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Having celiac disease requires following a gluten-free diet for life. Sticking to this diet isn't always easy. Teens especially may have trouble following it consistently. Social situations, such as eating out with friends, can be very difficult. Giving your teen some responsibility and control may help.
It can be especially hard for your teen to follow the diet if he or she doesn't notice symptoms after eating foods with gluten. Explain to your teen about how damage to the small intestine can still happen even when he or she does not notice symptoms. This is because eating gluten triggers an immune system response that is not normal in people with celiac disease. Educate your teen about the lifelong nature of celiac disease, and emphasize the importance of avoiding foods with gluten.
Remind your teen that eating foods with gluten:
Most teens do better if they feel that they have some control over their lives and will usually make better choices if they are encouraged and supported, rather than forced or nagged.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jerry S. Trier, MD - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||May 29, 2012|
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