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Best Exercises/Activities For Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a chronic, autoimmune disease of the gut-associated with gluten ingestion. This protein mass is found in the grains of several bowls of cereal, including wheat, barley, and rye. This condition is difficult to diagnose because of the multi-variant effects it may cause. The treatment is based on a gluten-free diet. (1)

Celiac disease is a syndrome of malabsorption due to intolerance to a fraction of gluten, known as gliadin. It is characterized by total atrophy of the mucosa of the intestinal villi (folds of the intestinal linings). The gluten-free diet allows clinical and histological improvement (structure of biological tissues). (2)

The adult celiac disease affects one in every 100 people in Europe. Women are 3 times more likely to have the celiac disease compared to men. In adults, it can be presented with the rheumatic syndrome, isolated anemia, and bleeding disorders.

Best Exercises/Activities For Celiac Disease

Best Exercises/Activities For Celiac Disease

  • Exercise may be highly beneficial for patients with Celiac disease. Exercise is always helpful in maintaining better general health which aids in countering a diseased condition. It helps to keep your weight under control. Patients with Celiac disease struggle to maintain weight and often lose weight or gain it.
  • Exercise also helps you to achieve stronger muscles and bones, which are weakened due to Celiac disease. So, regular exercise, particularly weight training or strengthening exercises will help keep you strong and healthy. Osteoporosis is a common consequence of Celiac disease and regular exercise can keep it in check.
  • Exercise also improves blood circulation, thereby helping in the digestion and aiding better healing of damaged gut tissues because of Celiac disease.
  • Exercise also indirectly helps to gain better nutrition as it is often combined with a good diet habit, thus reducing the chances and effects of Celiac disease.
  • Exercise contributes to the healing of Celiac disease by maintaining a positive mood. This is because of the secretion of endorphins in your brain following exercise that reduces pain and gives a positive vibe. Celiac disease is often associated with mood swings and related disorders, which a regular exercise can prevent to a large extent. (7) (8)

Mechanisms Of Gluten Intolerance

The gluten consists of a set of proteins that are among the constituents of the protidic flour of certain cereals (wheat, rye, barley, and oats). The factor responsible for the disease is gliadin, the alcohol-soluble fraction of gluten.

The disease is known as gluten intolerance where villous atrophy is seen in the biopsy of the small intestine. The restoration of the architecture of the villi thanks to the gluten-free diet, but clinical and histological relapse will happen after the reintroduction of gluten. (3)

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

The symptoms are numerous and highly varied:

Diagnosis Of Celiac Disease

Immunological tests are important. The specific antibodies of the disease, namely anti-gliadin and anti-transglutaminase are used to find the presence of the following proteins. If these tests are positive, your doctor may conduct an endoscopy with samples (biopsy) on the upper part of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.

Endoscopy can also detect intolerance if the symptoms are present even as negative immunological tests. It is this hail biopsy that asserts the diagnosis by showing the atrophy of the intestinal villi. (5)

Treatment Of Celiac Disease

The treatment is based on the gluten-free diet that must be maintained for several months (6 to 12) before judging the outcomes. If the diagnosis is confirmed and this exclusion scheme results in an improvement in the general condition, it must be followed for life. It is the only effective treatment for celiac disease and will allow the disappearance of symptoms, the healing of damaged tissues and the reduction of the associated complication risks.

The B12, folic acid, iron are sometimes prescribed early in treatment to cover deficiencies due to illness. In severe forms, corticosteroids are useful. (6)


  1. Lebwohl B, Ludvigsson JF, Green PH. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Bmj. 2015;351:h4347.
  2. Green PH, Lebwohl B, Greywoode R. Celiac disease. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2015;135(5):1099-1106.
  3. Biesiekierski JR. What is gluten? Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2017;32:78-81.
  4. Parzanese I, Qehajaj D, Patrinicola F, et al. Celiac disease: From pathophysiology to treatment. World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology. 2017;8(2):27.
  5. Kelly CP, Bai JC, Liu E, Leffler DA. Advances in diagnosis and management of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2015;148(6):1175-1186.
  6. Forbes GM. Improving the Treatment of Celiac Disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2019.
  7. Dowd AJ, Kronlund L, Parmar C, et al. A 12-Week Pilot Exercise Program for Inactive Adults With Celiac Disease: Study Protocol. Global advances in health and medicine. 2019;8:2164956119853777.
  8. Volpe SL. Gluten-Free Diets and Exercise Performance. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2018;22(1):35-36.

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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 16, 2019

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