A gluten-free diet is the first step to treat celiac disease and helps to reduce the symptoms of this condition drastically. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating, nausea and vomiting are commonly seen in people with celiac disease. The presence of celiac disease can be confirmed using endoscopic biopsy only after the individual has consumed gluten. It is recommended to visit your doctor before choosing a gluten-free diet.
About 80 percent of individuals with celiac disease experience abdominal pain and bloating and it is predominantly present among females than males. But once these individual starts following a gluten-free diet, these symptoms vanish up to 97 to 100 percent in most people.
The passage of food from the stomach to the intestine is delayed in people with celiac disease and this discomfort may result in nausea or vomiting in almost 44 percent of people with the disease. One study showed that almost double the time (4 hours) is taken for food to travel from mouth to the large intestine in people with celiac disease compared to those without the disease (2 hours). Gluten-free diet in such individuals reduces the time to around 2½ hours, almost close to the time taken in those without celiac disease. Also, individuals stop complaining about nausea problems once they start following a gluten-free diet.
Two other studies show that diarrhea, a common problem among individuals with celiac disease, is present in around 75 to 80 percent of individuals. Studies also show that following a gluten-free diet improves diarrhea among majority of patients within four weeks of starting a gluten-free diet. Research also justifies that constipation is another major problem among people with celiac disease. In a study, almost 39 percent of patients reported that their constipation problem was resolved after following a gluten-free diet for six months.
If a celiac disease patient suffers from diarrhea or constipation even after following a gluten-free diet diligently for several months, it is in the best interest of the patient to consult a doctor who specializes in celiac disease. A physician would be able to diagnose other common health issues that may occur along with celiac disease, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, malabsorption of lactose or fructose or a parasite infestation. Individuals with celiac disease may undergo other gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation of the colon.
A registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com is the right person to provide further guidance on following a gluten-free diet and meeting nutrient needs.