Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans. Often characterized by gastrointestinal issues, celiac disease can cause an array of other ailments including depression, skin problems, and anemia.
The only known cure for this disease is a 100 percent gluten free diet. There is no other treatment for celiac disease, and exposure to gluten can cause a whole host of health problems.
Given the severity and increased prevalence of this disease, it is imperative that restaurants and stores become experts in gluten free dining. While this may seem like an easy task on the surface, the truth of the matter is that it is incredibly difficult to keep spaces in a busy, crowded restaurant, or packed grocery store, truly gluten free.
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Facts About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
It is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed.
5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
Over a four-year period, people with undiagnosed celiac disease cost an average of $3,964 more than healthy individuals.
There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease. A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment.
The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease.
Gluten-free sales reached more than $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are expected to exceed more than $5 billion by 2015.
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