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Marianne’s passion is helping people enjoy a gluten free lifestyle. She has written articles and teaches classes and seminars about this diet. Marianne follows a gluten diet herself and has first hand experience in preparing foods, sharing recipes and finding gluten free products to meet your needs. She also has expertise in providing supermarket tours to help you find gluten free brands in the supermarket.
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Excellent job sharing information on celiac disease
~ Jean Mclellan, President, Glens Falls Celiac Support Group
Invaluable gluten free diet education
~ Mikie Eady, Business Owner, Schenectady, New York
Celiac disease (CD) is also referred to as gluten sensitive enteropathy, gluten intolerance or celiac sprue. It is considered to be the most under-diagnosed common disease today, potentially affecting 1 in every 133 people in the USA. It is a chronic, inherited disease, and if untreated can ultimately lead to malnutrition.
Gluten intolerance is the result of an immune-mediated response to the ingestion of gluten (from wheat, rye, barley) that damages the small intestine. Nutrients are then quickly passes through the small intestine, rather than being absorbed.
To develop Celiac disease three things must be present:
- You must inherit the gene
- You must consume gluten
- You must have the gene triggered.
The disease is permanent and damage to the small intestine will occur every time you consume gluten, regardless if symptoms are present.
Celiac disease was once thought of as a disease with only GI symptoms. It is now recognized that the disease is a multi-symptom (organ) disease. More often it presents with symptoms that can mimic other problems.
Most physicians recognize the classic symptoms of celiac disease: diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, anemia, chronic fatigue, weakness, bone pain and muscle cramps. Physicians may not be aware that celiac disease frequently presents with other symptoms that do not involve the small intestine.
Typically, 50% of patients who are diagnosed with celiac disease do not present with diarrhea. More often symptoms can include constipation, constipation alternating with diarrhea, or premature osteoporosis.
Overweight individuals may also have undiagnosed celiac disease. Children may have the disease and present with a variety of symptoms. On average patients experience symptoms 11 years before being diagnosed with celiac disease.
Green, PHR et al. Characteristics of Adult Celiac Disease in the USA: Results of a National Survey, Am J Gastroenterology. 2001;96(1):126-131).
Initial screening for celiac disease is a blood test (serology) taken by your physician and sent to a lab for processing. In addition to a celiac panel a small intestine tissue biopsy may be preformed by a gastroenterologist. There are also celiac genetic tests available which help to identify celiac disease and stratify risk.
If you are diagnosed with celiac disease strict adherence to a gluten free diet for life is the only treatment currently available. This involves the elimination of wheat, rye, barley and derivatives of these grains from your diet.
Source: Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.
Local Gluten Free Support Group Websites:
Gluten Free Websites
Celiac Center at Columbia University
Celiac Sprue Association
Gluten Intolerance Group
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
National Institute of Health Celiac Awareness Campaign
Univ. of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease Research