Treatment of Refractory Celiac Symptoms with a Low FODMAP Diet

F van Megen et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 2258-2266. Open Access! A Low FODMAP Diet Reduces Symptoms in Treated Celiac Patients With Ongoing Symptoms–A Randomized Controlled Trial

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was performed from 2018 to 2019 in 70 adults with biopsy-proven celiac disease. Inclusion criteria were as follows: persistent gastrointestinal symptoms defined by a Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS)–IBS version score of 30 or higher, gluten-free diet adherence for 12 months or longer, and serologic and mucosal remission. 

Key findings:

  • Compared to placebo-treated patients, there was significant improvement in pain, bloating, diarrhea and satiety, based on GSRS-IBS scores, in those assigned to a low FODMAPs diet (see below)

While this a low FODMAP diet can be helpful, the authors offer this cautionary advice:

  • “Following 2 complex diets increases the risk of inadequate nutritional intake, and patients should be followed up carefully. A low FODMAP diet should not be recommended to patients at nutritional risk or to patients at risk of developing an eating disorder.”
Figure 2 in Article

My take: Asking patients with celiac disease to further restrict their diet is akin to running the Peachtree Road Race in a fireman’s outfit. It can be done but doesn’t look like much fun.

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