Celiac Disease: Eating a Gluten-Free Diet
Reference Celiac disease Opens New Window is a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in the grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a wheat-rye cross). When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, it triggers an Reference immune Opens New Window response that is not normal. This damages the small intestine.
Symptoms of celiac disease can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, and vomiting. Stools may be bulky, loose, and more frequent. The damage to the intestine also makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This can lead to Reference anemia Opens New Window or Reference osteoporosis Opens New Window or both.
This information can help you learn more about how to eat so you can manage your symptoms, prevent long-term problems, and still get the nutrition you need.
- Untreated celiac disease can make it hard for you to get the nutrients you need. Eating a variety of healthy foods that do not have gluten can help you keep your weight up and stay strong.
- The main treatment for celiac disease is to avoid eating any foods that contain gluten. Even the smallest amount of gluten is harmful and can cause symptoms in some people.
- Even if you don't have symptoms, you still need to avoid gluten totally to prevent damage to the intestines and long-term problems.
- Some people with celiac disease need to avoid cow's milk and milk products when they first begin treatment. Most people can slowly add dairy foods back into their diet as the intestine heals. But they will still need to avoid foods with gluten for the rest of their lives.
If you have questions about following a gluten-free eating plan for celiac disease, talk to your doctor or dietitian.
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|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 29, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology