Even though gluten is harmless to most people, in those with celiac disease it can destroy the lining of the small intestine which in turn reduces its ability to absorb vital nutrients and vitamins required for normal body functioning. It usually becomes manifest in childhood, but the symptoms might not present themselves consistently until middle age. Since the absorption of vitamins is dysfunctional, a number of conditions may result including anemia, scurvy and rickets. Even so, with adequate treatment, most people who suffer from this disease can cope with it successfully.

The best treatment for the disorder is, of course, a gluten-free diet. To some, it may seem that a gluten-free diet could hinder aspects of one's social life. But there is no need to shy away from social occasions. Yes, people with celiac disease must avoid wheat, barley, rye and oats but they can explain to their friends the nature of the disorder and let them know how they can help in maintaining a gluten-free diet. They will likely be glad to accommodate.

If you know someone suffering from this disease do not assume that the person is “spoiled” or fussy about because they refuse to eat a particular food. It would be wise to avoid inappropriate remarks regarding that person's health. Do not try to persuade the person to try “just a little bit”. The small intestine will regard gluten as poison and will react accordingly.

It is simple enough to prepare an acceptable (and delicious) dinner. A few adjustments will be necessary, but all guests can enjoy gluten-free meals. That way, the celiac sufferer will not be made to feel like the center of attention which is something he or she will be grateful for.

It is important to note that, in time, some patients with mild cases of celiac are able to reincorporate gluten into their diet. Regardless of that, having a positive attitude can go a long way. Negative attitude and hostility will only generate more of the same. A friendly response will encourage others to be more empathetic and to show understanding (as the author of this article is well aware). One should keep in mind that there are good points involved in treating celiac disease. The treatment is simple and clear-follow a strict diet. With sufficient self-discipline and support from others, one will be able to live quite well despite the fact that he or she suffers from celiac disease.