Gluten-free diet has become somewhat of a trend lately, even among those without sensitivity to gluten, however Celiac disease is still fairly new to most people’s consciousness.
To help raise awareness to this disease, yes, it’s a disease, we decided to write this article. So, please read and share it!
1. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. This means the body attacks and damages its own tissues, specifically the villi of the small intestine which leads to poor absorption of nutrients from food.
2. 1% of the American population has Celiac disease, but it is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
3. There are over 300 known symptoms of celiac disease. This fact is exactly what makes this disease so complicated to be diagnosed. Celiac disease affects people differently, some people with celiac disease have no symptoms at all. Learn more about different symptoms here.
4. Untreated celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders, “from skin rashes and lactose intolerance to infertility, bone weakness and nerve damage. These can often happen even in the absence of digestive symptoms” says Joseph Murray, M.D., Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
5. Celiac Disease and Wheat Allergy are not the same. Though celiac disease and wheat allergies are often confused due to similar diet restrictions, people diagnosed with wheat allergies do not have an autoimmune disease that destroys the villi of their small intestines. Learn more about gluten sensitivity here.
6. Celiac Disease is hereditary. If you have first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling), you have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.
7. 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
8. Gluten-free sales reached more than $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are now expected to exceed more than $5 billion this year(2015). (Source: Packaged Facts, 2011)
9. Celiacs must not just avoid wheat products, but also rye, barley, and oats.
10. There is no cure to Celiac Disease. “Gluten-free foods is the ‘drug of choice’ for people with celiac disease — no prescriptions are available except strict avoidance of gluten,” says Elaine Monarch, Founder of the Celiac Disease Foundation (celiac.org).