Good day to you. Today I’m honored to guest blog on the subject of celiac disease awareness and education by invitation of Ms. Gillian Stephen; thank you. Celiac disease and the gluten-free diet are an often confused diagnosis and diet. Recently, the gluten-free diet has been touted as a weight-loss diet by many major media commercial markets. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as many gluten-free foods have twice the carbohydrates and sugars as their glutenous counterpart products. What does all of this mean for you, dear reader?
In spite of the hype of the gluten-free diet, you may still have celiac disease and be undiagnosed with this hereditary disease. Celiac disease is quite prevalent in the USA. It’s generally agreed 1 in 133 American citizens have this disease. It’s also agreed 97% of our citizens are not diagnosed with celiac disease. Why? Symptoms of celiac disease are often confused as being symptoms of other diseases or complications, causing misdiagnosis. The average timeframe for an American citizen to be diagnosed with celiac disease is ten years. The confusion in the lack of diagnosis of celiac disease lies in two areas I feel. One, celiac disease symptoms are vague enough to be as a result of any number of maladies and are not experienced by all who suffer. Two, Doctors are not educated enough on celiac disease symptoms to provide an accurate analysis or diagnosis. What does this all mean to you, dear reader? You need to educate yourself and ask your Doctor questions in regard to your personal symptoms as those questions may result in the diagnosis of celiac disease for you.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases have been shown to manifest themselves in a group-like fashion so if you have one autoimmune disease, you may have other autoimmune diseases in conjunction. For example, did you know osteoporosis is an autoimmune disease and is linked with celiac disease? Another autoimmune disease link is thyroid disease and celiac disease. Finally, did you know there is a link between the diagnosis of type I diabetes and celiac disease – both autoimmune diseases?
Did you know undiagnosed celiac disease equals a 400% increase in risk of death due to complications of celiac disease? If you are exhibiting any symptoms of other autoimmune diseases, for these reasons alone, I feel you should get tested for a celiac disease diagnosis. If you have symptoms of cramping, diarrhea, brain fog, dermatitis herpetiformis, or other symptoms of celiac disease, please get tested.
I hope this blog post doesn’t intimidate you, however, I do hope it informs you enough to explore symptoms you’ve noted and yet not been able to “explain away”. I’m quite sure there’s a few of you I’m reaching who are with celiac disease, yet undiagnosed. For those folks, I hope you’ll take control of your life and communicate with your Doctor and demand the tests you’ll need to get a definitive diagnosis. For others who may know somebody who may exhibit some of the symptoms I’ve outlined, I hope you’ll talk with that person and encourage them to communicate with their Doctor and get tested as well.
Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.
Peace be with you.
Connect with Dougie
I was diagnosed as celiac under the age of six years old. This in and of itself is a major breakthrough of statistics in the USA, as I was born in 1971. I had an awesome Pediatrician who had experience in celiac diagnosis.
Now I’m in my 40′s. The Internet has had a profound effect in how I deal with celiac disease. I have learned a lot in regard to symptoms, hidden ingredients, and what “not to do” in regard to living with celiac and being gluten-free. Twitter interaction has also helped a lot in keeping me updated with potential pitfalls of failure; as well as successful hints, recipes, and products in regard to celiac disease. I’m looking forward to living in a healthier celiac body by being truly gluten-free.
For more information on Dougie’s celiac history please Click Here