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Gluten Intolerance May Cause Neuropathy

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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As you are looking for the cause of your neuropathy, don't forget to look at your diet.   Over the years multiple dietary components have been found to cause neuropathy.   Vitamins such as B12, folic acid and B6 have been found to help with neuropathy because of possible deficiencies.  But often we forget to consider other dietary components of neuropathy.

Celiac disease, a form of gluten intolerance, has long been found to cause nerve damage leading to neuropathy.  There is some question whether this is malnutrition related or just the inflammatory reaction from the dietary gluten.  My feeling is that it is a combination of both.  The inflammatory reaction has more recently been studied and documented as a possible cause.  It is one of the possible causes of a large portion of ideopathic neuropathy patients.

With that said, some gluten intolerances are not diagnosed as celiac-sprue or celiac disease.  This usually indicates that less damage is occuring to the celia of the intestine, but doesn't preclude this intolerance from causing nerve damage.   Gluten free diets have been documented as improving neuropathy even in some individuals without celiac or celiac-sprue.  Therefore, I recommend gluten intolerance be considered as a possible cause of neuropathy.

If this gluten intolerance is the cause of your neuropathy, it often requires 6-8 months to see improvement or even resolution of your neuropathy.   The inflammation will resolve and the nerves will start to function normally.  I recommend active supplementation to reduce the malnutrition component of the neuropathy.  This has also been shown to improve the neuropathy more rapidly. 

If you have neuropathy, consider gluten intolerance as the cause....
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