Non-dietary forms of treatment for adult celiac disease

World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Nov 6;4(4):108-12. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v4.i4.108.


At present, treatment for celiac disease includes a strict gluten-free diet. Compliance, however, is difficult and gluten-free food products are costly, and, sometimes very inconvenient. A number of potential alternative measures have been proposed to either replace or supplement gluten-free diet therapy. In the past, non-dietary forms of treatment were used (e.g., corticosteroids) by some clinicians, often to supplement a gluten-free diet in patients that appeared to be poorly responsive to a gluten-free diet. Some of new and novel non-dietary measures have already advanced to a clinical trial phase. There are still some difficulties even if initial studies suggest a particularly exciting and novel form of non-dietary treatment. In particular, precise monitoring of the response to these agents will become critical. Symptom or laboratory improvement may be important, but it will be critical to ensure that ongoing inflammatory change and mucosal injury are not present. Therapeutic trials will be made more difficult because there is already an effective treatment regimen.

Keywords: Adult celiac disease; Gluten-free diet; Immunotherapy; Non-dietary treatment of celiac disease; Protease; Tight junction inhibition; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review