facts about Celiac Disease

10 Telling Facts on Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a common condition that affects people all around the world – awareness of the disease has led to an increase in gluten-free foods and menu options far and wide. As a condition that affects millions across the continents, it’s surprising that it remains such a mystery to so many. With that in mind, here are some important facts about celiac disease to help clue you in.

1. What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. With the disease, the ingestion of gluten triggers an innate immune response that attacks the small intestine. It’s thought that only 30% of people with the condition are actually aware of it!

2. What is gluten?

Gluten is a common protein you’ll find in barley, wheat, rye, and their derivatives. Typically, it’s a starchy binder for certain foods that helps them keep their shape. However, you’re just as likely to find gluten in soups and salad dressings as you are in bread and pasta!

3. How many people are affected by celiac disease?

Experts believe that celiac disease affects about 1% of the world’s population. However, many cases go undiagnosed, as mentioned above – meaning that seven out of ten celiacs out there don’t even know they have such a sensitivity!

Gluten free

4. What causes celiac disease?

Sadly, the exact cause of celiac disease is unknown. However, experts state it includes a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research is, of course, always ongoing!

5. What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

Celiac disease’s telltale signs can vary widely. They can include gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and weight loss, as well as non-gastrointestinal symptoms like fatigue, anemia, skin rashes, and neurological problems.

6. How is celiac disease treated?

The only real treatment for celiac disease is a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all sources of gluten, including foods, beverages, and products that may contain the binding agent hidden in their ingredients list.

7. Celiac disease can be risky.

It is so important to have celiac disease diagnosed and treated as soon as possible! Celiac disease, when undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to complications such as malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, certain types of cancer, and other autoimmune disorders.

8. Diagnoses will vary.

Celiac disease can be diagnosed in multiple ways. These include a combination of blood tests, genetic testing, and biopsies of the small intestine.


9. Is celiac disease an enduring condition?

Celiac disease is a lifelong condition. Even small amounts of gluten can trigger reactions and cause damage to the intestine in individuals with the condition. That is why it is so important to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

10. How you can help!

If you or someone you know has celiac disease, it is important to note that individuals with the condition need proper education and support to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. It can be difficult to avoid gluten, but more and more gluten-free options are available on restaurant menus and store shelves. Remember – you’re not being picky asking for gluten-free, you’re putting your health first!

Celiac Disease blood test

FAQs about Celiac Disease

What are the four stages of celiac disease?

Celiac disease can be defined as either classic, non-classic, subclinical, potential, or refractory. However, it’s always important to be careful with gluten regardless of type.

Is celiac disease painful?

Celiac disease can indeed be painful! Common symptoms of discomfort in celiac sufferers include stomach pain, bloating, muscle cramps, and even pain in their bones. The pain is manageable with medication, but it’s most important to adjust one’s diet as a priority.

Is celiac disease serious?

Although the “gluten-free culture” of late has drawn some criticism, celiac disease is a very serious autoimmune disease – meaning the difference between eating gluten or not can be life or death for some people. It can be immensely painful and is a life-long condition. We could all stand to offer our celiac friends and family a little more compassion!

Further reading:

Do you know any fun facts about celiac disease? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on July 28, 2023. Suggest an edit

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