May was Celiac Disease Awareness month and I let the entire month slip by without a post.
So, I figured I’d make a little ‘Celiac Disease For Dummies’ guide to help inform my friends and family, and anyone else who stumbles upon this post, about Celiac Disease.
Most people commonly understand Celiac Disease to be an allergy to wheat, rye and barley; this is true.
What isn’t true is that Celiac Disease is an allergy; Celiac is a lifelong autoimmune disease for which there is no cure.
The only treatment for CD is to follow a 100% gluten-free diet.
Although it is known that CD is a genetic disorder, there is still no known cause of the disease.
For people with Celiac Disease, gluten is the devil; gluten is a protein which is found in all forms of wheat.
When someone with CD eats gluten, the villi of their small intestine are damaged; this interferes with one’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. In short, it means that the body attacks itself every time gluten is consumed.
One of the most astonishing facts about Celiac Disease is that nearly 1 out of every 133 Americans suffer from it.
Even more astonishing is the fact that approximately 90% of those who have CD don’t even know they have it.
This is especially concerning when considering the facts:
- Untreated Celiac Disease increases one’s risk of cancer by about 200%
- Untreated Celiac Disease increases the risk of miscarriage by a staggering 800%
Since the symptoms of Celiac Disease typically manifest themselves in the digestive system, it is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, or other fatigue-causing disorders.
For more information about Celiac Disease feel free to contact me!
Only through education and awareness will we be able to get the funding and attention that this disease deserves.