Celiac disease is a disease that damages the small intestine which can cause the body to fail to absorb nutrients from food. There is no cure for celiac disease. The only effective treatment is a gluten-free diet for celiac disease.
Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease must also be careful of other foods and products that contain gluten including some medicines and some processed frozen foods.
The immune system of someone with celiac disease is hypersensitive to gluten. When gluten is consumed, the immune system reacts by damaging the small intestines. Therefore, people with celiac disease need to avoid consuming any foods or products that contain gluten.
A diet for celiac disease restricts the consumption of products that contain gluten including most grains, breads, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods. Despite these restrictions, diets for celiac disease contain a large variety of foods.
Instead of eating products that contain wheat, barley, or rye, a person with celiac disease can consume gluten-free starches like potato and rice. A diet for celiac disease should include a variety of foods from all the basic food groups.
Vegetables, fruit, and lean meat that is not breaded are major components of a diet for celiac disease. People with celiac disease can also be nuts, beans, and seeds.
Some foods may be mistaken as they even though they contain gluten. For example, potato chips are made from potatoes and potatoes are gluten-free, but many potato chips contain gluten.
Potato chips, sausage, hot dogs, soy sauce, cold cuts, and some candy also can contain gluten and can often be mistaken as safe. People with celiac disease should be in the habit of checking labels for any evidence of gluten.
Many people who have to follow special diets have a tendency to feel restricted in their food consumption which can lead to strong urges to cheat on the diet. Eating a variety of food and trying gluten-free recipes can help a person following a diet for celiac disease to avoid feeling restricted.
Since people with celiac disease have experienced some damage to their small intestines, there may be a need for vitamin supplements to compensate for the body’s inability to absorb these vitamins. The physician may recommend that the patient with celiac disease take certain vitamin supplements including vitamin B12.