1.Get regular screenings.
Experts recommend that all adults with celiac disease get annual blood screenings for ferritin (a measure of the amount of iron stored in the body), folate, vitamin B12, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, a measure of how well the thyroid is working). In addition, you will probably be tested for calcium absorption, which is measured by a test called a 24-hour urine catch. This test is exactly what it sounds like — you urinate into a special container every time you use the bathroom during a 24-hour test period. Together, these tests will allow you and your doctor to track how well your intestines have healed.
2.Take advantage of new technology.
Check out some of the gluten-free apps available for smartphones and tablets. The most popular ones offer extensive databases of foods that you can search for verified gluten-free products and restaurant menu options. Just another terrific example of how technology makes life easier!
3.If you are pregnant or recently had a baby:
Remember that your child may or may not have inherited celiac disease along with your soulful eyes. I highly encourage breastfeeding, which seems to offer baby some protection from celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders.
4.Urge family members to get tested.
Celiac disease is genetic, so first- and second-degree relatives should all be tested. People with autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes or Hashimoto’s disease, also have an increased risk of celiac disease and should be tested.
5.Ask your doctor if you should have a bone-density scan.
Long-term malabsorption of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, the thinning and weakening of bones. But osteoporosis often goes unnoticed. If a scan shows your bones are strong, it will be one less thing for you to worry about, and you’ll have a good baseline measurement for future reference. If your bones show signs of thinning, you and your doctor can begin a treatment plan.