Have you ever wondered why some people can eat bread, while others can’t?
For some people, eating gluten may cause a trip to the hospital. Those people likely have celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, which means when gluten is ingested, the body starts to attack itself.
While this may seem like a rare disorder, 3 million people in the United States currently are diagnosed with celiac disease, which is 1 in every 33 people. However, while that number may seem large, 83% of people with this disease have yet to be diagnosed. This may lead to serious health complications, such as osteoporosis or malnutrition.
So, you may wonder how to treat celiac disease. People who have this disease follow a gluten-free diet to eliminate their symptoms, which means avoiding gluten-containing foods such as wheat, rye, and barley. While yes, that means no more beer, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pretzels, there are still many foods to enjoy that don’t trigger an autoimmune response. Most grocery stores in the US offer gluten-free breads, and foods like fruits and vegetables are almost always naturally gluten-free. There is a way to eat a balanced diet, you just might have to pay more attention to your ingredients!