Healthy Living

Celiac Disease: How to Manage Your Symptoms

Celiac Disease: How to Manage Your Symptoms

There is no cure for celiac disease; however, the right diet and lifestyle can help to manage the disease. The mainstay of treatment is with a gluten free diet for life. Elimination of wheat, barley, and rye from your diet will produce a dramatic clinical improvement within a few days or weeks. Oats are usually well-tolerated by celiac disease patients, but this is only if they are not contaminated with flour during the production.

Meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables are free of gluten naturally and are all safe to be consumed by celiac patients.

A gluten free diet is safe but it is certainly not an easy diet to follow. It can be socially restricting and it can be expensive especially because you have to sort out the food you can eat and you cannot eat to avoid gluten containing food. Processed and packaged food may contain some hidden sources of gluten therefore one should take particular care when selecting the food they eat.

It is essential that a patient with celiac disease reads all the ingredients on all the food labels before consuming it.

Consult and expert dietician for more information about a gluten free diet.

Sometimes you may not develop any symptoms even after consuming gluten rich food. But, remember that even though you appear perfectly fine from the outside, damage to the intestinal lining will continue to occur and may lead to complications later in life.

However, most patients present with relapses of celiac disease and the usual cause for this failure to response to the diet is poor compliance. Dietary adherence can be monitored by serial blood testing to check the levels of endomysial antibody (EMA) and tissue transglutaminase antibodies.

Replace minerals and vitamins

Patients with celiac disease often present with malabsorption, therefore, they should be given minerals and vitamins such as iron, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin D to replace the body store.

Pneumococcal vaccination

Celiac disease patients are known to have splenic atrophy, therefore, these patients should receive a pneumococcal vaccine once every five years to protect them from pneumococcal infections.

Repeated DEXA scans

Celiacs are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis therefore they are advised to do repeat DEXA scans time to time to check your bone mineral density.