Each month of May marks Celiac Awareness Month. Celiac disease impacts about 1% of Americans, or about 3 million people. And this disease does not discriminate. It affects all ages and all races.
Many people actually go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a long time (or their entire lives). In fact, it usually takes 6-10 years before an individual receives a correct diagnosis and can begin proper management of this disease.
So, let’s raise some awareness about this disease and talk about what it is and how it’s different from a gluten sensitivity.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition. When an individual with celiac disease consumes gluten (a type of protein that is common in barley, rye, and wheat), it stimulates the immune system within the small intestine. This frequently leads to damage of the small intestinal lining. As a result, malnutrition may occur since your small intestine is unable to absorb certain nutrients.
Usually, some of the first symptoms of this disease are fatigue, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and weight loss. This is often why a diagnosis is difficult. These symptoms are very common in other conditions and diseases, specifically those involving the digestive tract.
When it comes to treatment, doctors and experts turn to managing the disease. This frequently means eliminating gluten from your diet. While this creates some restrictions regarding what you can eat, there are various gluten-free options available today. This makes going gluten-free that much easier!
Celiac Disease vs Gluten Sensitivity
So, what’s the difference between having celiac disease versus experiencing a gluten sensitivity?
Generally, this comes down to the fact that those with celiac disease will experience long-term effects from eating gluten. In contrast, individuals with a gluten sensitivity will have more short-term effects with next-to-no long-term damage of the intestinal lining. A person with a gluten sensitivity may become bloated and have an upset stomach after eating gluten. Yet, after the body has digested it, these effects don’t accumulate like they do with celiac disease.
Many people find that their body doesn’t react well to gluten, but they don’t have celiac disease. This has led individuals without a celiac disease diagnosis to adapt a gluten-free diet. After all, gluten does not contain any necessary nutrients and with the amount of processing many gluten-containing products undergo, going gluten-free can actually substantially improve your overall diet and health.
At Good & Tasty Bakes, we are proud to offer various certified gluten-free and keto-friendly treats. You can go gluten-free and still enjoy many different foods and indulgences. Shop now to grab one of our yummy cheesecakes for you and your family today!