A strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment for coeliac disease

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A strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment for coeliac disease

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Gluten-free diet

If you are following a gluten-free diet because of coeliac disease, you should familiarise yourself thoroughly with the diet. A strict gluten-free diet is the only and lifelong form of treatment for coeliac disease. The aim of the diet is to repair the damage to the mucous membrane of the small bowel, eliminate the symptoms of untreated coeliac disease and prevent additional diseases caused by untreated coeliac disease.
When treating coeliac disease, it is important to exclude even the tiniest sources of gluten from your diet. It is, therefore, important that those following a gluten-free diet acquaintance themselves with the lists of ingredients in different products very carefully. This is made a little easier by the fact that wheat, barley, rye and oats, like other compounds causing allergies, must be highlighted in the list of ingredients, for example, by writing them in bold or in capital letters.

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As for oats, one should remember that coeliac patients can only eat gluten-free oats. Oats, as such, are a gluten-free grain but coeliac patients cannot use just any oat products. Traditionally, oats are grown on the same farms and transported and handled with the same equipment as other types of grain, which is why so-called normal oats may contain small amounts of other grains and, thus, also gluten. When producing gluten-free oats, it is made absolutely sure that there is no residue from other grains. The gluten concentration of oats must not exceed 20 milligrams per kilo.

Please note that the following ingredients also contain gluten:

  • spelt
  • durum wheat
  • Kamut wheat
  • couscous
  • bulgur
  • breadcrumbs (common breadcrumbs contain gluten)
  • normal wheat starch
  • malt (most commonly produced from barley or rye)
  • groat sausage (typically contains barley or rye)
  • semolina
  • miso (check the list of ingredients, may contain barley)
  • stock cubes (If the possibility of grain residue is mentioned, the cubes are not suitable for a gluten-free diet.)
  • seitan (is made from wheat gluten)
  • cricket and grasshopper products (Grasshoppers are fed feed that contains gluten, leaving residue in their intestines.)

For more information, visit your local Coeliac Society website or Finnish Coeliac Society: keliakialiitto.fi