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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Can Researchers Measure the Factors the Make for a Successful Gluten-free Diet?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC--Sara Reid

    Celiac.com 12/02/2015 - A strict gluten-free diet remains the only effective treatment for celiac disease, but studies of gluten-free diet adherence have rarely used precise means of measuring data, which means that there really hasn't been much good data on long-term adherence to the gluten-free diet in the adult population.

    Photo: CC--Sara ReidSo, what are the factors that keep people on a gluten-free diet? This question has been on the minds of numerous celiac disease researchers.

    To determine the long-term adherence to the gluten-free diet and potential associated factors, a research team recently conducted a survey of adult celiac patients in a large celiac disease referral center population. The research team included J. Villafuerte-Galvez; R. R. Vanga; M. Dennis; J. Hansen; D. A. Leffler; C. P. Kelly; and R. Mukherjee. They are variously affiliated with the Celiac Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

    Their team performed a mail survey of adults with clinically, serologically and histologically confirmed celiac disease diagnosed five or more years prior to the survey. To measure dietary adherence, the team used the previously validated Celiac Disease Adherence Test. The team then analyzed demographic, socio-economic and potentially associated factors as they relate to dietary adherence.

    Of 709 people surveyed, about half responded. Their responses showed an average of about 10 years on a gluten-free diet, plus or minus 6.4 years.

    Adequate adherence was measured by a celiac disease adherence test score under 13. Just over 75% of respondents reported adequate dietary adherence. A higher level of education was associated with adequate adherence (P = 0.002) even after controlling for household income (P = 0.0220). Perceptions of cost, effectiveness of the gluten-free diet, knowledge of the gluten-free diet and self-effectiveness at following the gluten-free diet correlated with adherence scores (P < 0.001).

    More than 75% of respondents reported long-term adherence to a gluten-free diet

    Perceived cost remains one of the main barriers to long-term adherence to a gluten-free diet. Perceptions of effectiveness of gluten-free diet as well as its knowledge, are potential areas where better information may increase dietary compliance.

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    Good article, thank you!

     

    I am so frustrated! I am disabled and unable to work. I welcome all ideas on how to stretch the dollars. I am very low income and get some assistance, but no matter how hard I try, I am not able to make this financially work. I can't afford to eat gluten-free! I do not buy expensive processed food and I do not bake, it is all just real food. Meat and veggies only.

     

    Another thing, all recipes call for herbs and spices, but I cannot find a gluten-free herb or spice anywhere, so all I use is Mediterranean pink salt. The fresh herbs they sell are $3.00 for a small amount. That is NOT affordable! Next summer I can grow some, but for now . . . any thoughts here?

     

    What are the brand names of herbs that are gluten-free, are there any I do not know about? I can't find any!

     

    I am discouraged and need help. Thanks.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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