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Celiac Sprue (cont.)

Celiac Disease Treatment

The treatment for celiac disease is strict avoidance of gluten in the diet.

  • Removal of gluten from the diet is essential. Because a gluten-free diet is a lifetime commitment, is more expensive than a normal diet, and has social implications, it should not be recommended unless the diagnosis is firmly established. Complete avoidance of gluten-containing grain products takes significant effort. Maintaining a strict, gluten-free diet may be relatively difficult because certain products, such as wheat flour, are so common in the Western diet.
  • Improvement in symptoms begins within days of starting the gluten-free diet. Complete healing of the small intestine, meaning the villi are intact and working, usually occurs in 3-6 months, although it may take up to 2 years in older persons.

Because lactose intolerance is common in people with celiac disease, vital improvements occur when a lactose-free diet is introduced.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2014
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Celiac sprue, also known as celiac disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a chronic disease of the digestive tract that interferes with the digestion and absorption of food nutrients.

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