30+ Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease

One of the very first things my doctor told me after my celiac disease was this: "Right now, there is no celiac disease cure...you can only manage your symptoms by sticking to a strict gluten free diet."

And yet, over six years after that moment, I still regularly bump into people who say that they "used" to have celiac disease.

30+ Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease

Yeah. The phrase "used to" boggles my mind just as much as it does yours!

But thinking about these "past" celiacs (as well as this awesome post from Carb Counting Mama about mythical "cures" for Type 1 Diabetes) got me curious. I found myself asking: what are some of the most common "cures" that are suggested to people with celiac disease like me? And, even better, what are some of the weirdest?

So I scoured gluten free Facebook support groups, Reddit and Quora threads, and polled my own Insta followers...and here's what I came up with!

Keep in mind...as I wrote above, there is presently NO celiac disease cure (though there are some cures being tested in various research studies). All the celiac disease "cures" are listed below solely for entertainment purposes, as well as in hopes that they will serve as a reminder to take other people's advice - especially about your health! - with a grain of salt.

Let's begin with three of the MOST common incorrect celiac disease "cures":

1. You need to go gluten free to heal the intestinal damage initially caused by celiac disease...but once your antibodies test at a "normal" level, you're cured and can eat whatever you want!

Cue the booing audience soundtrack, because this is definitely very false! Yes, you will test negative for celiac disease and not show any intestinal damage after going gluten free, but that's only because you're not eating gluten. As soon as you start, all that damage will come back...and "once again", you will have celiac!

30 Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease

2. Now, let's discuss "cure" number two: keeping or adding a little gluten back into your diet so that your body can slowly become more tolerant of it. This is a practice called oral immunotherapy, and it's becoming a more common treatment for people with food allergies. You can also read here about how injectable immunotherapy may be helpful for people with celiac disease in the (likely far) future. However, it is important to keep in mind that celiac disease is NOT the same thing as a food allergy, and exposing someone with celiac disease to low doses of gluten will not "improve their tolerance" of it.

3. And finally, the infamous, "Oh, I bet you'll grow out of it!Beep. Wrong answer! When you're diagnosed with celiac disease, you have it for life.

But maybe the friends or coworkers talking about how their aunt or cousin magically "healed" their celiac disease credits a different technique.

You know...something a little more alternative-medicine-like.

Here are just a couple of real-life suggestions people have gotten on how to cure their celiac disease:
  • "Heal your gut." Yes, working on creating a happy gut by eating probiotic-rich foods, avoiding foods that mess with your body, etc. may help you feel better in the long run...but it won't let you just magically go back to eating Papa John's pizza.
  • Use a detoxing diet protocol or product line...and I'm not gonna name any names, but if you've ever been in a Facebook group related to eating gluten free, you've probably seen at least a few posts talking about the latest miracle pill or juice line.
30 Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease
  • Do a parasite cleanse.
  • Clear up the yeast infection that caused celiac disease in the first place. Now, there are studies linking yeast infections or fungal infections and celiac disease, and some even suggest yeast overgrowth could be the trigger to celiac disease or the reason why some people with celiac disease don't feel 100% even after going gluten free. But the only site I found saying clearing up a yeast infection "fixed" someone with celiac was selling a yeast cleanse product...and repeatedly used "celiac" and "gluten intolerance" to mean the same thing. Sooo...do with that what you will.
  • Try Chinese acupuncture to "reset" your immune system. People in the comments did report their seasonal allergies had improved via acupuncture...but from what I've seen, no celiacs have yet been cured via needles.
And now, drum roll please....we get to the food.

Currently, eating gluten free is the only science-backed treatment for celiac disease...but that doesn't keep other people from suggesting different or even more restrictive diets.

Dietary Choices That Can "Cure" Celiac Disease:

  • Eating gluten from Europe, since its different processing protocols or ingredients make it "safe" for people with celiac disease. Unfortunately, wheat is wheat...and all wheat, gluten and barley are dangerous for people with celiac.
  • That you actually just need to avoid pesticides covering food, not the food itself. I'm pretty sure pesticide-free wheat will still hurt me. And so far, one of the only studies linking pesticides with celiac disease (in a causal relationship) was later said to have made conclusions "not supported by the available scientific evidence."
  • Only eating organic fruits and veggies and free-range meats. Which is basically just one form of a gluten free diet, which doesn't "cure" celiac disease but does treat the symptoms.
30 Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease
  • Guzzling bone broth
  • Drinking celery juice on the daily. 
  • Eating allll the bananas. At least this celiac disease cure has history, considering that doctors first treated people with celiac disease by prescribing a banana-only diet.
  • Eating a plant-based diet. You can certainly eat a plant-based and gluten free diet, and you may even find eating plant-based makes you feel healthier overall...but it won't let you eat gluten again if you have celiac disease.
  • Avoiding GMOs
  • Only eating whole wheat versus refined flours. Because whole wheat is definitely what someone who can't tolerate gluten or wheat needs to heal? Yeah, I'm lost on this one.
This is when my research really started getting fun (in a twisted sort of way, I suppose). Because the more I searched, the more weeeeird celiac disease "cures" I discovered.

We'll start off pretty tame with just three "healthy living" hacks that are often suggested to pretty much anyone with a chronic illness.

  • Doing yoga. I can confirm that doing hot yoga regularly will not sweat out your inability to eat gluten.
  • Juicing. Unfortunately, I don't believe fruits and veggies can change our genes...
  • Drinking hot water every morning. Apparently, this is what everyone in Cambodia suggested one celiac traveler should try...
30+ Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease

And then there are the countless things you can buy to "fix" your digestion, your mood and, of course, your autoimmune disease.

Just to name a few examples, here are some marketable celiac disease "cures" many celiacs recall being pitched:
  • Essential oils...because what CAN'T essential oils do these days?!?
  • Probiotics. Taking probiotics has definitely transformed my gut health for the better, but there is a major limit to their "healing" powers.
  • Chinese medicine. Again...these cure everything, right?
  • Digestive enzymes. Possibly helpful when at risk for cross-contamination while eating out or if you have gluten intolerance. Not helpful for de-activating your celiac gene.
  • Activated charcoal. Sammmme as above.
And finally, the grand finale: a bunch of celiac disease cure suggestions that I saw on my computer screen and couldn't help but think:

"This is too weird to make up."

  • Get pregnant and your body will "magically" fix its celiac disease. Who knew we all just needed a bun in the oven to suddenly eat wheat?
  • Prayer. I know this is a touchy subject, and I don't include this "cure" in this grouping as an intentional attack on anyone who believes in the power of prayer. I agree that miracles can happen...but that it's also irresponsible to suggest that people with celiac disease can or should just pray about being able to eat gluten and still put their body in harm's way...
  • Meditating regularly and reducing stress. Definitely beneficial in helping you cope with the stress of having an autoimmune disease. But that's about it.
30 Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease
  • Exorcism?!? Yeah...I'll just leave that one here. (And note that the person who shared this story considers the wannabe celiac "exorcist" an ex-friend. Not surprising, I'd say!).
  • Thinking positively. 
  • Communion wafers that are made with gluten. As the commenter put it, "I know God loves me, but God's gluten wafer definitely doesn't."
  • Going to a psychologist or therapist. Celiac disease CAN have a psychological impact on the people who have it, but it's not rooted in our minds.
  • Waving vials of wheat near your body to "desensitize" it to gluten. A mom heard this tip from her daughter's doctor. Safe to say, they soon found a new practitioner to visit.

What I Hope You Take Away From This Post

At the end of the day, I would be ecstatic if there was a celiac disease cure...not necessarily even for me to use, but as a great option for my children, should they inherit my celiac disease. 

Right now, though, there is no cure for celiac disease - just eating gluten free to treat celiac's symptoms. 

I know that fact can be hard to accept, especially if you're newly diagnosed or struggling with celiac-related issues right now.

30 Simple to Surprising Suggestions That Won't Cure Celiac Disease

But also know this: over six years after my celiac diagnosis, I can honestly say that I'm living pretty dang happily while eating gluten free. And you can too.

So if friends or coworkers do suggest a less-than-scientific way to magically "fix" your celiac disease, I hope you can laugh off their suggestions and be grateful for everything you still can do, even while living with celiac disease.

Has someone ever told you they "cured" their celiac disease or know someone who did? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments!


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