In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month (May), I want to share with you a run down of some of the BEST articles I’ve written about celiac disease over the years. My hope is that you will soon grow in your knowledge and understanding of the autoimmune disorder.
Celiac disease is a life-changing disease that afflicts 1 in 100 people worldwide and 1 in 133 people in the U.S. (3 million people) according to Beyond Celiac. While Beyond Celiac says that 2.5 million people worldwide have celiac disease, most don’t even know it, mainly because awareness for the disease is not as widespread as many people might think, and oftentimes celiac patients experience relatively idle symptoms.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is not an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance; it’s an autoimmune disease. This means every time someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, their body’s immune system mistakenly launches an immune attack on itself. This slowly chips away at one’s good health over time.
Interestingly enough, celiac disease is the ONLY autoimmune disease in which the trigger (gluten) is known. Many researchers are studying gluten and its effect on other autoimmune disease – and the connection is quite undeniable (read The Autoimmune Fix to understand the connection between gluten and almost all autoimmune diseases, not just celiac disease).
In the case of celiac disease, the body mistakenly attacks the small intestine when gluten is consumed by the patient. The chronic attack on the gut eventually wears down the finger-like microvilli surrounding the small intestine. (The small intestine is responsible for nutrient absorption and distribution.) Doctors look for worn down microvilli (during an endoscopy procedure) when diagnosing celiac disease.
When someone has undiagnosed celiac disease, he or she cannot properly get nutrients from the food they eat, and as a result, all sorts of inflammation ensures throughout the body. (Once on a strict gluten-free, celiac patients can reverse the damage and properly absorb nutrients again.)
Understanding Celiac Disease
I’ve written dozens of articles about celiac disease over the years and I’d like to share the BEST of the BEST articles. I think these articles will help you understand celiac disease better and help spread the word about this disease of the gut.
If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share this post with them. Thank you!
What Causes Celiac Disease? Think genetics are the sole cause of celiac disease? Think again! There are three factors that are known to “cause” celiac disease. Genetics is only one leg in the three-legged stool.
Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac Disease: While gluten sensitivity is a real disorder with the same treatment protocol as celiac disease, it’s a different disorder with a different immune system response. Read this article to understand the similarities and differences between the two disorders.
Is There a Cure for Celiac Disease?: You might be interested in learning about how funding impacts research for celiac disease and whether or not a potential cure will ever be on the horizon.
Celiac Disease Treatment Options on the Horizon: Will a treatment for celiac disease be available soon? I share some promising research in this article.
STOP! Don’t Go Gluten-Free Until You Read This!: I want to make sure you do these few important things before you actually go on a gluten-free diet. This important is a must-read before commencing a gluten-free diet.
Why Gut Health Matters in Celiac Disease: Want to heal from the damages caused by consuming gluten for so long? Read this article if you’re gluten-free but still suffering from celiac disease-related ailments.
The Celiac Disease Diet: What Celiacs Can and Can’t Eat: The celiac disease diet isn’t as restrictive as you think, and celiacs still enjoy many of the same delicious foods as their gluten-eating counterparts can eat.
30 Tell-Tale Celiac Symptoms: Think you might have celiac disease? Here are 30 telltale signs to watch for.
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease – What You Need to Know: Getting diagnosed with celiac disease is a process, and requires a few steps to ensure you’re getting the gold standard diagnosis.
How I Healed Myself from Celiac Disease: If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, I believe you need to do more than just switch to a gluten-free diet if you want to feel better. When you take out the gluten, you basically remove the irritant food. In order to expedite healing, you need to tend to the wound. It took me years to figure out how to heal my gut and body from the devastating effects of celiac disease. I discuss my journey in this article.
10 Gluten-Free Diet Mistakes You’re Probably Making: If you are gluten-free but still suffering from chronic symptoms, please read this article.
How I Overcame My Gluten Addiction: Gluten addiction and cravings are real. Read more about how I overcame this addiction (and how hard it was but so worth it in the end!).
12 Highly Effective Habits of a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet: Having celiac disease is not just about being gluten-free, but also it’s about restoring your health. This article helps you understand the truth about gluten-free foods, and dangers you should be aware of as you transition to the GF lifestyle.
Why You Shouldn’t Cheat on Your Gluten-Free Diet: Cheaters never win, and in this article, I’ll show you exactly how cheating on your gluten-free diet adversely affects your health and life prognosis.
12 Questions Every Celiac is Asked Over and Over Again: This article is my attempt at a little humor – I share with you 12 questions people ask me all the time about living with celiac disease, including what happens when I accidentally eat gluten (article involves a little potty humor…)
What You Need to Know About the Nima Sensor: One of my most popular posts – us celiacs like our toys and this gluten detecting device is oh-so-fun to play with.
Honor Celiac Disease Awareness Month
As we “celebrate” Celiac Disease Awareness Month this month, remember that not everyone following a gluten-free diet is doing it to lose weight or because it sounds like a good thing to do or because a celebrity is doing it. Not at all!
Being gluten-free is no fad diet to us celiacs, nor should it be the butt of your jokes. It is a daily struggle (Read 15 Struggles Only Gluten-Free People Will Understand).
Remember, the VAST MAJORITY of people on a gluten-free diet are doing it because they have celiac disease and/or because they feel better removing this impossibly hard-to-digest protein from their diets. What’s important is that you don’t judge someone for being gluten-free, because, in all likelihood, they are doing it because they are choosing their health over some silly food group… and, well, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, right?!?
Heck, maybe you should be gluten-free too, after all, gluten causes an inflammatory response in all who eat it.