A gluten-free-diet can reduce inflammatory bowel disease

October 22, 2009

A recent study has uncovered that a gluten-free diet can reduce inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). When properly diagnosed, individuals with IBD – like symptoms do respond to a gluten-free diet. The following conclusions were drawn from a 2004 paper investigating three women who had celiac disease and IBD symptoms:

One of the woman tested had a 6-month history of abdominal pain and weight loss. The tests uncovered that she has hypothyroidism, as well as iron-deficiency anaemia. A biopsy revealed lesions consistent with celiac disease and proctitis. She went onto a gluten-free diet and the IBD symptoms have considerably reduced.

A second woman has suffered for 10 years from ulcerative colitis, failed to gain weight, despite a good diet and control over her lower gastrointestinal sympyoms. Testing showed that she was anaemic. With further endoscopic examination, doctors found that she had celiac disease. She went on a gluten free diet and has since started to gain some weight.

The last woman in the research was not so fortunate, but her misfortune might in fact due to her lack of adherence to a gluten-free diet. This patient had been diagnosed with coeliac disease at the age of 6 but she didn’t experience any problems until the age of 33. Then, she suddenly showed symptoms of colitis, which required surgery. Please note severe cases of colitis can be treated with surgery. After surgery, the woman was still unable to gain weight. She also continued to have abdominal pain. The doctors later discovered that she had not followed a gluten-free diet, despite knowing that she was gluten intolerant.

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