These are exciting times for the development of treatment options that go beyond the diet. Research is very active on several fronts. Among the most promising:
- Pills that, when ingested immediately before a meal that may contain small amounts of gluten, would make the small intestine less permeable to gluten, thus preventing its toxicity
- Pills that, when ingested along with meals containing some gluten, would break it down (thus, making gluten nontoxic) before it reaches the small intestine
- Drugs that will quench the inflammatory response of the intestine to gluten
- Therapeutic vaccines that would be able to restore the tolerance to gluten that was lost before celiac disease struck
A gluten-free diet is currently the only way to effectively treat celiac disease. Fortunately, maintaining a gluten-free diet isn’t as hard as it may seem as long as you are educated about some basic rules about the food and beverages you can and cannot consume.
At The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, we strongly recommend that you first seek a professional opinion before removing gluten from your diet because following a gluten-free diet can make it difficult to diagnose celiac disease.
While medical advice should be obtained directly from your doctor, the information in this section can help you make lifestyle decisions to get on the right track for a healthier and happier life.