How long will it take for my small intestine to recover from Celiac Disease?


This is an excerpt from Jane Anderson’s article about intestinal recovery…

“Unfortunately, many adults’ small intestines may never fully recover from the damage inflicted by celiac disease (children generally do achieve a full recovery). But the good news is that you’ll probably feel pretty healthy anyway.

When you have Celiac Disease, the gluten protein found in the grains wheat, barley and rye incites your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine. This results in what’s called villous atrophy, where your tiny, finger-like intestinal villi literally wear away, leaving you unable to properly digest food.

Once you’re diagnosed with celiac disease and begin the glutenfree diet, your villi generally start to heal. But several studies have shown that in adults your small intestine may not heal completely, even if you’re following a very careful diet and aren’t cheating. Children on the other hand have the probability of healing completely if adhering to diet.

Study: Two-Thirds Recovered in Five Years

One study, conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and published in 2010, reviewed intestinal biopsy records for 241 adults who’d been diagnosed with celiac disease, and who then had a follow-up biopsy.

More than four out of five of those celiacs experienced what doctors call a “clinical response” to the diet — in other words, their Celiac Disease symptoms got better or disappeared entirely. But after two years, their biopsies showed that only about one-third had intestinal villi that had recovered fully. After five years, about two-thirds had fully recovered intestinal villi.”

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  1. Reply

    Excellent post. Very informative!

    1. Thank you 🙂

    2. Thank you, I’m glad it helps 🙂

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Hi, I’m Kirsten

I am a Gluten Free Nutrition Consultant who’s goal it is to make the lives easier and healthier of those with Celiac disease and those that choose to live the gluten free lifestyle.

Living the gluten free lifestyle is not an easy one and can be very overwhelming: from testing to grocery shopping, to eating out and deglutening your own household, I am here to walk you through the process from beginning to end.  With tips, tricks, humor, healthy recipes and sometimes just an understanding ear, I will guide you seamlessly through.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, so I understand completely the trials and tribulations of living gluten free.


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