Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
Gluten has been shown to be associated with many different diseases that can affect every aspect of the body and mind. This can be due to intolerance or, more concerning, a diagnosis of celiac disease. These conditions can first present as vague symptoms such as irritability, behavioral problems, memory problems, fatigue, tingling in legs, easily broken bones, heartburn, skin rashes and bloating to name just a few. Unfortunately, the time it takes for a diagnosis to be made after the first symptoms appear is often greater than ten years. In that ten year lapse, individuals can experience a great amount of distress and various health conditions can move from mild to severe states of disease.
There are some very important points to understand if you believe you or someone you know might have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a gluten-related condition. Celiac disease requires lifelong abstinence from gluten where other conditions may not. Once someone is on a gluten-free diet the testing for celiac disease is much less reliable. Therefore it is important to have a thorough evaluation by a knowledgeable physician before assuming a gluten-free diet.
“Although we’ve been eating wheat for thousands of years, we are not engineered to digest gluten. We are able to completely digest every protein we put in our mouths with the exception of one—and that’s gluten. Gluten is a weird protein. We don’t have the enzymes to dismantle it completely, leaving undigested peptides that can be harmful. The immune system may perceive them as an enemy and mount an immune response.“
~Dr. Alessio Fasano
- The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America supports people with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, dermatitis hepatiformis and other gluten sensitivities through consumer and industry services and programs that positively promote healthy lives.
- Celiac.com was founded in 1995 by Scott Adams, co-author of the book Cereal Killers, founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and founder and owner of The Gluten-Free Mall. The goal of his website is to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed and living a happy, healthy gluten-free life.
- University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research is an institution engaged in clinical care, diagnostic support, education, and clinical and basic science research in Celiac Disease.
- The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is an international center of excellence providing comprehensive patient and professional education, expert diagnosis and treatment for both children and adults, clinical research, and active leadership in advocacy efforts.
- The National Institutes of Health’s Awareness Campaign provides current, comprehensive, science-based information about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
- The Celiac Disease Center was established within the Department of Medicine at Columbia University. Its mission is to redefine the future of celiac disease and treatment on an ongoing basis, through continuing advances in research, patient care, and physician and public education.
- Article by Alessio Fasano, a leading researcher on celiac disease, in Scientific American entitled “Surprises from Celiac Disease: Study of a potentially fatal food-triggered disease has uncovered a process that may contribute too many autoimmune disorders”.
- New York Times article called ‘Clues to Gluten Sensitivity’, by Melinda Beck.
- A description of Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity.
- Mayo Clinic resource page for Wheat Allergy including causes, symptoms, tests and treatment options.