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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a treatment for Coeliac disease?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Prof Andrew Day


    Paediatric Gastroenterologist View Profile

    At present, the best treatment that we have for Coeliac disease is a life-long gluten-free diet. Adherence to the diet is important to avoid short-term and long-term side-effects: some of these are obvious, such as pain: others are more subtle, such as thin bones (osteoporosis).

    Different ways to manage Coeliac disease are being worked on. Some of these are more promising than others - and they are at different stages of progress. One strategy is the development of a vaccine. This research is progressing onto the next stage of development, and is certainly promising. If this proves to be successful, then it could be something that is offered to people diagnosed with Coeliac disease - after the vaccination, these people would then be able to tolerate a gluten-containing diet.

    The outcomes of this research (and other strategies) will be awaited, with great interest

  • Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    To date, the best way to manage coeliac disease is through following a strict, life-long gluten-free diet.  Gluten is the main protein found in some grain foods, such as:
    - wheat
    - rye
    - barley (malt)
    - spelt
    - dinkel
    - kumut
    - triticale
    - graham
    - atta
    - durum
    - and possible oats (depending how it has been manufactured)

    To ensure you still consume a balanced diet, you do not need to avoid this important food entirely - just swap these foods for gluten-free alternatives such as:
    - corn (maize)
    - rice
    - tapioca
    - potato
    - lupins
    - millet
    - sorghum
    - soy
    - linseed (flaxseed), sunflower, sesame seeds etc
    - legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, baked beans etc)

    As for processed foods - if they claim to be ‘gluten-free’  then they must have no detectable gluten. Many commercial/processed foods may have gluten containing ingredients so you will have to become a label reader!

    For more information or dietary advice visit an Accredited Practicing Dieitian or go to the Coeliac Society website.

  • Julie Markoska

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am a Sydney based Accredited Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian recognised by the Dietitians Association of Australia.I have a Bachelor of Science majoring in … View Profile

    Coeliac Disease is a lifelong genetic condition that cannot be cured. A gluten free diet is the only treatment at present. Eliminating gluten from the diet allows the lining of the small bowel to heal and recover. Your symptoms will improve over time and should completely resolve with a gluten free diet. Relapse occurs with even small amounts of gluten so AFTER you've been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease  it’s really important that a lifelong strictly gluten free diet is followed to prevent any damage.

    Julie Markoska
    Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist

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