Gluten-Free Diet: Treatment or Band-Aid?
If you have celiac disease, the gluten-free diet is your lifeline, helping you return to good health by taking away pain, fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
When you’re diagnosed, your doctor usually tells you the diet is all you need. It’s well-intentioned advice, but growing research shows that the gluten-free diet alone isn’t enough.
“Many patients report being “worn down” by celiac disease,” says Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University.
In a 2014 study, 25% of patients said the diet is so burdensome they regretted being diagnosed and would rather have continued having symptoms.
The diet can make you feel isolated and takes an emotional toll that needs to be addressed. At least 10% of celiac disease patients on the gluten-free diet have ongoing or recurring celiac-disease-related symptoms. Follow-up care and disease management need to be improved.
Fortunately, the role of the gluten-free diet is evolving as the need for additional treatments becomes clearer.
“When you start spending a lot of time with celiac disease you realize the gluten-free diet is not a cure,” explains Daniel Leffler, MD, medical director, clinical science at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. “It’s time we move away from a one-size-fits-all solution. Patients deserve options.”
Ciaran Kelly, M.D., director of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Beyond Celiac board member concludes, “The path to developing new treatments is relatively straightforward because of our understanding of many factors that lead to gluten reactions in celiac disease.”
Beyond Celiac is partnering with you to make sure that people with celiac disease have options. Being part of the solution is easier than you think. Learn more: www.Go.BeyondCeliac.org.