Effects of 12 Weeks of Strength Training and Gluten-Free Diet on Quality of Life, Body Composition and Strength in Women with Celiac Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease characterized by gluten-induced intestinal inflammation. Dietary restrictions and symptoms may have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, body composition (BC), and strength. This study was designed to assess the impact of an isocaloric gluten free diet and resistance exercise in women. A total of 28 Spanish women, aged 40 years old or more, took part in a randomized controlled trial. Each group received a different intervention: group 1, gluten-free nutrition plan + exercise (GFD + E); group 2, gluten-free nutrition plan (GFD); group 3, celiac controls (NO-GFD); and group 4, non-celiac controls (CONTROL). The variables studied were quality of life, BC and isometric hand strength. After 12 weeks of intervention, celiac women that followed a gluten-free diet and exercise showed higher scores on the psychological health scale than celiac women without intervention. The women in group 1 were the only ones who presented improvements in BC variables; fat mass, BMI, and fat-free mass. Negative correlations were found between the perception of quality of life and age, however a positive correlation between quality of life and isometric strength test results was found. In addition to a gluten-free diet, resistance training is essential to improve BC, strength, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Diet, Gluten, Symptoms, Women, Physical activity, Quality of life