Celiac Disease

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Strict, gluten-free diet important for anyone with celiac disease

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: If someone has been diagnosed with celiac disease but has never had any symptoms, would eating a gluten-free diet still be necessary?

ANSWER: Following a strict gluten-free diet is important for anyone who has celiac disease, even if the disorder does not trigger any symptoms. Eating gluten when you have celiac disease injures the small intestine. Over time, that injury raises the risk for developing complications related to celiac disease.

In people who have celiac disease, eating gluten -- a protein found in wheat, barley and rye -- sparks an immune response in the small intestine that leads to inflammation. Over time, that inflammation damages the tiny,...