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Recovery from Celiac Disease - The New England Journal of Medicine

Celiac.com 03/19/2002 - The following excerpts were taken from The New England Journal of Medicines January 17, 2002 (Vol. 346, No. 30) article on recovery from celiac disease:

In addition to a gluten-free diet, all patients with newly diagnosed celiac sprue who have clinically evident malabsorption should initially receive a multi-vitamin preparation and appropriate supplements to correct any iron or folate deficiency. Patients with steatorrhea, hypocalcemia, or osteopenic bone disease should receive oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

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Approximately 70 percent of patients have symptomatic improvement within two weeks after starting a gluten-free diet. The speed and eventual degree of histologic improvement are unpredictable but invariably lag behind the clinical response and may not be evident on repeated biopsy for two to three months. Although a return to normal histologic findings is common in children, half of adults have only a partial resolution on biopsy. If a patient has no response to the diet, the most common cause is incomplete adherence. Persistent symptoms may be caused by coexisting disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, microscopic colitis, or pancreatic insufficiency.

In one study strict adherence to a gluten-free diet reduced the risk of all disease-associated cancers including enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. Thus, it seems prudent to recommend lifelong strict adherence to a gluten-free diet in all patients with celiac sprue.

Regarding untreated celiac sprue:
Dairy products should be avoided initially because patients with untreated celiac sprue often have secondary lactase deficiency. After three to six months of treatment, diary products can be reintroduced if the patient has no ill effects.

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Hi wondering if someone could help. my daughter has mildly raised TTG levels and the gliadine levels, she has one Coeliacs gene, but her biopsy came back negative. We have kept her off gluten (and low dairy) for nearly a year to see if her symptoms improved. They haven't. But I don't know if they are related to gluten specifically. Just wondering if anyone has other suggestions that may be going on with her. Her symptoms are: - Short stature, she's nearly 9 and my 6 year old boy is nearly bigger than her - bumps on back of her arms - urine leaking and occasional soiled pants, which could be from constipation she has at time's - sticking out stomach - dry patchy rashes on her face - joint pain sporadically - vomits every 6 weeks, but hasn't had gluten and seems to be no food connection - reoccurring thrush She had gluten last night at a party and was fine today. I'm a bit lost and not sure where else to turn. Thanks for any help.

We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?