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Treatments for Celiac Disease

Treatments for Celiac Disease:

The primary treatment for celiac disease is the elimination of gluten from the diet. This includes all foods that contain wheat, barley, oats, or rye. This not only includes obvious foods, such as breads and pasta, but many hidden sources of gluten. These include beer, gin, vodka, ale, whiskey, some medications, vitamins, mouthwashes, and the glue on stamps and envelopes.

In addition, many foods that don't contain gluten as an ingredient may be contaminated with gluten when they are processed with equipment that is also used to process grains that contain gluten. For example, buckwheat, which does not contain gluten naturally, can be contaminated with gluten during processing.

Because of the many dietary limitations and hidden sources of gluten, sticking to a gluten-free diet can be a big challenge. Looking for food that is labelled "gluten free" is one helpful step. However, consultation with a registered dietician is the best way to help people with celiac disease understand their eating options and build a healthy, well-balanced, and tasty eating plan.

Most people with celiac disease who stick to a gluten-free diet experience an improvement in symptoms. Rarely, people may also need to take medications, including corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation of the small intestine. Treatment also involves treating any complications, such as vitamin deficiencies.

Treatment List for Celiac Disease

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Celiac Disease includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Gluten-free diet - avoiding various foods including wheat, rye, barley, and oats.
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Mineral supplements
  • Intravenous nutrition supplements - for severe cases not responding to the gluten-free diet.
  • Copper - possibly used for related copper deficiency
  • Vitamin A - to prevent vitamin A deficiency
  • Dietician review
  • Gluten free diet - the mainstay of treatment and is lifelong
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements - may be recommended for the first six months after diagnosis until the gut starts working properly again. Most people with an adequate diet will not need this long term unless specific deficiencies are diagnosed
  • Immunisations - Influenza, HIB, Pneumovax should be administered as patients with coeliac disease may be more prone to infection
  • Regular medical review - which may involve monitoring of bone mineral density, haemoglobin levels and thyroid function

Alternative Treatments for Celiac Disease

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Celiac Disease may include:

Celiac Disease: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Celiac Disease may include:

Celiac Disease: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Celiac Disease:

Curable Types of Celiac Disease

Possibly curable types of Celiac Disease may include:

Celiac Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Latest treatments for Celiac Disease:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Celiac Disease:

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Celiac Disease

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Medical news summaries about treatments for Celiac Disease:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Celiac Disease:

Discussion of treatments for Celiac Disease:

Celiac Disease: NIDDK (Excerpt)

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet--that is, to avoid all foods that contain gluten. For most people, following this diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. Improvements begin within days of starting the diet, and the small intestine is usually completely healed--meaning the villi are intact and working--in 3 to 6 months. (It may take up to 2 years for older adults.)

The gluten-free diet is a lifetime requirement. Eating any gluten, no matter how small an amount, can damage the intestine. This is true for anyone with the disease, including people who do not have noticeable symptoms. Depending on a person's age at diagnosis, some problems, such as delayed growth and tooth discoloration, may not improve.

A small percentage of people with celiac disease do not improve on the gluten-free diet. These people often have severely damaged intestines that cannot heal even after they eliminate gluten from their diets. Because their intestines are not absorbing enough nutrients, they may need to receive intravenous nutrition supplements. Drug treatments are being evaluated for unresponsive celiac disease. These patients may need to be evaluated for complications of the disease.

If a person responds to the gluten-free diet, the physician will know for certain that the diagnosis of celiac disease is correct.

The Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet means avoiding all foods that contain wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley, and possibly oats--in other words, most grain, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods. Despite these restrictions, people with celiac disease can eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods, including bread and pasta. For example, instead of wheat flour, people can use potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. Or, they can buy gluten-free bread, pasta, and other products from special food companies.

Whether people with celiac disease should avoid oats is controversial because some people have been able to eat oats without having a reaction. Scientists are doing studies to find out whether people with celiac disease can tolerate oats. Until the studies are complete, people with celiac disease should follow their physician or dietitian's advice about eating oats.

Plain meat, fish, rice, fruits, and vegetables do not contain gluten, so people with celiac disease can eat as much of these foods as they like. Examples of foods that are safe to eat and those that are not are provided below.

The gluten-free diet is complicated. It requires a completely new approach to eating that affects a person's entire life. People with celiac disease have to be extremely careful about what they buy for lunch at school or work, eat at cocktail parties, or grab from the refrigerator for a midnight snack. Eating out can be a challenge as the person with celiac disease learns to scrutinize the menu for foods with gluten and question the waiter or chef about possible hidden sources of gluten. Hidden sources of gluten include additives, preservatives, and stabilizers found in processed food, medicines, and mouthwash. If ingredients are not itemized, you may want to check with the manufacturer of the product. With practice, screening for gluten becomes second nature.

A dietitian, a health care professional who specializes in food and nutrition, can help people learn about their new diet. Also, support groups are particularly helpful for newly diagnosed people and their families as they learn to adjust to a new way of life. (Source: excerpt from Celiac Disease: NIDDK)

Facts and Fallacies About Digestive Diseases: NIDDK (Excerpt)

People with celiac disease should not eat any foods containing gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. In these people, gluten destroys part of the lining of the small intestine, which interferes with the absorption of nutrients. The damage can occur from even a small amount of gluten, and not everyone has symptoms of damage. (Source: excerpt from Facts and Fallacies About Digestive Diseases: NIDDK)

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