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Wheat, Gluten and CP/CPPS

Are chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) and Interstitial Cystitis (BPS/IC) the "asthmas" of the genitourinary tract? Is this a forum of gluten sensitivity?

The webmaster of this site was the first person ever to note on the internet that GLUTEN can affect symptoms. He writes:

I gave up wheat years ago, mainly because of the loose bowels it caused me. I also noticed that my two bad CP/CPPS flares since "conquering" my CP/CPPS were both associated with periods of re-introduction of wheat, oats and barley into my diet. I posted messages to various prostatitis and IC/PBS message boards in the mid-1990s, but nobody responded. I searched the Internet and found no hits, at that time, for wheat or gluten and prostatitis or interstitial cystitis. I also searched the Medline database, but found nothing that connected the conditions to gluten.

However, I've proved, over and over again, that this phenomenon is real. If I start eating gluten-containing foods, I go from next to zero symptoms to noticing, when crouching, an immense upwelling of pain in my groin. After I posted my experiences on the Internet, and then on this website, a number of men followed my example and reported a tremendous response to wheat exclusion diets. Here's a typical posting:

Now after being on a wheat free diet for 4 months my irritable bowel syndrome, urinary problems, and best of all, sexual dysfunction have all abated. (Viagra wasn't even working for me before.) My uro can't believe how firm my prostate has become.( Just had a check-up today.) No trace of bacteria before or after massage! I was resigned to the fact that I would probably have a lousy, prostatitis-burdened life for the rest of my life. Now I am feeling normal, energetic and healthy again.

Other men commented:

After dealing with this problem for many years, I have found that reducing my gluten intake as much as possible (complete elimination is almost impossible in a Western diet - unless I make it my life's mission) has been the only thing to reduce my symptoms.

as well as:

Wheat definitely is a key for me. I wanted to add that I was screwing up initially with the wheat free diet since SO many things secretly contain gluten. It's been about 3 months and symptoms are 90-95% better so far.

A handful of men also reported complete cures after following my example and ceasing gluten consumption.

Interestingly, according to the old-fashioned way of testing for celiac disease (colon biopsy in 1992), I do not have celiac disease, although the newer blood tests may come up with a different result. If I ever have those blood tests, I'll report back. But I certainly have a gluten-induced IBS with inflammation, and after wheat ingestion I get very sleepy, depressed and irritable, with headache, diarrhoea, and sometimes even skin rash.

Gluten can be a nerve poison for some people, and this may be the link. This issue is covered in more depth on our forum. This would be a great topic for research!

Update: as of November 2009, a search of "prostatitis and gluten" brings up zero hits on PubMed, and so does a search for "gluten and bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC)". A search for "gluten and pelvic pain" brings up a 2002 study. Close, but no cigar.

If you wish to use this link between gluten and UCPPS in your book, or your website, or your research, please give attribution to me or this site.