Health A-Z

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Effective treatment sounds simple: Just eliminate gluten from your diet, the intestinal damage will be cured over time, and your symptoms will go away. That's easier said than done, however.

Many products contain gluten. Some products, especially prepared foods, may not list gluten as an ingredient. Today there are many online and print publications to help people with celiac disease avoid gluten in their diet..

Here are some basic tips on avoiding gluten:

  • Avoid cereals, breads or other grain products that include wheat, rye, barley or oats. This includes white or whole-wheat flour (including cookies, crackers, cakes and most other baked goods), semolina, couscous, bread crumbs, most pastas and malt.

  • Avoid processed cheese, cheese mixes, low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese or sour cream.

  • Avoid any dairy products, such as yogurt or ice cream that contain fillers or additives.

  • Avoid canned soups or soup mixes.

  • Avoid creamed vegetables.

  • Avoid products that contain modified food starch, food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, stabilizers, or fat replacers or substitutes.

  • Avoid prepared or processed meats.

  • Avoid beer, gin and whiskey.

  • Avoid flavored coffee, malted milk or herbal tea with malted barley.

  • Look for products marked "gluten-free." As more attention is being given to this disease, more products are becoming available.

  • Foods that do not contain gluten include products made with soybean or tapioca flours, rice, corn, buckwheat or potatoes. Other gluten-free foods include nuts; fresh fish, meat or poultry; fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without sauces; wine; and plain, natural cheeses and yogurt.

  • Current evidence suggests up to 2 ounces of oats each day may be tolerated well by people with celiac disease.

If symptoms are not helped by restricting gluten or if the inflammation in the intestine is severe, your health care professional may prescribe corticosteroids, medication that can reduce inflammation.

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