Mind/Body Techniques for Celiac Treatment

With gluten-free diets very challenging to stick to, Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) gastroenterologists are studying the use of mind/body techniques to help patients stick to the strict diet.

“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, RUMC. “It can be very hard and stressful for people with celiac disease to stick to a gluten-free diet.”

Because eating “even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine” and the “damage will occur in anyone with the disease, including people without noticeable symptoms,” those with the disease must be trained by a healthcare professional in regards to reading ingredient lists and identifying foods containing gluten, including modified food starch, preservatives, and stabilizers made with wheat, not to mention the many corn and rice products that are produced in factories that also produce wheat products.

“Going to restaurants or dinner at a friend’s house can pose dangers to a person with celiac disease,” said Keshavarzian. “It can really impact a person’s quality of life.”

For information on enrolling your patients—age 18 years or older who have received a celiac disease diagnosis in the past 4 weeks or within 2 weeks of starting a gluten-free diet, and whom have not previously attempted a gluten-free diet—contact Dr. Sunana Sohi at 312-942-1551 or Sunana_Sohi@rush.edu.

With gluten-free diets—the only treatment for adults and children with celiac disease—very challenging to stick to, Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) gastroenterologists are studying the use of mind/body techniques to help this population stick to the strict diet.