Results

People with celiac disease who eat a gluten-free diet experience fewer symptoms and complications of the disease. People with celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives. In some severe cases, a gluten-free diet alone can't stop the symptoms and complications of celiac disease, and additional treatment is needed.

Risks

Not getting enough vitamins

People who follow a gluten-free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Ask your dietitian to review your diet to see that you're getting enough of these key nutrients:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

Not sticking to the gluten-free diet

If you accidentally eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people experience no signs or symptoms after eating gluten, but this doesn't mean it's not damaging their small intestines. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms. Over time, not following a gluten-free diet if you have celiac disease can lead to serious complications including small intestinal cancer.

Nov. 25, 2014 See more In-depth