Greater Cleveland Celiac Association

We are "Celiacs Helping Celiacs"

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease, or Celiac Sprue, is a genetic autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the villi lining the small intestine when gluten (found in wheat, barley, oats, and rye) is consumed.  Since it is an autoimmune disease, the body attacks itself and damages the small intestine when a person eats gluten.  When the villi become damaged, this interferes with the absorption of food, and important nutrients and vitamins may not be absorbed into the person's bloodstream.

Currently, the only cure for Celiac Disease is to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet.   Once a gluten-free diet is started, the villi in the small intestine will regenerate and no further damage should be done to the intestine.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Note: this is only a partial list 

Common Symptoms 

Chronic diarrhea or constipation

Abdominal bloating or cramping 

Nausea 

Chronic Fatigue 

Weight loss or gain

Other Symptoms

Bone or joint pain 

Dental enamel defects 

Bruising easily 

Skin rash (Dermatitis Herpetiformis), psoriasis, or eczema 

Iron and Vitamin deficiencies (A,D, E, K) 

Should I Be Tested for Celiac Disease?

 

 Undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer.

Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States

• In average healthy people: 1 in 133

• In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56

• In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac: 1 in 22

• In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac: 1 in 39

• Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236

• In the landmark prevalence study on celiac disease, investigators determined that 60% of children and 41% of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic (without any symptoms).

• During the prevalence study, researchers found that 21% of patients with a positive anti-endomysial antibody test could not receive a biopsy due to the refusal of their physician to perform the procedure or the insurance company to pay for it.

• Only 35% of newly diagnosed patients had chronic diarrhea, dispelling the myth that diarrhea must be present to diagnose celiac disease.

Source: A multi-center study on the sero-prevalence of celiac disease in the United States among both at risk and not at risk groups. Fasano et. al., Archives of Internal Medicine. February 2003.

 

• Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.

.• Delaying diagnosis dramatically increases an individual’s risk of developing autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, osteoporosis and even cancer

Source: Characteristics of adult celiac disease in the USA: results of a national survey. Green, P.H. et.al. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001, 2006.

 

Getting a diagnosis of Celiac Disease is your first step on your journey to wellness

Facts about Celiac Disease

 

 Among people newly diagnosed with celiac disease,

 30% are over 60

No matter how young or old, individuals with celiac disease must learn the life-saving value of a gluten-free diet.

 

Celiac Facts

  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
  • Approximately 1 in 133 Americans has Celiac.  That is one percent of the population of the United States, or three million Americans across all races, ages and genders who suffer from celiac, but only 3% have been diagnosed.
  • Celiac is one of the most common inherited diseases.  17% of celiac patients, one in six, have an immediate family member who also has celiac.
  • Some people with Celiac Sprue experience no symptoms. Most people with Celiac do not even know they have it.

  • 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.  Because it is often considered a "rare" disease, Celiac is very commonly misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance.
  • As many as 1/3 of all Celiacs have been misdiagnosed as having IBS.  10 -12 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed.
  • There  are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.
  • Visit http://www.clevelandgfexpo.org/  to purchase tickets for the  Sunday,  September 9th Gluten-free Lifestyle EXPO to learn more.

Celiac Disease Information

On this page:

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.

Drawing of the digestive system with the small intestine highlighted and the stomach, liver, small intestine, and colon labeled.
The small intestine is shaded above.

When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats.

Drawing of a section of the small intestine with detail of villi. The small intestine and villi are labeled.
Villi on the lining of the small intestine help absorb nutrients.

Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Celiac disease is genetic, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

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What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

Symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system or in other parts of the body. Digestive symptoms are more common in infants and young children and may include

  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss

Irritability is another common symptom in children. Malabsorption of nutrients during the years when nutrition is critical to a child’s normal growth and development can result in other problems such as failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth.

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and may instead have one or more of the following:

  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

People with celiac disease may have no symptoms but can still develop complications of the disease over time. Long-term complications include malnutrition—which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and miscarriage, among other problems—liver diseases, and cancers of the intestine.

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Why are celiac disease symptoms so varied?

Researchers are studying the reasons celiac disease affects people differently. The length of time a person was breastfed, the age a person started eating gluten-containing foods, and the amount of gluten-containing foods one eats are three factors thought to play a role in when and how celiac disease appears. Some studies have shown, for example, that the longer a person was breastfed, the later the symptoms of celiac disease appear.

Symptoms also vary depending on a person’s age and the degree of damage to the small intestine. Many adults have the disease for a decade or more before they are diagnosed. The longer a person goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the chance of developing long-term complications.

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What other health problems do people with celiac disease have?

People with celiac disease tend to have other diseases in which the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues. The connection between celiac disease and these diseases may be genetic. They include

  • type 1 diabetes
  • autoimmune thyroid disease
  • autoimmune liver disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Addison’s disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed

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How common is celiac disease?

Celiac disease affects people in all parts of the world. Originally thought to be a rare childhood syndrome, celiac disease is now known to be a common genetic disorder. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people.1 Among people who have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.2

Celiac disease is also more common among people with other genetic disorders including Down syndrome and Turner syndrome, a condition that affects girls’ development.

1Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, et al. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2003;163(3):268–292.

2Ibid.

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How is celiac disease diagnosed?

Recognizing celiac disease can be difficult because some of its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. Celiac disease can be confused with irritable bowel syndrome, iron-deficiency anemia caused by menstrual blood loss, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, intestinal infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result, celiac disease has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. As doctors become more aware of the many varied symptoms of the disease and reliable blood tests become more available, diagnosis rates are increasing.

Blood Tests

People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of certain autoantibodies—proteins that react against the body’s own cells or tissues—in their blood. To diagnose celiac disease, doctors will test blood for high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) or anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA). If test results are negative but celiac disease is still suspected, additional blood tests may be needed.

Before being tested, one should continue to eat a diet that includes foods with gluten, such as breads and pastas. If a person stops eating foods with gluten before being tested, the results may be negative for celiac disease even if the disease is present.

Intestinal Biopsy

If blood tests and symptoms suggest celiac disease, a biopsy of the small intestine is performed to confirm the diagnosis. During the biopsy, the doctor removes tiny pieces of tissue from the small intestine to check for damage to the villi. To obtain the tissue sample, the doctor eases a long, thin tube called an endoscope through the patient’s mouth and stomach into the small intestine. The doctor then takes the samples using instruments passed through the endoscope.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is an intensely itchy, blistering skin rash that affects 15 to 25 percent of people with celiac disease.3 The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. Most people with DH have no digestive symptoms of celiac disease.

DH is diagnosed through blood tests and a skin biopsy. If the antibody tests are positive and the skin biopsy has the typical findings of DH, patients do not need to have an intestinal biopsy. Both the skin disease and the intestinal disease respond to a gluten-free diet and recur if gluten is added back into the diet. The rash symptoms can be controlled with antibiotics such as dapsone. Because dapsone does not treat the intestinal condition, people with DH must maintain a gluten-free diet.

Screening

Screening for celiac disease means testing for the presence of autoantibodies in the blood in people without symptoms. Americans are not routinely screened for celiac disease. However, because celiac disease is hereditary, family members of a person with the disease may wish to be tested. Four to 12 percent of an affected person’s first-degree relatives will also have the disease.4

3Rodrigo L. Celiac disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006;12(41):6585–6593.

4Ibid.

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How is celiac disease treated?

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Doctors may ask a newly diagnosed person to work with a dietitian on a gluten-free diet plan. A dietitian is a health care professional who specializes in food and nutrition. Someone with celiac disease can learn from a dietitian how to read ingredient lists and identify foods that contain gluten in order to make informed decisions at the grocery store and when eating out.

For most people, following this diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. Improvement begins within days of starting the diet. The small intestine usually heals in 3 to 6 months in children but may take several years in adults. A healed intestine means a person now has villi that can absorb nutrients from food into the bloodstream.

To stay well, people with celiac disease must avoid gluten for the rest of their lives. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine. The damage will occur in anyone with the disease, including people without noticeable symptoms. Depending on a person’s age at diagnosis, some problems will not improve, such as short stature and dental enamel defects.

Some people with celiac disease show no improvement on the gluten-free diet. The most common reason for poor response to the diet is that small amounts of gluten are still being consumed. Hidden sources of gluten include additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, and stabilizers made with wheat. And because many corn and rice products are produced in factories that also manufacture wheat products, they can be contaminated with wheat gluten.

Rarely, the intestinal injury will continue despite a strictly gluten-free diet. People with this condition, known as refractory celiac disease, have severely damaged intestines that cannot heal. Because their intestines are not absorbing enough nutrients, they may need to receive nutrients directly into their bloodstream through a vein, or intravenously. Researchers are evaluating drug treatments for refractory celiac disease.

The Gluten-free Diet

A gluten-free diet means not eating foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley. The foods and products made from these grains should also be avoided. In other words, a person with celiac disease should not eat most grain, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods.

Despite these restrictions, people with celiac disease can eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods. They can use potato, rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, or bean flour instead of wheat flour. They can buy gluten-free bread, pasta, and other products from stores that carry organic foods, or order products from special food companies. Gluten-free products are increasingly available from mainstream stores.

“Plain” meat, fish, rice, fruits, and vegetables do not contain gluten, so people with celiac disease can freely eat these foods. In the past, people with celiac disease were advised not to eat oats. New evidence suggests that most people can safely eat small amounts of oats, as long as the oats are not contaminated with wheat gluten during processing. People with celiac disease should work closely with their health care team when deciding whether to include oats in their diet. Examples of other foods that are safe to eat and those that are not are provided in the table.

The gluten-free diet requires a completely new approach to eating. Newly diagnosed people and their families may find support groups helpful as they learn to adjust to a new way of life. People with celiac disease must be cautious about what they buy for lunch at school or work, what they purchase at the grocery store, what they eat at restaurants or parties, and what they grab for a snack. Eating out can be a challenge. When in doubt about a menu item, a person with celiac disease should ask the waiter or chef about ingredients and preparation or if a gluten-free menu is available.

Gluten is also used in some medications. People with celiac disease should ask a pharmacist if prescribed medications contain wheat. Because gluten is sometimes used as an additive in unexpected products—such as lipstick and play dough—reading product labels is important. If the ingredients are not listed on the label, the manufacturer should provide a list upon request. With practice, screening for gluten becomes second nature.

New Food Labeling

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which took effect on January 1, 2006, requires food labels to clearly identify wheat and other common food allergens in the list of ingredients. FALCPA also requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop and finalize rules for the use of the term “gluten free” on product labels.

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The Gluten-free Diet: Some Examples

In 2006, the American Dietetic Association updated its recommendations for a gluten-free diet. The following chart is based on the 2006 recommendations. This list is not complete, so people with celiac disease should discuss gluten-free food choices with a dietitian or physician who specializes in celiac disease. People with celiac disease should always read food ingredient lists carefully to make sure the food does not contain gluten.

Allowed Foods
amaranth
arrowroot
buckwheat
cassava
corn
flax
Indian rice grass
Job’s tears
legumes
millet
nuts
potatoes
quinoa
rice
sago
seeds
sorghum
soy
tapioca
teff
wild rice
yucca
Foods To Avoid
wheat
  • including einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut
  • wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein
barley
rye
triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Other Wheat Products
bromated flour
durum flour
enriched flour
farina
graham flour
phosphated flour
plain flour
self-rising flour
semolina
white flour
Processed Foods that May Contain Wheat, Barley, or Rye*
bouillon cubes
brown rice syrup
candy
chips/potato chips
cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
communion wafers
French fries
gravy
imitation fish
matzo
rice mixes
sauces
seasoned tortilla chips
self-basting turkey
soups
soy sauce
vegetables in sauce

* Most of these foods can be found gluten-free. When in doubt, check with the food manufacturer.

Source: Thompson T. Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 2nd ed. Chicago: American Dietetic Association; 2006. © American Dietetic Association. Adapted with permission. For a complete copy of the Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, please visit http://www.eatright.org/.

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Points to Remember

  • People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.
  • Untreated celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption.
  • Without treatment, people with celiac disease can develop complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, and cancer.
  • A person with celiac disease may or may not have symptoms.
  • Diagnosis involves blood tests and, in most cases, a biopsy of the small intestine.
  • Since celiac disease is hereditary, family members of a person with celiac disease may wish to be tested.
  • Celiac disease is treated by eliminating all gluten from the diet. The gluten-free diet is a lifetime requirement.
  • A dietitian can teach a person with celiac disease about food selection, label reading, and other strategies to help manage the disease.

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Hope through Research

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducts and supports research on celiac disease. Researchers are studying new options for diagnosing celiac disease, including capsule endoscopy. In this technique, patients swallow a capsule containing a tiny video camera that records images of the small intestine.

Several drug treatments for celiac disease are under evaluation. Researchers are also studying a combination of enzymes—proteins that aid chemical reactions in the body—that detoxify gluten before it enters the small intestine.

Scientists are also developing educational materials for standardized medical training to raise awareness among health care providers. The hope is that increased understanding and awareness will lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease.

Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. For information about current studies, visit http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/.

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For More Information

American Celiac Disease Alliance
2504 Duxbury Place
Alexandria, VA 22308
Phone: 703–622–3331
Email: info@americanceliac.org
Internet: http://www.americanceliac.org/

American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606–6995
Email: hotline@eatright.org
Internet: http://www.eatright.org/

Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Boulevard, #1
Studio City, CA 91604
Phone: 818–990–2354
Fax: 818–990–2379
Email: cdf@celiac.org
Internet: http://www.celiac.org/

Celiac Sprue Association/USA Inc.
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131–0700
Phone: 1–877–CSA–4CSA (272–4272)
Fax: 402–643–4108
Email: celiacs@csaceliacs.org
Internet: http://www.csaceliacs.org/

Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation
P.O. Box 6
Flourtown, PA 19031
Phone: 215–233–0808
Fax: 215–233–3918
Email: mstallings@naspghan.org
Internet: http://www.cdhnf.org/
http://www.celiachealth.org/

Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
31214 124th Avenue SE
Auburn, WA 98092–3667
Phone: 253–833–6655
Fax: 253–833–6675
Email: info@gluten.net
Internet: http://www.gluten.net/

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
224 South Maple Street
Ambler, PA 19002–0544
Phone: 215–325–1306
Email: info@celiaccentral.org
Internet: http://www.celiaccentral.org/

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
P.O. Box 6
Flourtown, PA 19031
Phone: 215–233–0808
Fax: 215–233–3918
Email: naspghan@naspghan.org
Internet: http://www.naspghan.org/
http://www.cdhnf.org/

The Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign

To meet the need for comprehensive and current information about celiac disease, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), launched the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign. The Awareness Campaign is the result of the combined ideas and efforts of the professional and voluntary organizations that focus on celiac disease, along with the NIDDK, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visit http://www.celiac.nih.gov/ to learn more about the Awareness Campaign.

You may also find additional information about this topic by visiting MedlinePlus at http://www.medlineplus.gov/.

This publication may contain information about medications. When prepared, this publication included the most current information available. For updates or for questions about any medications, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration toll-free at 1–888–INFO–FDA (1–888–463–6332) or visit http://www.fda.gov/. Consult your doctor for more information.

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National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/about/contact.htm
Internet: http://www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov/

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the Clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the Clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts. This publication was reviewed by Ciaran Kelly, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Mitchell Cohen, M.D., Cincinnati, Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Walter Reed Army Medical Center; National Foundation for Celiac Awareness; Celiac Disease Foundation; Celiac Sprue Association/USA, Inc.; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff. The gluten-free diet chart was reviewed by Alice Bast and Nancy Dickens, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness; Cynthia Kupper, R.D., C.D., Gluten Intolerance Group; and Elaine Monarch, Celiac Disease Foundation.

This publication is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages users of this publication to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.


NIH Publication No. 08–4269
September 2008

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What I ned to know about Celiac Disease

What I need to know about Celiac Disease


What is celiac disease?

Having celiac disease means a person can’t eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, or barley. Gluten may also be found in some medicines. Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning it runs in families. The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Other names for celiac disease are celiac sprue and gluten intolerance.

In people with celiac disease, the body’s immune system responds to gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestine. This lining has small finger-like growths called villi. The villi normally absorb nutrients from the foods we eat. When the villi are damaged, the body can’t get the nutrients it needs.

People with celiac disease don’t always know they have it because they don’t feel sick. Or if they feel sick, they don’t know celiac disease is the cause.

Is celiac disease serious?

Yes. Celiac disease can be very serious. Besides stomach pain, it can cause anemia, malnutrition, infertility, a certain skin rash, and other health problems.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

Symptoms of celiac disease include

  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • feeling very tired
  • change in mood
  • weight loss
  • a very itchy skin rash with blisters
  • slowed growth

Most people with celiac disease have one or more symptoms, but not all have digestive problems. And some people with the disease don’t have any symptoms. Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean a person has celiac disease because many other disorders include these symptoms.

How is celiac disease diagnosed?

Celiac disease can be hard to discover because its symptoms are like many other digestive diseases. People with celiac disease can go untreated for many years.

If your doctor thinks you have celiac disease, you will probably need a blood test.

You will need to follow your regular diet before and while being tested.

   If you don’t, the results could be wrong.

If your test results show you might have celiac disease, the doctor will perform a biopsy to make sure celiac disease is the problem. For a biopsy, the doctor takes a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. To get to your small intestine, the doctor puts a long tube into your mouth and down into your stomach. At the end of the tube are small tools for snipping out the bit of tissue needed to view with a microscope. You will take medicine before the biopsy that makes you very sleepy. It also keeps you from feeling any pain. Many people sleep through the procedure.

How is celiac disease treated?

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. A dietitian can work with you to help you learn how to select gluten-free foods. A dietitian is an expert in food and healthy eating. You will learn to check labels of foods and other items for gluten. If you eliminate gluten from your diet, your small intestine will heal. If you eat gluten, or use items that contain gluten, you will harm your small intestine.

The following chart lists examples of foods you can eat and foods you should stay away from if you have celiac disease. This list is not complete. A dietitian can help you learn what other foods you can and can’t eat when following a gluten-free diet.

Drawing of a man talking with a dietitian.

Allowed Foods

Amaranth
Arrowroot
Buckwheat
Cassava
Corn
Flax

Fresh fruits and vegetables
Indian rice grass
Job’s tears
Legumes
Millet

Most unprocessed fish & meat- see below
Nuts

Potatoes
Quinoa
Rice
Sago
Seeds
Soy
Sorghum
Tapioca
Wild Rice
Yucca
Foods To Avoid
Wheat
  • Including einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut
  • Wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein
Barley
Rye
Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Other Wheat Products
Bromated flour
Durum flour
Enriched flour
Farina
Graham flour
Phosphated flour
Plain flour
Self-rising flour
Semolina
White flour
Processed Foods that May Contain Wheat, Barley, or Rye*
Bouillon cubes
Brown rice syrup
Chips/potato chips
Candy
Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
Communion wafer
French fries
Gravy
Imitation fish
Matzo
Rice mixes
Sauces
Seasoned tortilla chips
Self-basting turkey
Soups
Soy sauce
Vegetables in sauce
* Most of these foods can be found gluten-free. When in doubt, check with the food manufacturer.

From the following resource: Thompson T. Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 2nd ed. Chicago: American Dietetic Association; 2006. © American Dietetic Association. Adapted with permission. For a complete copy of the Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, please visit www.eatright.org.

Benefits of a Local Support Group

 The Greater Cleveland Celiac Association's celiac support group can provide invaluable information on where to find foods that are gluten-free and taste good as well as gluten-free recipes and tips on how to convert your present recipes to gluten-free.  We can also explain issues of cross contamination and help choose restaurants with gluten free food.  A local Celiac support group can also help with some emotional issues associated with learning the gluten free lifestyle.  Talking with others, both adults and children, who are experiencing the same issues you are alleviates stress and provides affirmation that you are not alone in your your new lifestyle.  Others are happy to share the tips and tricks they have learned along the way to make living gluten-free easier.

Points to Remember 

  • People with celiac disease can’t eat foods or use items with gluten in them.
  • Celiac disease harms the small intestine.
  • People with untreated celiac disease can’t get needed nutrients.
  • Without treatment, people with celiac disease can develop other health problems.
  • Celiac disease is diagnosed by blood tests and a biopsy of the small intestine.
  • A gluten-free diet must be followed for life.
  • A local Celiac Support group can provide much needed information and ongoing support.

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