with fibromyalgia, whereas the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms was higher among patients with fibromyalgia compared to gluten-sensitive patients and was similar among patients with fibromyalgia and celiac disease patient. The symptomatological similarity of both pathologies, especially gastrointestinal symptoms, suggests that at least a subgroup of patients with fibromyalgia could experience subclinical celiac disease or nonceliac gluten intolerance.Rheumatology International 08/2014; 35(3). DOI:10.1007/s00296-014-3110-3 · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IntroductionIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lymphocytic enteritis (LE) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are three common disorders. Since a gluten-free diet (GFD) has been shown to be helpful in LE, we aimed to assess its effect in a series of LE patients also diagnosed with IBS and FMS.Methods The study sample comprised 97 IBS plus FMS adult females, of whom 58 had LE (Marsh stage 1), and 39 had a normal duodenal biopsy (Marsh stage 0). All patients fulfilled the Rome III and American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria. All participants followed a GFD, whose effectiveness was assessed by changes in the results of several tests, including those of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), tender points (TPs), the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the visual analogue scales (VAS) for gastrointestinal complaints, pain and fatigue.ResultsAt baseline, all patients had a poor quality of life (QoL) and high VAS scores. After 1 year on a GFD, all outcome measures were somewhat better in the Marsh stage 1 group, with a mean decrease of 26-29% in the TPs, FIQ, HAQ and VAS scales, accompanied by an increase of 27% in the SF-36 physical and mental component scores. However, in the IBS plus FMS/Marsh stage 0 group, the GFD had almost no effect.Conclusions This pilot study shows that a GFD in the LE-related IBS/FMS subgroup of patients can produce a slight but significant improvement in all symptoms. Our findings suggest that further studies of this subject are warranted.Arthritis Research & Therapy 08/2014; 16(5):421. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-2049244887124904 · 4.12 Impact Factor