Good Diet Helps People Manage Celiac Disease

Do You Need a Gluten-Free Diet? Probably Not

When people with celiac disease eat gluten-containing foods, the lining of their small intestine is damaged and can eventually be destroyed, which prevents adequate absorption of nutrients and leads to other health problems, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. About one of every 141 Americans has celiac disease. "While the only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet , the good news is, once the diet is started, the road to recover begins, and people with celiac disease can lead long, healthy lives," registered dietitian and nutritionist Rachel Begun said in an academy news release. "Managing celiac disease is not just about eliminating gluten from your diet. It also entails ensuring you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, such as iron, calcium, fiber and B-vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate," she explained. Many healthy foods are naturally gluten-free, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats , poultry, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, soy, nuts, as well as the grains amaranth, buckwheat, corn, rice, teff and quinoa. Also, there are gluten-free flours made from almond meal, chickpeas and garbanzo beans, brown rice, coconut, potato, sorghum, tapioca and white rice. An accurate diagnosis is a crucial for people with celiac disease. "Do not diagnose yourself. If you have any symptoms, talk with your health care provider and get tested," Begun said. "It's important to keep eating a normal gluten-containing diet while being tested to ensure an accurate diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, a registered dietitian-nutritionist will help you understand which foods are safe to eat and ensure you are getting the important nutrients your body needs." Celiac disease symptoms can include bloating, gas or abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, itchy skin rash and tingling in the hands and feet. homepage

And those who are on it probably don't need to be on it, at least from a medical point of view," says researcher Joseph A. Murray, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "It's a little frustrating." The study is based on data collected through the government's NHANES survey, which takes regular snapshots of the health of the U.S. population. Celiac disease is a disorder that's triggered by eating gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms. Others experience non-specific complaints like chronic fatigue , depression , brain fog, abdominal pain , weight loss, anemia , diarrhea , and other stomach problems. Celiac Disease 'Dramatically Undiagnosed' Along with using the survey data, the researchers also used blood tests to screen nearly 8,000 people, ages 6 and up, for antibodies against the gluten protein. Those who showed gluten antibodies were given another test to look for proteins that indicate the body is attacking itself. A total of 35 people were considered to have celiac disease. Based on those results, researchers estimate that as many as 1.8 million Americans may have celiac disease, though roughly 80% are undiagnosed. The study is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. navigate here