Mind/Body Techniques May Be Key To Help Stick to A Gluten-Free Diet

Are gluten-free foods the diet fad of 2010? More and more, “gluten-free” food products are being stocked on grocery store shelves, and even with more food options being offered, those with celiac disease will tell you how hard it can be to stick to the very strict diet. 

Gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center are conducting a new study to see if mind/body techniques could help patients with celiac disease stick to a gluten-free diet.

Celiac disease is a lifelong, digestive disease affecting children and adults,  People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in almost all food products as well as medicines, vitamins and lip balms.  Gluten can damage the small intestine and interfere with absorptioon of nutrients from food.

“The purpose of this study is to determine whether participation in one of two mind/body courses can help patients cope with the restricted diet,” said Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, vice chairman of medicine and gastroenterologist at Rush. “It can be very hard and stressful for people with celiac disease to stick to a gluten-free diet.”

Recently, researchers reported that the prevalence of celiac disease has been increasing significantly over the past 50 years. Now, one in 133 Americans are being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder.

Patients enrolled into the Celiac disease and mind/body study at Rush will be randomly assigned to two course assignments for eight weeks. Patients eligible for the study must be over 18 years of age, have received a diagnosis of celiac disease in the past four weeks or within two weeks of starting a gluten-free diet, and have not previously attempted a gluten-free diet.

Read more about the celiac disease and mind/body study at Rush.

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