Surviving a Dual Diagnosis of Lupus and Gluten-Sensitivity

[Meet Margaret Romero, a trained nurse practitioner, and author of the blog I invited Margaret to share her story … the struggles (muscle pain, hair loss) she endured leading to a diagnosis of Lupus, and eventually learning of a gluten-sensitivity. What impressed me most was her perseverance to get healthy. She says on her blog “The immense discovery transformed my life and brought me to where I am today, a vibrant, healthy entrepreneur in pursuit of all things fabulous and delicious”. It wasn’t always the case for Margaret, but she is a survivor! I hope your take home message will be 1) if you are presently going through what she has managed to survive, have hope and advocate for yourself and …  2)  as Margaret mentions below, if you have been diagnosed with Lupus, or any other auto-immune disease, & still experiencing symptoms, get tested for celiac/non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. Be sure to stop by Margaret’s blog to learn about her tips to wellness!… Paula, CeliacCorner]


Surviving a Dual Diagnosis of Lupus and Gluten-Sensitivity

by Margaret A. Romero, NP-C, Integrative Nurse Practitioner, guest author


Several years ago, after going through a slew of tests, cat scans, x-rays, countless blood draws and a painful biopsy, I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis.

What began as an occasional single joint discomfort turned into multiple painful joints and quickly ensued into severe full body muscle pain. I needed help to get out of bed and to take a shower. Along with the debilitating pain came hair loss and depression.  These were a few of the first things I encountered each morning and despite all the medications, my body still ached.

At one of my appointments with my rheumatologist, I brought up the fact that after every meal my joints would swell and become painful within 30 minutes of eating.

I asked to be tested for celiac and she brushed off my idea and told me to just continue taking my medication. So I ordered the gene test myself, swabbed the inside of my mouth, and sent it off to the lab.  Two weeks later, the results revealed 2 gluten sensitive genes. At that moment, I became a gluten free fanatic and have never looked back.

My joint pain and muscle pain slowly subsided.  Due to my inactivity, all my muscles had atrophied, but I was able to gradually walk and slowly go up and down the stairs again. Did I mention I also gained 30 lbs. from the water retention and the prednisone?  I barely recognized myself whenever I looked in the mirror. Eventually, I did buy a wig.

Where would I be today had I ignored my inner guidance to check gluten as a culprit for my pain?  I have since fired that rheumatologist for her insensitivity and lack of knowledge. Today, I have lost those 30 lbs., I wake up refreshed and no longer experience any joint or muscle pain.  My hair has grown thick and full. I run my business full time and practice yoga several times per week.  I have corrected all of my vitamin deficiencies and hormone levels, which took quite a hit during my health crisis.

Being gluten free has literally saved my life and testing for celiac is one of the most important tests I perform on my patients suffering from lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and any other autoimmune disorders.

By the way, many of you may not know that non-celiac gluten-sensitive genes exist and these require me to be just as strict as any celiac. Having one autoimmune disorder does increase your risk for acquiring another one. My take home message would be for anyone with lupus or other autoimmune disorders to be checked for celiac disease and/or non-celiac gluten-sensitive genes via a DNA test.

Margaret A. Romero NP-C
Integrative Nurse Practitioner


Margaret Romero is a board certified and Ivy league-trained nurse practitioner. A gluten free fanatic and a lupus survivor herself, Margaret’s mission is to educate lupus sufferers with proven techniques to guide them toward living a fabulous life free from pain and fatigue. She is also a thriving entrepreneur who regularly conducts seminars and programs to help individuals with autoimmune disorders. Her combined passion for integrative medicine and food led to the creation of From Lupus to Living, a culinary, health, and media brand.


Thanks for sharing your story Margaret and

for being CeliacCorner’s featured guest author for the month of January! 

Have Lupus? Be sure to check out Margaret’s services




To see all CeliacCorner articles click HERE!

{Note from CC: A genetic test for celiac disease is not a diagnosis, it only indicates the genes are present for developing celiac}

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On January 2nd, 2013, posted in: CeliacCorner Blogs by
5 Responses to Surviving a Dual Diagnosis of Lupus and Gluten-Sensitivity
  1. I’m happy for you Margaret! It’s not easy being on a gluten-free diet, but you love your body so much and you are willing to give up other foods to keep your body healthy and functioning well.

  2. Just awful that a doctor would brush off your suggestions of celiac or a gluten-sensitivity though I had a similar situation and left that doctor to find another one who suggested I test immediately which I did and found I was positive. Continued good health to you.

  3. My daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac and she is now on a gluten-free diet. I hope it works well for her. as she has been suffering for years. Glad to read you are doing well Margaret with handling both lupus and celiac disease. It is encouraging for our family.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story Margarat, amazing what gluten can do to the body. I was recently diagnosed with celiac and having been eating 100% glutenfree and feel so much better.

  5. I cried when I read this post. I am happy Margaret is feeling well again, it sounds like it was a tough road to recovery.

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