Celiac disease

Celiac disease and how to live a gluten-free life

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects one in every hundred people in the United States.

This chronic condition causes damage to the lining of the small intestine when gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, is consumed. Celiac disease can develop at any time in life, from childhood to adulthood. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, it can be successfully treated and managed if detected and treated early.

The signs and symptoms of this disease vary widely from person to person. Some people may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Others may have non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, skin rash, and anemia. However, there are some cases where people with the disease may have no symptoms at all.

It is important to know that there are different types of celiac disease, including classic celiac disease, atypical celiac disease, and silent celiac disease. Classic celiac disease is the most common form and is characterized by typical gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Atypical celiac disease is characterized by non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue and headache. And silent celiac disease does not cause noticeable symptoms but can cause long-term intestinal damage.

If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect you have celiac disease, it is important to contact your doctor for a timely diagnosis. This diagnosis begins with a comprehensive medical evaluation and a detailed medical history. The doctor may order a series of tests, including blood tests, endoscopies, biopsies, and genetic tests. If celiac disease is suspected, it is important for the person to continue consuming gluten until the diagnostic process is complete. Stopping gluten consumption before the test can lead to false negative results.

Currently, there is no cure for celiac disease. However, treatment involves following a lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. Therefore, it is crucial to read food labels carefully and ensure they do not contain gluten, as well as being cautious with processed foods, as they may contain hidden gluten-containing ingredients. It is also possible to live a gluten-free life, with many gluten-free foods available in natural food stores and online. It is advisable to consume vitamin supplements to ensure adequate nutrition, always with prior authorization from the treating physician.

We know that living a gluten-free life is not easy, but it is not impossible either. Here are some of the most renowned doctors who specialize in treating celiac disease in the country:

Dr. Alessio Fasano: He is one of the leading researchers in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. He is the director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Peter Green: Director of the Celiac Disease Center at the Irving Medical Center of Columbia University. He is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease.

Dr. Daniel Leffler: Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is an expert in the treatment of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Dr. Stefano Guandalini: Founder and director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago. He is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease in children and adults.

Currently, there is no known way to prevent celiac disease. However, studies suggest that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life may reduce the risk of developing this disease in genetically predisposed children. Additionally, early introduction of gluten in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing the disease in high-risk babies.

Following a gluten-free diet may seem overwhelming at first, but with time and practice, it can become a normal part of daily life. Here are some tips and precautions for living a gluten-free life:

Learn to read food labels: It is important to read food labels carefully to ensure they do not contain gluten.

Avoid cross-contamination: This contamination can occur when preparing both gluten and gluten-free foods on the same surface or utensils. It is important to be careful and keep utensils and surfaces separate to avoid cross-contamination.

Explore gluten-free options: Many natural food stores and online shops offer a wide variety of gluten-free foods, from bread to pasta.

Inform others about celiac disease: It is important to inform friends, family, and coworkers about celiac disease and the need to avoid gluten in food.

Seek support: Celiac disease can be an emotional and physical challenge. Seeking support from friends, family, or online support groups can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

In conclusion, when we receive a diagnosis of celiac disease, the first thing we think is that it will be a challenge, but more than a challenge, it can be an opportunity to live a healthier and more conscious lifestyle. If you have symptoms or a family history of celiac disease, it is important to talk to your doctor for necessary testing. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you are not alone. There are many resources available, from specialized doctors to online support groups. With education, support, and practice, you can live a healthy and happy gluten-free life.


What is celiac disease?. Celiac Disease Foundation. (n.d.). https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021b, August 10). Celiac disease. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352220

Celiac disease: Symptoms & how it’s treated. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.-b). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14240-celiac-disease

Dr. Alessio Fasano: https://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/19184/alessio-fasano

Dr. Peter Green: https://doctors.columbia.edu/us/ny/new-york/peter-h-green-md-180-fort-washington-avenue

Dr. Daniel Leffler: https://findadoc.bidmc.org/details/889/daniel-leffler-gastroenterology-boston

Dr. Stefano Guandalini: https://profiles.uchicago.edu/profiles/display/37142

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