Wednesday, May 01, 2013
You probably hear a lot about the gluten-free diet and what a fad it is. But the reason gluten-free foods are so prominent is because there is a subset of people -- 3 million Americans -- who must eat gluten-free because it is the only treatment for celiac disease. I am one of those 3 million.
May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and here are 10 fact facts about celiac disease:
1: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by the ingestion of gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
2: When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, it sets off an immune reaction that damages the villi in the intestines and interferes with the absorption of nutrients.
3: 83% of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed.
4: Celiac disease is common. One out of every 141 Americans has celiac disease, affecting a total of 3 million Americans.
5: 35% of people at risk for celiac disease had no reason to suspect that the symptoms they were experiencing were due to undiagnosed celiac disease.
6: Symptoms of celiac disease range far and wide. Visit DoIHaveCeliac.org
for a Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist.
7: A simple blood test is the first step to a celiac disease diagnosis.
8: If you have a family member with celiac disease, your risk of also having the disease is 5 to 10 times higher than the general population.
9: Research estimates that about 6% of the population has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The diagnosis rate is unknown.
10: An estimated 1 in 10 individuals with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. have celiac disease.