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.
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.