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Study: Gluten-free diet may reduce painful endometriosis

Everywhere one looks there is a new diet. Most of these are made popular by celebrities. One such diet is the gluten-free diet made popular through the endorsements of famous people, including former President Bill Clinton, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Miley Cyrus, Zooey Deschanel and Jenny McCarthy.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, which means the most obvious sources for gluten in the diet are bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, flour, pizza bases, cakes and biscuits.

However, there is new study that correlates the reduction of extremely painful endometriosis with gluten-free diets and reduced wheat consumption. Researchers from Tor Vergata University in Rome  studied 207 patients with severe painful endometriosis-related symptoms. Upon entry into the study, values of painful symptoms were assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) for dysmenorrhoea, non-menstrual pelvic pain, and dyspareunia, resulting in pain severity scores ranging from 0-10; 0 indicating the absence of pain, and 1-4, 5-7 and 8-10 mild, moderate and severe, respectively.

A gluten-free diet was submitted to all patients and a new evaluation was performed after 12 months of diet.

The results were recently published in Minerva Chirurgica note that at a 12-month follow-up, 75 percent of the sample participants reported statistically significant change in painful symptoms compared to 25 percent who reported no improvement of symptoms. No patients reported worsening of pain and there was a significant increase of all domains of physical functioning, general health perception, vitality, social functioning, and mental health observed in all patients.

This study does support the contention that painful symptoms of endometriosis decrease after 12 months of gluten-free diet.