Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Song M.D
Article at a Glance
- Wheat is one of the most common food allergies in the U.S., and allergies can cause prostatitis.
- Wheat and specifically the protein gluten can increase inflammation in the body.
- Inflammation is a major contributor to pelvic pain and tension.
You might consider trying a wheat free diet for prostatitis if you have not been able to determine what is causing your chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). The majority of prostatitis cases fall into the category of CP/CPPS. This frustrating condition that can have many different causes and often is associated with inflammation. Many CP/CPPS causes stem from problems in the body that occur outside of the prostate itself. One of the potential prostatitis causes or triggers is diet, leading many men to look at a specific diet for prostatitis, and specifically a wheat free diet.
Wheat Free Diet for Prostatitis
In the U.S., wheat is one of the most common food allergies, and allergies could be a cause of prostatitis. Even if you are not allergic to wheat, wheat is one of those foods that can increase inflammation in the body, which can cause damage and illness. Inflammation is one of the major contributors to pelvic pain and tension. A protein found in wheat (and some other grains) called gluten can cause additional inflammation in some people, especially people with celiac disease, or a gluten intolerance. That is why going on a wheat free diet for prostatitis or a gluten-free diet helps many men find relief from symptoms. If you are thinking about trying a wheat free diet for prostatitis, be aware that wheat falls under many names. When reading food labels avoid the following names for wheat:
- Enriched, white and whole-wheat flour
- Graham flour
- Sprouted wheat
- Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
- Triticum aestivum
- Wheat berries
- Wheat bran
- Wheat germ
- Wheat gluten
- Wheat malt
- Wheat starch
Despite learning all those names for wheat, it is easier to follow a wheat-free diet than a gluten-free diet. Men on a gluten-free diet avoid the entire above list plus the following grains, which also contain gluten:
Common foods that contain these grains may include beer, salad dressings, frozen foods, soups, sauces (like soy sauce), or even deli meats. It is important to read labels and educate yourself about gluten if you have a gluten sensitivity. It may seem like a lot of work, but if gluten is the cause of your health problems you will really notice a difference in your health by being diligent.
If you decide to go on a wheat free diet or gluten-free diet, you also must look beyond food sources. Be sure to read labels for your supplements and medications. Some capsules could contain gluten or wheat ingredients, and consuming even a little bit of these substances can create a problem.
Going on a wheat free diet for prostatitis (or a food elimination diet) is part of holistic and natural treatment programs like the “NPAT” treatment program for CP/CPPS. NPAT is a whole-body approach to treating prostatitis.
The letters in NPAT stands for:
- Natural treatments (ALCAT, elimination diets, and wheat-free diets)
- Phytotherapy (pollen and quercetin together with probiotics)
- Alternative Treatments (acupuncture, prostate massage, pelvic rehabilitation and therapy)
- Total body (exercise, chronic stress management, lifestyle)
You’ll want to work with your doctor in determining if you have any food allergies or intolerances. Again, it can be challenging to identify an allergy or food intolerance because you might not react to a particular food or substance for a few hours or even days after eating it. Your reaction may be a worsening of prostatitis symptoms instead of the common symptoms you would associate with a regular food intolerance or allergy. It can be helpful to keep a food journal that notes what you eat and your symptoms so that you can start to identify patterns or specific foods that could be triggering your pain or other symptoms.
If you think that a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance could be contributing to your prostatitis symptoms, try going on an elimination diet or consider undergoing allergy testing with your doctor. Trying an elimination diet first might be a better start because some tests, like the ALCAT test, can be expensive and also throw out false positives.