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Celiac Disease and the Ultimate Gluten Free Experience

Wheat Field | Photo credit: dobrych on Wikipedia under a Creative Commons License

Wheat Field

Eat Drink Better has an interesting article about celiac disease. Regular readers of this blog, and subscribers to Food Facts, well know that celiac disease is one of the most common, undiagnosed genetic disorders, with an estimated 1 in 133 people, or 2 million people, afflicted with the disease in the United States alone. You might know that persons of Irish, English, and other Anglo backgrounds tend to be more susceptible to the disease than those of other ethnic backgrounds.

Contrary to what some might believe, celiac disease is not a food allergy, but an auto-immune disorder that people do not grow out of.  The results of this disorder vary significantly, and can range from mild to severe. Sometimes, hospitalization is required.

Fortunately, awareness of this condition has increased significantly in recent years, and physicians are now more likely to acknowledge celiac disease as a possibility when faced with a patient showing unusual symptoms.  In the past, sufferers of celiac have been misdiagnosed as having everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, thyroid conditions, fibromyalgia, or they have been categorized as hypochondriacs.  There have been situations where folks have attended celiac disease support groups and offered their stories about being misdiagnosed for decades. Sometimes, in the past, physicians missed the boat totally on this. But that has all changed.

As proper diagnosis of celiac disease has increased over the last several years, so have the dietary options for sufferers.  Improved labeling of ingredients in food products and increasing numbers of gluten-free products and an increase of gluten-free food manufacturers have provided Celiac sufferers withe choices in the grocery store.

Even large restaurant chains have recognized the potential market in offering gluten-free menu options.  PF Chang’s, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, and On The Border all now have dedicated gluten-free menus.  It is admirable that there is a movement among some restaurant chains to make an effort to helping those suffering from gluten intolerance.

You can find some excellent gluten-free recipes here.

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