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May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month

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 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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My neice has Celiacs, she was diagnosed at age 1 and is now 8. Thank You for helping others become more aware of the disease, I knew nothing of the disease until she was diagnosed!
    1150 days ago
    Thank you for posting this. I find it so irritating that people are making it sound as though going gluten free is a fad, a way to make money for companies, etc. I am adopted and my mom has celiac and I have a definite gluten intolerance. People don't realize that not taking care of yourself if you have celiac or gluten intolerance can slowly destroy the body. Again, thank you for posting this. People need to be educated and not to just brush off celiac or gluten/wheat or grain intolerance as a "fad." It's real, its becoming more frequent and like you said, many have it and don't even realize it.
    1151 days ago
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