NYU Langone gastroenterologists and dietitians work closely with people who are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to ensure that they start feeling better. The majority of people with celiac disease report an improvement in their symptoms within two weeks of eliminating gluten from their diets, and most are symptom free within a month. Gluten-related damage to the small intestine in those with celiac disease takes longer to heal.
Celiac disease can be managed but not cured, so it is important for people to follow a gluten-free diet carefully and for the rest of their lives. Even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger the return of symptoms and can lead to long-term health problems.
NYU Langone dietitians help people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity stay on a healthful, gluten-free diet. They can help people adjust to this way of eating by offering advice on choosing the right foods and avoiding cross-contamination. This can occur if gluten-free foods are prepared on shared surfaces or with shared utensils and the surfaces or utensils aren’t thoroughly cleaned.
Our dietitians can also provide tips on how to buy food prepared outside the home, what to order in a restaurant, or how to instruct restaurants on how food should be prepared so that you can safely enjoy dining out.
Dietitians can recommend a variety of online resources for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. They provide information on everything from support groups and gluten-free recipes to online stores that sell gluten-free products.
It is important to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your gastroenterologist—even after you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, and even when you are feeling well. A gastroenterologist may recheck antibody levels obtained at the time of diagnosis to ensure that the intestinal lining is healing. He or she may also obtain additional tissue samples to confirm that inflammation has improved and the villi appear healthy.
Rarely, symptoms of celiac disease persist despite every effort to maintain a strict gluten-free lifestyle. Your NYU Langone gastroenterologist periodically reviews your diet to ensure you are not consuming gluten inadvertently.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet but still experience symptoms, your physician may want to repeat blood tests and obtain additional tissue samples or perform other diagnostic testing. This is to ensure that celiac disease is well controlled, as well as to evaluate for other possible conditions that may be contributing to symptoms.