The month of May has been designated as National Celiac Awareness month. According to Beth Hillson, President of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, the majority of
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that is triggered in response to ingesting gluten. It is the protein found in gluten that triggers an immune response and a multitude of health problems can ensue. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Wheat flour, starch and other forms of derived gluten are commonly used in commercially prepared products. Even ingesting very small amounts of gluten can have very serious implications for someone suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Celiac disease is usually characterized by damage to the small intestine that progresses over time. The resulting damage can cause malabsorption issues and gut permeability which can lead to further health implications that can cause a wide range of manifestations and complications that can vary greatly from one person to the next. Celiac Disease can be triggered at any point in a person’s life but there is a genetic predisposition to the disease that is evident and relevant to a person developing the disease.
Gluten Intolerance is intrinsically associated with Celiac disease, however, there are many people that suffer from gluten intolerance and related diseases and may not be suffering from Celiac disease. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease can be very similar and both conditions can be treated by adhering to a gluten free diet.
Diagnosing Celiac disease and gluten intolerance can sometimes be difficult. The tests that are currently used for diagnosis have proven not to be 100% conclusive and there is a high rate of false negatives reported in test result findings. The good news is removing gluten from the diet can have a positive result in restoring digestive function and reversing related health problems.
Recognizing Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is becoming more prevalent thanks to numerous research groups and Celiac disease and gluten intolerance support groups. The Gluten Intolerance Group of
North America is a non profit organization whose mission is to support not only those suffering with Celiac disease but also provide support to those who suffer from other gluten intolerance and related diseases as well.
Through educational programs, events and alliances with research institutions, support organizations and industry representatives, GIG has become a leader in the Gluten Intolerance Community. By providing support nationally and locally through its growing number of branches across the
, GIG offers a wealth of tools and information for living a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle. For more information visit the Gluten Intolerance Group website: . United States