What does it mean to live “gluten-free"?
Celiac Disease is a hereditary autoimmune disorder. Nearly three million Americans suffer from Celiac Disease, which means their systems cannot tolerate gluten. This autoimmune digestive disorder has varying symptoms can be difficult to diagnose. It is important to get a diagnosis if you have Celiac Disease so that you can begin a gluten-free diet that will provide long-term relief.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.
Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment.
Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.
Source: National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Key Point 1
Celiac Disease is a digestive condition triggered by eating the protein gluten. It is often not diagnosed or mis-diagnosed because symptoms vary greatly.
Key Point 2
It is important to your overall health that you get a diagnosis of celiac disease if you have it. You will receive better medical care if your doctor knows you have celiac disease.
Conduct an off-site search for Celiac Disease from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations dedicated to helping people with Celiac Disease and their families and friends. This is only a partial list.
NFCA launched a nationwide celiac disease awareness campaign aimed at correctly diagnosing the three million Americans with celiac disease who don’t know they have it. Go here to fill out a printable symptom checklist to help gain a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
A service of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) which conducts and supports basic and clinical research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health.
The NFCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising celiac disease awareness and funds for research.