May Is National Celiac Awareness Month
May 01, 2017
Going “Gluten-Free” for Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
May is National Celiac Awareness Month and with all the buzz of gluten-free diets people are going on for “weight loss” we would like to set the record straight.
Approximately 1% of the population or 1 in 133 Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease (CD). The number of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity is 6 times that amount of people with celiac disease (roughly 18 million Americans).
For people with celiac disease a 100% gluten-free diet is the only treatment at this time. The gluten-free diet is not a weight loss diet and for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, this diet helps to alleviate the symptoms that they experience, which helps promote a better quality of life.
There are key differences between someone with celiac disease and someone with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is passed from parents through their genetic DNA, while gluten sensitivity does not appear to have a connection with genes.
People with celiac disease have a vast number of symptoms particularly gastrointestinal symptoms, which can then lead to a variety of serious nutritional deficiencies. If someone is left undiagnosed and continues to consume gluten then it can lead to serious complications such as osteoporosis, infertility, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and even thyroid disease.
Someone with non-celiac gluten sensitivity does not have the severity of intestinal damage that you would find in someone with celiac disease, however it can cause minimal intestinal damage that resolves itself with a gluten-free diet.
Both people with CD and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience similar symptoms such as abdominal pain, headaches, lack of energy, and even feeling of numbness or tingling.
In order to fully confirm the severity and type of gluten issue you have, testing for a wheat allergy must be done and a simple blood test is necessary to rule out celiac disease. However, this test will only be a confirmation of whether or not you have celiac disease if you continue to consume a diet that contains gluten. Unfortunately, there is no current diagnostic treatment that can help diagnose someone with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
If you do have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, here are some things that gluten may be hiding in:
- Alcohol (spirits, certain types), Beer, Broth
- Candy, Croutons, Edible Coatings, Fillers
- Gravies, Ice Cream
- Lunchmeats, Chocolate Covered Nuts
- Marinades, Teriyaki Sauce
- Oats (possible contamination)
- Pasta, Pie filling, Pudding
- Sauces, Soups, Soy Sauce
- Chapstick, Chewing Gum, Lipstick, Makeup, Stickers, Sunscreens
- Envelopes (the glue), Shampoos, Stamps,
- Pet Food, Play-dough, Toothpaste
Information courtesy of The National Foundation for
Hope Danielson, Director of Health and Wellness for County Market
Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market