CDHNF - Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation
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Celiac Disease

Medical Therapy

Treatment consists of life-long avoidance of gluten-containing foods (such as bread, cereal, cakes, pizza, and other food products or additives containing wheat, rye, and barley). Medications and over the counter products may also contain gluten. Once gluten is removed from the diet, complete healing is expected. Although a total gluten-free diet seems overwhelming at first, families have been very successful with the diet. Dietitians and support groups can help families adjust to this life-altering diet, yet it may take several months to get used to the gluten-free diet

Symptoms may begin to improve within the first 1-2 weeks of starting the diet. Lactose intolerance caused by the intestinal injury also improves. By 6-12 months of the gluten-free diet, most people’s symptoms have gone away, and the lining of the intestine has healed. In children, growth and bone strength return to normal. Regular follow-up with a dietitian and a health care team experienced with celiac disease are important for continuing to stick with the diet and for monitoring for complications. Even though some people are able to resume gluten without immediate symptoms, they do not “outgrow” celiac disease, and it is not “cured”. The gluten free diet treatment should be continued for life.

The following are six key elements recommended by the NIH Consensus Development Conference on the management of individuals affected by celiac disease:

  • Consultation with a skilled dietitian
  • Education about the disease
  • Lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet
  • Identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies
  • Access to an advocacy group
  • Continuous long-term follow-up by a multidisciplinary team
For Information on Gluten Free Drugs

Celiac Disease is an education campaign on Pediatric Celiac Disease by the Children's Digestive Health & Nutrition Foundation.

Visit our for more information on Kids IBD and Pediatric GERD.

Educational support for the CDHNF Pediatric Education Campaign was provided by sponsors University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research and Prometheus Therapuetics and Diagnostics.