Question

Celiac Disease

When will celiac symptoms stop after I remove gluten in my diet?

A Answers (1)

  • ABill Salt, MD, Gastroenterology, answered

    Most people with celiac disease usually start to feel better within a few days, but complete response may take up to six months.

    The most common digestive symptoms of celiac disease (also called, celiac sprue, non-tropical sprue, and gluten sensitive enteropathy) include diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and "gas" with a sense of belly bloating and flatulence. Since these are also common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), testing for celiac disease may be needed before the diagnosis of IBS is made. Many other symptoms affecting the entire body can occur with celiac disease, and some people have no symptoms at all.

    Of course, relief depends upon carefully avoiding the dietary culprit, which is a protein called, gluten that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Most people newly diagnosed with celiac disease benefit by working with a dietitian.

    Some people are born with a susceptibility to celiac disease (genetic susceptibility), where gluten damages the small intestine by triggering an immune response that interferes with absorption of nutrients from food (malabsorption). Celiac disease can occur at any age.

    Many doctors, most gastroenterologists (myself included), and alternative practitioners have long known that some people with the symptoms of celiac disease and/or irritable bowel syndrome who do not have celiac disease when tested feel better if they eat a gluten free diet. This non-celiac gluten intolerance is not yet understood by doctors.

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