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FAQs on Celiac disease

Can one be cured of Celiac disease?
With the medical knowledge available presently, celiac disease cannot be cured. But the good news is that you can control this condition and all the symptoms related to it if you adhere to a strict gluten free diet.

Is it advisable for other members in the family to also stop eating gluten once one member is diagnosed with celiac disease?
It would be advisable for other members of the family to get screened for celiac disease and only then stop eating gluten altogether, if needed. Please remember that if one chooses to switch to gluten free diet without diagnosis, then one will have to follow it strictly like an individual who has celiac disease.

If the older child has celiac disease, can parents do anything to prevent it in their younger child?
Preventing celiac disease is impossible as per our understanding of this condition today. Parents could though keep in mind the following:

  • Weaning tips – Breast-feeding your baby for one year, introducing solids between 4 and 6 months of age under the cover of breast-feeding, introducing wheat between 6 to 7 months of age under the cover of breast feeding.
  • Rotavirus vaccine for the younger child
  • Ensuring to test the younger child at 2 years of age and an annual clinical assessment thereafter (or earlier if there are any symptoms).

Can I do anything during pregnancy to prevent celiac disease for my unborn child?
Celiac disease is a genetic condition and the genes one inherits cannot be altered. But you can help your baby in terms of food allergy prevention and several other medical benefits by eating a wholesome diet, breast-feeding your baby for one year and introducing solids between 4 and 6 months of age under the cover of breast-feeding. Wheat should also be introduced under the cover of breast feeding, between 6 and 7 months of age. It appears that the duration of breast feeding is more critical in allergy prevention than just the exclusivity of breast feeding.

FAQs about gluten free diet

Is gluten free diet inferior in any way to gluten containing diet?
Gluten free diet does not lack any nutrients and is absolutely healthy provided a balanced diet is consumed. However, most experts would recommend micronutrient supplements like iron, calcium and vitamins at the time of diagnosis of celiac disease as most celiacs are found deficient in these at the time of diagnosis.

Is gluten free food expensive?
No. All fresh and natural ingredients which can be used for preparing a gluten free meal are locally grown and easily available in India. Many of these would be used presently in the kitchen too. However, packaged gluten free food products are sold at a premium worldwide. It is advised that you learn how to prepare atleast some of these at home. Learning to bake a bread, biscuits and cake at home would be helpful if you have a celiac child at home.

Source: Celiac India

Related Resources

  1. Myths and facts about Celiac disease
  2. FAQs for parents and elders


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