Alternative Therapies for Celiac Disease

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Alternative Therapies for Celiac Disease

If you have celiac disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks gluten in foods containing wheat, barley or rye. As a result, your small intestine becomes inflamed with damage to villi and an inability to absorb nutrients from food sources.

Malnutrition can have long-term consequences and result in malnutrition. Malnourished individuals may experience anemia, joint pain, thinning bones, seizures and even cancer.

The most widely prescribed treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet designed to heal your intestines and boost your immunity. While this can be an challenging lifestyle for some individuals, studies have demonstrated that it has proven successful at improving symptoms and outcomes.

Unfortunately, many celiac patients struggle to adhere to a gluten-free diet and may still experience symptoms. Fortunately, new insights into the pathophysiology of celiac disease have sparked research into alternative therapies that may help alleviate symptoms and enhance health outcomes.

First and foremost, determine if you have celiac disease by eliminating all foods containing wheat, barley or oats from your diet. If so, your doctor will likely order blood tests and a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.

Next, consult a dietitian to help plan your gluten-free diet. Depending on how severe your symptoms and the stage of the disease, you may need to make several modifications in your food intake.

There are a few enzyme supplements that can break down gluten and help you digest it more easily, but these aren’t a cure-all and should only be used in clinical trials.

Another promising new treatment option is a drug that inhibits an enzyme called TG-2, responsible for activating T cells responsible for celiac disease inflammation. This medication is currently being studied in several clinical trials and could provide relief to CD patients without them needing to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet.

Finally, there are medications that prevent the body from absorbing gliadins – proteins responsible for celiac disease – including latiglutenase and AN-PEP. These can be taken orally as tablets or topically as creams.

It is essential to follow a gluten-free diet while taking these medicines, even if your doctor has prescribed one. Combining the pills with meals and not eating anything that contains gluten are the best ways to ensure you’re not ingesting any proteins from them.

Other approaches to celiac disease treatment involve the combination of enzymes, probiotics and polymers which work together to breakdown and sequester gliadin proteins responsible for celiac disease. These substances, known as “endomeptases,” are currently being tested in various clinical studies at Columbia University.

Bis the development of novel treatments, a lifelong gluten-free diet remains the only proven cure for celiac disease.

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