What on Earth is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease, once considered rare, was recently listed in an article by Reader’s Digest Magazine as one of the “Top Ten Diseases Doctors Miss”.  Prominent studies completed in the past two years indicate that Celiac Disease is not really rare at all, but actually quite common.  And if a Celiac is not diagnosed properly, sufferers can become vulnerable to a host of secondary autoimmune diseases as well.

Celiac Disease, also known as Celiac Sprue, is a genetically-linked autoimmune disease in which the absorbing surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes even oats.    Gluten can be found in foods such as bread, cookies, and pasta.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease may include:

Intermittent diarrhea

Abdominal pain



Joint pain

Muscle cramps

Skin rashes

Approximately 1 in 4700 people in the USA are diagnosed Celiacs. But recent medical research indicates that this figure is extraordinarily inaccurate. Suddenly, the long-accepted thinking that Celiac Disease was rare has literally exploded off of the medical horizon. It is now known that 1 in 133 folks in this country (or more) are probably Celiacs…again going undiagnosed…and suffering needlessly for many years.

In Celiac Disease, nutrients pass through the damaged small intestine, unabsorbed by your body, often creating a host of sometimes devastating health problems. Medical conditions and diseases that have been associated with Celiac Disease are: iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, gum problems, skin problems, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and infertility.

Risk Factors:

Genetic — A family member that is diagnosed increases your risk

Down Syndrome


Type 1 Diabetes

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Celiac Disease is frequently misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, proctitis) pancreatitis, and even gall bladder disease, to name but a few. There are literally millions of Celiacs running around in this country….who don”t even know they are Celiacs. And the really significant additional concern is that all these folks are simultaneously running the risk of developing secondary autoimmune disease. This, due to the fact that many Celiacs go undiagnosed an average of eleven years…or even longer.

Treatment:   Celiac Disease is treated with a gluten free diet.   There is no cure but this is manageable once properly diagnosed.


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