Celiac Support Association

Gluten-Free Self-Management Plan

The Three Step Self-Management Program was designed by Jean E. Guest, PhD, RD LMT to optimize the health of those with celiac disease. Self-management is the key to living a fulfilling gluten-free life. Personal application must be based upon understanding one's own tolerances.

A Three Step Approach                   Gluten-Free Diet Choices                   Donate Now

Need additional help with a Gluten Free Lifestyle? Email our CSA Staff Nutritionist, Melissa Belser


Step Individual Management Guidelines


Basic self-management

Begin healing

Make risk-free choices

Choose naturally gluten-free

Eliminate wheat, barley, rye, oats,

crosses and derivatives

Become knowlegeable

Newly Diagnosed


Beginning self-management

  • Eliminate all gluten exposure, including oats (common and gluten-free)
  • Begin developing an intake plan (keep lists)
    • foods and beverages:
      • identify tolerated foods and beverages
      • identify intolerances and allergies
    • supplements and medications
      • identify vitamin and mineral supplementation needs
      • identify gluten-free medication sources
  • Develop gluten identification skills
    • label reading  -- include front and back of the label
      The Celiac Support Association Recognition Seal on a product label means compliance with the strictest interpretation of gluten-free.    
    • hidden sources of gluten
    • cross-contamination with gluten containing items
  • Establish medical team partnership
    • dietitian, physician, pharmacist, dentist, physical therapist, psychologist, others to fit individual needs
  • Join a support group
    • Celiac Support Association and the local chapters


Intermediate self-management

Symptoms resolving

Evaluate choices

Address intolerances and allergies

Continue knowledge process

In remission


Intermediate self-management

  • Establish individual evaluation method for
    • new, questionable or controversial information
    • unresolved allergy or intolerance manifestations
    • food industry manufacturing changes
  • Establish individual treatment plan
    • keep a daily diary
      • record all intake, amounts and reactions
    • identify and eliminate immune-response triggers
    • wait 1-4 weeks before reintroducing new or questionable items. Monitor with your physician the introduction of such items as pure oats. It is impossible to predict who will or will not have a positive response to oats.
  • Expand knowledge about your disease or condition
  • Expand medical and Celiac Support Association partnerships


Advance self-management

Habits for optimal health

Evaluate and update plan

Living a full life


Advanced level self-management

  • Maintain self-management through
    • periodic updates/re-evaluations with medical team
    • examine and evaluate new gluten-free information and research
    • maintaining optimal immune-function
  • Revisit Stages 1 or 2 as required
  • Choose a variety of food products
  • Include a wide range of gluten-free flours and cereals daily to avoid developing food allergies and intolerances 
  • Serve as role model and support to newly diagnosed persons
  • Maintain medical and Celiac Support Association partnerships
  • Donate to the Celiac Support Association for patient support and research


Treatment of Celiac Disease

Treatment of Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Local Support

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