How do doctors treat celiac disease?
There is no pharmacological treatment for celiac disease. Only the strict and lifelong follow-up of a completely gluten-free diet, although it does not cure the disease, if you can avoid the complications of it and even eliminate the characteristic symptoms. Failure to comply with this diet also leads to an increased risk of lymphoma or esophageal cancer.
It is very important that celiacs pay attention to the food they eat, since between 70% and 80% of manufactured food products contain gluten. This is because gluten is used in the preparation of preservatives, thickeners, dyes, aromas and condiments. Therefore, it can be present in sauces, soups, cold cuts, batters, preserves, etc.
A gluten free diet
The gluten-free diet does not cure celiac disease, but it does control it, as long as it is followed in a very strict way and throughout life, as it is a chronic disease. In fact, this type of diet is the only effective treatment for gluten intolerance, avoid possible clinical complications and make the patient lead a completely normal life.(Treatment of celiac).
Although the amount of gluten is minimal, continued consumption of small doses can cause significant damage to the intestinal villi or other disorders, even if there are no symptoms of the disease. However, the gluten-free diet allows both the disappearance of the symptoms of celiac disease and the recovery of intestinal villi.(Treatment of celiac).
Characteristics of the gluten-free diet
The gluten-free diet should eliminate any food that contains or may contain wheat, barley, rye, triticale (wheat and rye hybrid) or oats.
Combining them and alternating properly, these cereals can be replaced by:
In addition, it should be based on fresh foods: meat, fish, vegetables, legumes, vegetables, eggs, milk, dairy products, oil, salt, vinegar, etc.
You can also use specialized establishments. There are even patisseries and bread ovens for coeliacs.(Treatment of celiac).
See also: “Relationship between celiac disease and diabetes“
The gluten-free diet requires other precautions
- Avoid packaged, pre-cooked or processed foods whose labeling does not explicitly express the absence of gluten among its ingredients.
- Before buying, you should consult the list of certified gluten-free foods that are listed in the associations of celiac patients.
- It is also advisable to suppress lactose at the beginning of treatment, as it is common to accompany celiac disease.
- To all those patients with celiac disease, vitamin and iron supplements are usually added to their treatment, due to the deficiency that they usually associate. Similarly, supplemental calcium should be part of these supplements.
- Cook foods always in new oil or make sure that gluten-free foods have not been fried in that oil. This is a problem that can occur, and in fact often occurs, in restaurants and other hotel and fast food establishments.(Treatment of celiac).
- It is necessary to maintain caution in the acquisition of cereal flours that do not contain gluten. If it is not clearly specified on the package, it is better not to trust, since the cereals could have been ground in the same mills as the wheat and could be contaminated.
- You could also have and transfer, from hands to mouth, other products that contain gluten without knowing it. Among the products that may contain gluten are:
- Molding paste, such as modeling clay
- Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm
- Skin and hair products
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
- Hosts for communion
- If medications are taken, confirm in the package leaflet that they do not contain gluten.