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A Celiac Snapshot: What to Do if You or a Loved One Receive a Diagnosis

April 21, 2023

You’ve just visited the gastroenterologist and learned that you or a loved one have been diagnosed with celiac disease. You probably have a lot of questions—and probably several concerns, as well. But don’t worry too much—people with celiac disease can still live a very full life. The key is diet restriction and careful moderation.

What is celiac disease?

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac is “a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.”

Foods such as wheat, rye, and barley all contain gluten, and when a person with celiac eats gluten, their body reacts with an immune response that attacks the villi of the small intestine. Because of this damage, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Right now, the only treatment available for celiac disease is a lifelong adherence to a very strict gluten-free diet. Even small exposures to gluten, such as eating food that’s been prepared with the same utensils or tools as gluten, can trigger a response that can damage the small intestine.Having a completely new diet for the rest of your life may seem daunting, and you might already be mourning some of the foods you or your loved one will have to give up now that they’ve received a celiac diagnosis, but gluten-free eating isn’t a bad thing. In fact, we’ve got plenty of great recipes to help you navigate this new way of life:

Egg cups with ham: These tasty little treats are a perfect way to spice up your breakfasts.

Cacio e pepe sweet potato noodles: Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up on pasta! Give these sweet potato noodles a try.

Cheesy chorizo, chickpea, and crispy rice skillet: Who said a gluten-free diet couldn’t still be delicious? Plus, the crispy rice gives this dish a yummy added crunch.

Stuffed pork tenderloin: The mushrooms and spinach in this meal pack a powerful punch of flavor that you’ll love.

What do I do if I still need help?

Hancock Health’s gastrointestinal specialists are here for you, no matter where you are in your diagnosis. Navigating this disease is not something you have to do alone, and we’re more than willing to help you find your way in your new lifestyle.