How is celiac disease treated?
The treatment for celiac disease is to avoid all foods that have gluten. This is called a gluten-free diet. Eating even the smallest amount of gluten can cause symptoms such as weight loss and diarrhea.
A gluten-free diet means:
- Avoiding all foods with wheat, barley, rye, triticale (a wheat-rye cross), or oats. Oats may later be slowly brought back into the diet.
- Avoiding beer unless it's gluten-free. Beers with and without alcohol contain gluten unless the label specifically says they're gluten-free.
- Eating meals that include rice, corn, millet, and buckwheat.
Gluten can also be in things you may not expect, like medicine, vitamins, and lipstick.
You may also be advised to avoid milk or milk products for a while until your intestine heals. Then you may be able to slowly reintroduce them.
If you have nutritional deficiencies, you may need other treatments. Treatments include vitamin, iron, and calcium supplements.
Nutritional counseling from a registered dietitian who is familiar with celiac disease can help you create a practical and healthy gluten-free diet.