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treatment of coeliac disease

Treatment can only begin once a conclusive diagnosis has been reached by the medical professional. You should under NO circumstances start a gluten-free diet before you have had the blood test done because this can lead to distortion of the test results – and therefore also of the diagnosis(1).

The treatment of coeliac disease is accomplished through a strict gluten-free diet.

Just like any other dietary change, the adaption to a gluten-free diet will require time and patience. You should in all cases seek some help and advice from a registered dietician who has a thorough knowledge of coeliac disease! You will have to observe a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life; there is currently no cure for coeliac disease!

What is a gluten-free diet and how does it work?

gluten-free-dietUnder normal circumstances a gluten-free diet can be started immediately following the diagnosis. Only in very severe cases is it necessary to take more extensive measures. A dietary change to a gluten-free normally suffices. Gluten-free means: No gluten! Not: low-gluten!

Most of the symptoms already disappear just a couple of days into the change of diet and the mucosa of the small intestine starts to regenerate. Only then can essential nutrients be absorbed again and the courage to face life will rapidly return. A word of caution: it only takes a small amount of gluten to damage the intestinal mucosa.  It may be in most cases that no symptoms are felt, but the mucosa of the small intestine will be damaged just the same! The resulting damage to your body is enormous, despite the absence of symptoms!

How do I know if something is gluten-free?

The food industry has meanwhile reacted and most gluten-free products are now labelled as such. You can also refer to our food lists for guidance. You should only eat foods you are sure are absolutely gluten-free! If a shop assistant/waiter tells you that a product is gluten-free, then it does not necessarily mean it’s true! Doubt is always a coeliac’s best friend!

 

Sources include:
1) Keller, R.: Klinische Symptomatik: Zöliakie, ein Eisberg. In: Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde 2003; 151:706-714
2) Deutsche Zöliakie Gesellschaft e.V.
3) Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Zöliakie

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The information provided on the Food Intolerance Network website is no substitute for a visit to a registered dietician, nutritionist or a doctor. The information that you will find here may not be used as a substitute for professional advice and treatment by a medical professional or approved and registered dieticians. The content of the Food Intolerance Network website may not be used as a basis or means for any form of self-diagnosis.

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