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Gluten Free Diet and Celiac Disease

People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Specifically, tiny fingerlike protrusions, called villi, on the lining of the small intestine are lost. Nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream through these villi. Without villi, a person becomes malnourished--regardless of the quantity of food eaten.

What Is the Treatment For Celiac Disease - Follow a Gluten Free Diet

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet that avoids 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.)

Gluten Free Diet For Life

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.

Not All Celiacs Improve on a Gluten Free Diet

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.

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Previous reviews

Jennifer Wallace
didn't see a difference
I did this for three months and I didn’t notice a difference in my energy or allergies.
Bobby Rodney
helpful even without allergy
Even though I’m not gluten intolerant, when I know I’m going to be going through a time of high stress, I try to cut back or eliminate gluten from my diet. It helps me to stay more alert and keep my anxiety levels down. I think it’s because my body isn’t working as hard to process the gluten.
Joseph Kraft
helps you feel way better
It can take forever to figure out that gluten is behind all of the weird, uncomfortable, or gross symptoms you’re experiencing, as well as the fatigue and all that, too. Once you figure it out and you start to learn where gluten is in your foods and you cut it out, it makes all the difference in the world.

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