How long before your celiac child will recover on his gluten-free diet

Published: 18th December 2009
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Ever since your child was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, you've been working hard to manage his gluten-free diet (http://GlutenFreeHelp.info). This has required some adjustments, but you're managing your child's gluten-free diet fairly well, learning gluten-free cooking and providing your child with gluten-free alternatives at school and at your favorite local restaurants. As a gluten-free advocate and mother, I am often asked by parents of celiac children how long it will take after switching to a gluten-free diet before their child will feel better. Not only does this give parents the peace of mind that they're finally doing the right thing to stop their child from being ill, but it's useful in getting their celiac child to stick to their new way of eating long enough to see and feel the benefits.

The amount of time it takes to feel better on a gluten-free diet is different for every person. Sometimes people feel better right away, but sometimes it can take weeks or even a few months. The average length of time before people begin to experience relief of their symptoms is six to eight weeks. In adults, it can take the intestines several months or even years to heal. Since your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease early in life, their intestines will most likely not need a recovery period of such length.

One of the reasons why the length of time can be prolonged before relief is experienced is that mastering a gluten-free diet takes time. It's not unusual to make some mistakes as you change your child's diet to gluten-free. For instance, you may not know all the synonyms for gluten at first and in reading food labels, you may overlook these and unbeknownst to you end up feeding your child gluten-containing foods. Also, avoiding cross-contamination of gluten can be a challenge at first.

Other food intolerances can influence the celiac child's recovery period. It is common for celiac patients to have other food intolerances and food allergies beside a gluten allergy. Lactose intolerance is a common side effect of celiac disease. Luckily, as the intestines heal on your child's gluten-free diet, these intolerances should improve, but this too can take several months.

Celiac disease can also cause deficiencies in vitamins and minerals due to intestinal damage, which prevents proper absorption of nutrients. As a result, untreated celiac disease has also been linked with depression, thyroid disease, and diabetes. Many celiac patients will not feel totally better until these illnesses have been treated.

If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease, it's important that he sticks to the gluten-free diet even if he doesn't feel results right away. Learning that the recovery time varies can be encouraging for you and your celiac child. Focus on creative ways of adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle, and keep your child busy with fun activities such as baking gluten-free goodies during this time. Continue to tell your child how much healthier he's going to be because of his gluten-free diet. Before you know it, your child will begin to see and feel relief and will be well-grooved into his new gluten-free way of life.

For more information on eating and living gluten free, visit http://GlutenFreeHelp.info.
For more information on Tina Turbin, visit http://TinaTurbin.com.Tina Turbin (http://TinaTurbin.com) is a published children's author, writer, researcher, humanitarian and mom. Through her work with children and adults, Tina's research led her topics in celiac disease, gluten and nutrition, leading to her extensive interviews, and revelations in this field. Her web site, http://GlutenFreeHelp.info, is just one of her ways to help improve the quality of lives and health for others.

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