The treatment of celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. This involves avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye and barley. Even a small amount of gluten can be harmful.
For the overwhelming majority of people with celiac disease, a completetly gluten-free diet means a return to normal life. Intestinal damaga will heal; further damage will be prevented. There is strong evidence that a strict gluten-free diet reduces the risk of the development of other autoimmune conditions and malignancy.
The gluten free diet has two major components:
What not to eat: Gluten containing foods made from wheat, rye of barley
What to eat: Meats, fruit, vegetables are naturally gluten-free and should be part of the gluten-free diet. There are many substitutes for wheat, rye and barley. These include gluten-free grains, nuts, legumes or tubers, such as corn, rice, buckwheat, chestnuts, chickpeas, and potato flours.
Anne R. Lee, EdD, RDN, LD, Instructor in Nutritional Medicine, is the Center's expert nutritionist. Appointments can be scheduled with Anne by calling (212) 305-5590.
For additional information, see the Celiac Disease Center's nutrition guide to help you navigate the gluten-free life with ease, confidence, and lots of enjoyment.