Going gluten-free

By: Shelley Case, Aug 09, 2012
  Question

I think I might have celiac disease. Should I cut gluten out of my diet?

What to do if you suspect you have celiac disease

You should NEVER start a gluten-free diet before you have a blood test and biopsy done to test for celiac disease, since it can interfere with making an accurate diagnosis. This is because the tests will not be accurate if you are not currently consuming gluten.

You need to know if you have celiac disease for a number of reasons. First, if it is celiac, you have to follow a gluten-free diet to the red letter, because the compliances of non-treated celiac disease can range from other nutritional deficiencies like anemia and osteoporosis to other autoimmune diseases and even lymphoma. You must follow the diet perfectly to prevent these complications.

The second reason is that celiac disease is an inherited disease, so if you have been diagnosed with it, your other family members may be taken more seriously if they see a doctor with the symptoms of it.

Shelley Case, RD, is a registered dietitian and a member of the Medical Advisory Boards of the Celiac Disease Foundation and Gluten Intolerance Group in the U.S. and Professional Advisory Board of the Canadian Celiac Association. A leading international nutrition expert on celiac disease, Shelley has been researching gluten-free products for more than 25 years. The latest edition of her book, Gluten-Free Diet, describes more than 3,100 gluten-free products from more than 270 companies in the US, Canada and around the world. The book is viewed as the definitive gluten-free guide, and numerous celiac health experts like Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD and Dr. Peter Green, MD recommend all their patients to use this book. To learn more, visit www.glutenfreediet.ca.