Celiac Disease

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder Anand, MD
Celiac Disease Pictures Slideshow

Quick GuideA Visual Guide to Celiac Disease

A Visual Guide to Celiac Disease

What is a gluten-free diet?

Gluten is a complex protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. A gluten free diet excludes exposure to any of the foods that have this protein in its ingredients. It is easy to understand that regular wheat bread or pizza dough has gluten in it. However, it is less easy to realize that wheat flour is often used in many processed foods and in recipes for many foods that are prepared in a restaurant. Moreover, for it to be considered completely gluten free, processed foods should be prepared in a kitchen or factory that has no cross contamination with grains containing gluten.

The Federal Drug Administration has published new guidelines that define gluten free food as having less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Regulations regarding food labeling criteria require food to meet this standard to be labeled "gluten free." It is important to read the labels for all foods products. Aside from a gluten free designation, there may be food allergy statements that discuss the factory or kitchen where the product was manufactured.

Many restaurants have gluten free menus or can accommodate the gluten free dietary needs of their customers, but it is important for the person to ask the server, manager, or cook directly about whether it contains gluten.

Medically reviewed by Martin E. Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCES:

FDA.gov. Gluten and Food Labeling: FDA's Regulation of "Gluten-Free" Claims.

Rubio-Tapia A. et al. ACG clinical guideline: diagnosis and management of celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013; 108(5).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2015
VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Celiac Disease - Symptoms

    What symptoms have you experienced with celiac disease?

    Post View 25 Comments
  • Celiac Disease - Diagnosis

    How was your case of celiac disease diagnosed?

    Post View 9 Comments
  • Celiac Disease - Treatment

    What treatments have been effective for celiac disease?

    Post
  • Celiac Disease - Gluten Free Diet

    What dietary changes have you made to treat celiac disease, and has a gluten free diet been effective and easy?

    Post
  • Celiac Disease - Other Conditions

    Other diseases or conditions often accompany celiac disease. Please describe your experience.

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors