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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Improving gluten free diet adherence by youth with celiac disease

Dory Sample
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Phone: +780-248-5599
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Justine Turner
Published Online: 2019-03-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0026



Celiac disease (CD) is a gluten-triggered autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, which can occur in genetically susceptible individuals at any age. A strict life-long gluten free diet (GFD) is the only medically approved treatment, and non-adherence is associated with significant morbidity. However, gluten use is widespread, complicating efforts to follow the diet. Youth with CD are especially challenged with dietary adherence, as they strive for peer acceptance and personal autonomy in the context of managing a chronic disease.


A scoping review was conducted to identify mechanisms to assist youth with remaining gluten free.


There is a paucity of literature regarding best approaches to improve diet adherence by youth, however, lessons can also be learned by borrowing ideas from self-management approaches of other chronic diseases. Several mechanisms for improving GFD adherence among youth are identified, including regular engagement of the youth with CD and their family with an experienced multidisciplinary team, electronic tool utilization and awareness of accurate resources for self-guided education and resources.


Improvement in GFD adherence by youth is achievable and may influence long-term health outcomes.

Keywords: adherence; celiac disease; gluten free diet; youth


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About the article

Received: 2019-02-04

Accepted: 2019-02-17

Published Online: 2019-03-15

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20190026, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0026.

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