The Latest Treatments for Celiac Disease

gluten-free diet, villi, Celiac Disease, Digestive Disorders Associates

When you have celiac disease, consuming gluten causes your body to attack the small projections called villi along your intestinal wall. When your intestinal villi are damaged, it affects your ability to absorb nutrients and can cause long-term health complications including anemia, infertility, peripheral neuropathy, and colitis.

Currently the only treatment for celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition, is following a strict gluten-free diet. This means no bread, pasta, pizza, beer, and snacks made with wheat, rye, or barely. Gluten sneaks into many processed foods and condiments too, such as soy sauce and some spice mixes – making it very hard to avoid. Invariably, no matter how hard you try, you accidentally ingest gluten through cross-contamination or poorly labeled ingredient lists.

A life-long gluten-free diet is imperative, and label reading becomes a second job. And up to 70% of celiac patients who follow a gluten-free diet still have symptoms due to cross contamination. They may also have intestinal damage, regardless of their commitment to gluten-free eating.

Potential future drug therapies

Researchers and medical professionals know that finding alternative treatments could greatly improve the quality of life of patients with celiac disease. The latest therapies are promising, but not yet available.

Hope is that an oral solution, in the form of a pill that binds gluten before your system absorbs it or can break it down, will interrupt the effects gluten has on your system. An oral drug that reduces the leakiness of a gut affected by celiac disease, larazotide acetate, may protect you if you should accidentally consume gluten. The drug is not yet ready for use but is in advanced stages of testing.

Another drug in development that may possibly help with celiac disease contains a polymer that binds to gluten in the gut, which helps prevent the negative autoimmune response.

Enzyme therapies

An enzyme that’s derived from a common oral bacteria may be a possible treatment for people who have celiac disease. This enzyme pulverizes gluten and may make it pass through the intestinal tract without setting off an immune response.

Another combination of enzymes, known as latiglutenase, may have the potential to encourage the healing of damage in the lining of the small intestine, but results in studies have been mixed.

Other therapies

Other future therapy may include improved DNA mapping and early screening to determine who is at risk so they can be treated with microorganisms, perhaps through a vaccine, that helps their body tolerate gluten before it becomes a problem.

At our offices, we want to help people in the Annapolis community overcome the symptoms of celiac disease. We put together a thorough dietary plan that may include supplements to boost your health, especially if you have medical problems caused by celiac disease.


Drug development is a complex process, but at Digestive Disorders Associates, we stay on top of the latest therapies so you can be among the first to receive state-of-the-art treatments when they become available. Call us today or book a consultation using this website to find out how you can manage and treat your celiac disease.

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