6 doctors weighed in:

Why does a gluten free diet help reduce narcolepsy and cataplexy symptoms for some narcoleptics even if tests show they have no gluten sensitivities?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aaron Segal
Family Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: It probably doesn't.

I don't believe that a gluten-free diet would treat narcolepsy.
A thorough search on pubmed did not reveal any publications demonstrating a connection between narcolepsy or cataplexy and gluten consumption. It is possible that by adopting a gluten-free diet, one might also consume fewer simple carbohydrates, and that could reduce reactive hypoglycemia (which can make you feel tired).

In brief: It probably doesn't.

I don't believe that a gluten-free diet would treat narcolepsy.
A thorough search on pubmed did not reveal any publications demonstrating a connection between narcolepsy or cataplexy and gluten consumption. It is possible that by adopting a gluten-free diet, one might also consume fewer simple carbohydrates, and that could reduce reactive hypoglycemia (which can make you feel tired).
Dr. Aaron Segal
Dr. Aaron Segal
Thank
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry

In brief: Gluten sensitivity

Many people have sensitivities to gluten even if they don't have celiac disease.
Some symptoms can be fatigue, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and "fuzzy thinking" -- which can all overlap with narcolepsy (at least the falling asleep part). If you are a person with this food sensitivity, you could feel a lot better off gluten -- even though this does not cure narcolepsy.

In brief: Gluten sensitivity

Many people have sensitivities to gluten even if they don't have celiac disease.
Some symptoms can be fatigue, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and "fuzzy thinking" -- which can all overlap with narcolepsy (at least the falling asleep part). If you are a person with this food sensitivity, you could feel a lot better off gluten -- even though this does not cure narcolepsy.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Thank
Dr. Michelle Zetoony
Internal Medicine - Sleep Medicine

In brief: Not entirely known

There is a link between carbohydrates and narcolepsy.
So similar products containing gluten and carbohydrates and just the digestion of gluten itself may contribute. It is one of the things that i talk to my newly diagnosed narcoleptics about.

In brief: Not entirely known

There is a link between carbohydrates and narcolepsy.
So similar products containing gluten and carbohydrates and just the digestion of gluten itself may contribute. It is one of the things that i talk to my newly diagnosed narcoleptics about.
Dr. Michelle Zetoony
Dr. Michelle Zetoony
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Board Certified, Neurology
48 years in practice
55M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors