Even though the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research places gluten sensitivity on the center stage of the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, it has found that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are different diseases that have the same treatment plan.
The treatment for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is the same: avoidance of all products that contain gluten and more specifically gliadin, a protein found in gluten. Both conventional and alternative doctors agree that the best treatment is a special diet in which people are not able to eat any products that contain gluten of any kind. Wheat, spelt, barley, millet and rye cereals contain gluten and have to be avoided. There is mixed literature as to whether or not oats should be included in a gluten-free diet. Oats do not have gliadin but are almost always processed on equipment that also processes wheat so oats get contaminated with gliadin proteins. Removing all products that contain gluten and gliadin stops the over-reaction by the immune system and returns the body to a state of balance.
Since gluten is found in cereals and grains, most of these products that should be avoided include breads, crackers, cookies or anything traditionally made with wheat or grains. However, once patients start reading labels they find there are many other products that might have gluten products in them as well. When looking for gluten-free products we need to look at soups, salad dressings, and all types of proceeded foods. Gluten is found in some natural flavorings, binders and fillers, and unnamed starch products. It is important for patients to check all the products they use to prepare foods to make sure they do not start the immune reaction in the body again. Several large grocery chain and health food stores are creating gluten-free sections or specialized lists for gluten-free people. For people on a gluten-free diet they need to ask their waiters at restaurants about gluten-free menu items as well.