[Dietary treatment of celiac disease].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1999; 119(13):1888-91TN
Life-long gluten-free diet is the established therapy of coeliac disease. Patients suffering from dermatitis herpetiformis benefit from the same treatment. In Norway the gluten-free diet has excluded oats as well as wheat, rye and barley. The basis for this recommendation was a 1972 report indicating that ten out of 23 children consuming oats as part of their gluten-free diet for at least 18 months developed signs of damage to the intestinal mucosa. During the last decades, the clinical picture of coeliac disease has changed as a result of better diagnostic tools. Controlled clinical trials during the last few years indicate that some patients may tolerate small amounts of oats in their gluten-free diet. As a consequence, patients may be confused with regard to what dietary regime is recommended in coeliac disease. Compliance with gluten-free diet is important to secure growth and development, the all-round condition, fertility, bone density and a reduced risk of nutrient deficiency and malignancy. Consensus on dietary treatment is essential. A number of controlled trials are under way and the outcome of these studies will in a few years determine whether oats might be included in the standard gluten-free diet. So far oats are not recommended. The physician who makes the diagnosis is responsible for all patients getting adequate dietary counselling and management. Dietary advice given by health personnel must be consistent.