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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Celiac disease is a long-term condition that affects your small intestine. Your immune system reacts to the protein gluten in food and damages your small intestine. You may not be able to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from the foods you eat.
- Medicines such as steroids are used to decrease inflammation and suppress your immune system.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to have blood tests or another endoscopy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your celiac disease:
- Do not eat food that contains gluten. This is the most important way to manage your symptoms. Do not eat anything made with wheat, rye, barley, or oats. Gluten is found in additives in many packaged and restaurant foods. Read food labels or ask before you order food. You may need to avoid dairy products for a period of time. A dietitian may help you plan meals that do not contain gluten.
- Ask about supplements. You may need to take supplements that contain iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, or vitamin D.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have new symptoms or your symptoms get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a fever.
- You have severe abdominal pain.
- You have blood in your bowel movement.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.