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Celiac Disease - Topic Overview


To get and stay well, you need to avoid all foods that have gluten. For many people, this means changing everything about the way they eat. This can be challenging. For help, work with a dietitian who has experience with gluten-free diets. Together you can find foods you like that don't have gluten.

Avoid all foods made with wheat, rye, barley, or triticale. Don't drink any beer or ale.

You can still eat eggs, meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. Flours and foods made with amaranth, arrowroot, beans, buckwheat, corn, cornmeal, flax, millet, potatoes, pure uncontaminated nut and oat bran, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soybeans, tapioca, or teff are also okay. Within 2 weeks after starting a gluten-free eating plan, most people find that their symptoms start to get better.

For a short time after your treatment starts, you might also need to stop drinking cow's milk and foods made with it. Most of the time, but not always, people can have these foods again after their intestine has healed.

Some foods that are labeled "wheat-free" may still have gluten. Gluten can be in things you may not expect, like medicine, vitamins, and lipstick. Be sure to read labels.

Watch out for the following phrases. They could mean that a product contains gluten:

  • "Modified food starch."
  • "Hydrolyzed vegetable protein."

Learning about celiac disease:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with celiac disease:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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