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Celiac Disease Pt. 1

Jul 14, 2023

Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Jess Brantner, MS, director of Nutrition Services at United Hospital Center, talks about bringing awareness to celiac disease.

1). What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive and immune disorder that damages the small intestine. The disease is triggered by eating foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye, and is common in foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes.

Surprisingly, many products contain gluten, such as prepackaged foods such as bacon, lip balms and lipsticks, toothpastes, vitamins and nutrient supplements; however, it is rare to find gluten in medications.

2). How common is celiac disease?

Many people who have celiac disease have not been diagnosed. However, experts estimate that about 1 in 133 people in the United States have the disease and about 1 percent of people around the world do.

3). What are the long-lasting affects?

Celiac disease can be serious and what is troubling is that approximately 83% of people with the disease are undiagnosed. This disease can cause long-lasting digestive problems and keep your body from getting all the nutrients it needs. It can also affect the body outside the small intestine.

Celiac disease is different from gluten sensitivity or wheat intolerance. If you have gluten sensitivity, you may have symptoms like those of celiac disease, such as abdominal pain and tiredness. Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity does not damage the small intestine.

Celiac disease is also different from a wheat allergy, a type of food allergy . In both cases, your body’s immune system reacts to wheat. However, some symptoms of wheat allergies, such as having itchy eyes or a hard time breathing, are different from celiac disease. Wheat allergies also do not cause long-term damage to the small intestine.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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