Treatment for Celiac Disease Symptoms and Complications

In patients who are exposed to gluten, an itchy rash with blisters may develop on the elbows, knees, and buttocks. This rash, which is called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), may be treated using an antibiotic medication called Dapsone. Side effects of this medication include upset stomach or vomiting. Patients should notify a physician if these symptoms are severe. Patients who experience sore throat, fever, rash, yellowing of skin or eyes, or unusual bruising while on Dapsone should contact a physician immediately.

Patients with celiac disease who develop serious malnutrition may be advised to take vitamin, mineral, or nutrient supplements to speed recovery. In some cases, physicians also may prescribe a medication or supplement for osteoporosis.

When intestinal damage is severe and diet alone is not effective, medications (e.g., corticosteroids) may be prescribed to control inflammation in the small intestine or to help relieve problems caused by the inadequate absorption of nutrients.

A dietician or nutritionist can help patients learn about habits that must be adopted when food shopping, cooking, and dining out. Joining a support group for people with celiacs also can be helpful.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015