Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms?

Minerva Chir. 2012 Dec;67(6):499-504.


Aim: Pelvic pain affects 4% to 39% of women and accounts for 10-40% of all outpatient gynecologic visits. The etiology of painful endometriosis-related has not been fully delineated. No studies have been published concerning gluten-free diet administered to achieved relief of painful symptoms endometriosis-related. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness for the outcomes of endometriosis-related pain and quality of life of gluten-free diet in a follow-up of 12 months in patients with chronic pelvic pain endometriosis-related.

Methods: Two hundred seven patients with severe painful endometriosis-related symptoms entered the study. At enrolment time, the baseline values of painful symptoms were assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for dysmenorrhoea, non-menstrual pelvic pain, and dyspareunia. According to VAS, pain severity was scored 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. Student t test was used for statistical analysis.

Results: At 12 month follow-up, 156 patients (75%) reported statistically significant change in painful symptoms (P<0.005), 51 patients (25%) reported not improvement of symptoms. No patients reported worsening of pain. A considerable increase of scores for all domains of physical functioning, general health perception, vitality, social functioning, and mental health was observed in all patients (P<0.005).

Conclusion: In our experience, painful symptoms of endometriosis decrease after 12 months of gluten free diet.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Endometriosis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Pain / diet therapy*
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult