I came across an article this morning on beyondceliac.org that caught my interest. The article is entitled 3 reasons we need a cure for celiac disease. Even thought I do not have celiac (my DNA might prove otherwise but the jury is still out) this article also translates to those of us with not only gluten intolerance, but dairy intolerance as well. Here are some quotes from the article. You can read the entire article here.
As many as 70% of people with celiac disease are still exposed to gluten, despite best efforts to stay strictly gluten-free; according to Joseph A. Murray, MD, Mayo Clinical and member of Beyond Celiac Scientific/Medical Advisory Council. That’s because avoiding gluten is harder than it seems, and many could be getting glutened, even when symptoms aren’t present. Ongoing intestinal damage means there is a real risk for long-term health consequences.
Avoiding gluten is much harder than it seems. In fact, most people have no clue just how hard it is. No matter how careful you are, you will get glutened at some point. This could be disastrous for people with celiac.
Celiac disease stops many people from living their lives to the fullest. In a Beyond Celiac survey, nearly half of the respondents said they didn’t do something they wanted to because of their disease. This could be avoiding vacations, turning down a job because of travel requirements, skipping family functions and more. What’s more, 68% said they are even embarrassed by their disease and the need for a gluten-free diet. This could cause people to cheat or take risks with their health to avoid embarrassment.
I have written about avoiding travel and family gatherings numerous times. It has affected me personally quite a bit. In my search for my trip to Aruba, I have had to contact each resort directly and hope that the information I am given is correct. Even so, I expect to get glutened or dairyed. Road trips are hell, family gatherings are even worse. Bringing my own food is really the only solution to that. When I bring up the fact that I am gluten free either at work or in a social setting, I am met with disdain “Oh, you’re doing that” was one remark I received. As if to say I am one of those faddists. Sigh….
Celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease with a known trigger: gluten. Not only does knowing this help people to manage the disease, but it also helps researchers get closer to better treatment options and even a cure. Fully understanding how celiac disease works, the different factors that cause the disease and more could help researchers answer the same questions for other autoimmune diseases where no trigger is known currently.
This is not true for gluten and dairy intolerance, of course. I do not have an immune disease (not yet proven). However, gluten and dairy are triggers. Once you stop eating a food group, your body can no longer tolerate it. If I eat even a speck of cheese or a speck of wheat, I get really sick. It doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t take long.
There is a way you can help with research if you have celiac.
How YOU Can Help Forge the Pathways to a Cure
Beyond Celiac, formerly known as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is on a mission to drive a cure for celiac disease. But, we can’t do it alone! You can help forge the pathways to a cure today by signing up for the Research Opt-In. By signing up, you’re agreeing to be informed about the latest in celiac disease research, as well as the opportunities to get involved. This could range from surveys and focus groups to participation in a clinical trial. Being informed is the first step toward making a change. Sign up today at www.BeyondCeliac.org/ResearchOptIn.
You should check out this website. There is a lot of great information here.