Your Celiac Child’s Road to Recovery

The amount of time it takes to feel better on a gluten-free diet is different for every person. The average length of time before people begin to experience relief of their symptoms is six to eight weeks. In adults, it can take the intestines several months or even years to heal. Since your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease early in life, their intestines will most likely not need a recovery period of such length.

One of the reasons why the length of time can be prolonged before relief is experienced is that mastering a gluten-free diet takes time. It’s not unusual to make some mistakes as you change your child’s diet to gluten-free. Also, avoiding cross-contamination of gluten can be a challenge at first.

Other food intolerances can influence the celiac child’s recovery period. It is common for celiac patients to have other food intolerances and food allergies beside a gluten allergy. Lactose intolerance is a common side effect of celiac disease. Luckily, as the intestines heal on your child’s gluten-free diet, these intolerances should improve, but this too can take several months.

Celiac disease can also cause deficiencies in vitamins and minerals due to intestinal damage, which prevents proper absorption of nutrients. As a result, untreated celiac disease has also been linked with depression, thyroid disease, and diabetes. Many celiac patients will not feel totally better until these illnesses have been treated.

If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s important that he sticks to the gluten-free diet even if he doesn’t feel results right away. Learning that the recovery time varies can be encouraging for you and your celiac child. Before you know it, your child will begin to see and feel relief and will be well-grooved into his new gluten-free way of life.

Tina Turbin

From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at)

About Us

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

5 thoughts on “Your Celiac Child’s Road to Recovery

  1. Hi Tina thanks so much for posting this as it was a question I was dying to know for a while about this and I know others will wonder this too. Within 2 weeks my daughter felt much better (her stomach aches weren’t as bad or frequent) and after 6 months she was totally symptom free. Accidentally ingesting gluten as we were adjusting to the diet I think was the reason why it took 6 months, and I bet if we were totally gluten free from the start it would’ve been 2-3 months. (We discovered that some chips that we thought were gluten free weren’t actually.)

  2. I’m SO glad you mentioned that additional food allergies could exist because this is exactly what happened to my twins Anya and Logan. Anya was doing much better than Logan but they still had diarrhea and just didn’t look extremely healthy. I then had them tested for other sensitivities and found that they were both lactose intolerant. A month later they were doing really well and have continued to be healthy and happy ever since!

  3. I just wanted to add that I FELT much better after a week of changing my diet to gluten free after I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999 (Wow, has it really been 12 years??). but it was about almost 6 months before I felt a huge overall difference in my energy levels and in ways that I wouldn’t have thought. For instance, my mental clarity really improved, but I hadn’t even really noticed how foggy my thinking had become until that point.

  4. I just wanted to say that everybody is different, children as well as adults. I have two celiac children and my sister has a celiac daughter and all our kids varied in their recovery. By the time 6 months had passed though everybody was doing pretty well.

  5. My kids were much better after two weeks but still had some issues for the next two months (gastrointestinal in nature). This could’ve been due to accidental ingestion of gluten though, who knows.

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