The truth is that celiac is very real, and very serious. There's only one known treatment that is effective: eating a strict and consistent gluten-free diet. Where is that gluten found? The grains wheat, rye, and barley.
For those who have been diagnosed with celiac, knowledge is power, because with lifestyle modifications, you can establish a "new normal," albeit one where you are far more intimately acquainted with your food. One of the challenges of celiac however, is that its symptoms are so chameleon-like that they are often misunderstood. According to Beyond Celiac, a leading advocacy organization, it's estimated that 83% of celiac cases are undiagnosed, which translates to thousands who are at risk for complications of the disease: malnourishment, anemia, thyroid disease, and countless stomach-related issues.
With celiac being a pernicious disease that can masquerade for years as other diseases without revealing itself, getting tested is an important aspect of celiac awareness- especially if you are related to anyone with a confined diagnosis. Because the disease has a genetic component, relatives are at a higher likelihood (though not guaranteed) chance of developing it. Click here to read more about the types of tests that are performed to diagnose celiac, including their capabilities and limitations.
The bottom line however, is that if you have concerns about celiac you should talk to your doctor. Bloggers, advocates, and the internet at large are no substitute for consulting a primary care physician or gastroenterologist.
|Infographic credit: Gluten Dude|
To celebrate Celiac Disease Awareness Month, La Brea Bakery has teamed up with me for a gluten-free giveaway of their sandwich bread. Their gluten-free bread is among the best I have tried, and you can read my full review over on the blog.
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