It’s National Celiac Awareness Month. In honor of raising awareness, I’d like to provide my readers with a few nuggets about Celiac Disease as well as helpful websites for additional information.
What is Celiac Disease?
- Celiac (pronounced as See-lee-ak) Disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestines whenever a person eats anything with gluten. In fact, some research has indicated that when people with this disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. 
What causes Celiac Disease?
- Similar to many other autoimmune diseases, the cause of Celiac Disease is still not known. Consequently, it sometimes takes a couple of years before a person is properly diagnosed with this disease. According to the latest data, about 27 million people in the US walk around not knowing that they have Celiac Disease!
What are the signs and symptoms?
- The most notable signs or symptoms include abdominal cramping, stomach bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, weight loss or weight gain. There are other signs and symptoms, but these are the biggest signs of CD.
How is Celiac Disease diagnosed?
- There are special blood tests that can detect Celiac Disease. Please visit the Celiac Disease Foundation site to view the list of tests and discuss it with your health care provider. Request that you be tested for Celiac Disease if you possess many of the signs and symptoms.
Is there a cure for Celiac Disease?
- There is no medicinal cure at this time for Celiac Disease. The only way that someone can be healed is to transition to a 100% gluten free lifestyle–diet, cosmetics, household goods, etc.
What is Gluten?
- Gluten is made of two protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley and is an important component in baking. Simply put it is the glue-like or sticky texture in baked goods and it is responsible for causing the baked goods to rise. Note that gluten does not impact everyone.
What foods are gluten-free?
- Some examples of gluten-free foods are as follows: brown rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, tapioca, brown rice flour, cornmeal, sorghum, beans, soy (use caution), poultry, beef, fish, mushrooms, vegetables, etc. There are a lot of foods that are gluten free, but the key thing to remember is that sometimes foods have hidden gluten ingredients, so make sure that you verify before you purchase. Read the labels or ask questions.
”Celiac Disease.” Celiac Disease Foundation.