Iowa City business provides gluten free solutions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City business provides gluten free solutions

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Anna Sobaski of Iowa City couldn't understand why she always felt so tired.

"My question was, 'is everybody else, the thousand of people on the road, as tired as I am?' and the doctor always said yes."

A trip to her dermatologist for a skin rash finally gave her the answer that had alluded her doctor.

She, like three million other Americans, had celiac disease, a genetic disease that is triggered after ingesting the gluten.  The protein is found in wheat, rye, and barley.

"I was told I would have to remove all gluten containing foods out of my diet," Sobaski said.

Within three days of making this change, many of Sobaski's problematic symptoms, including her fatigue, vanished.

"My overall sense of well-being improved dramatically," she said.

But sticking to a gluten free diet, was easier said than done.

It meant cutting out staples like bread.  It also meant being selective when going out to restaurants and being weary of cross-contamination of products containing gluten.   

Sobaski has since opened her own business to help those restricted to a similar diet.

The business, called Breads from Anna, develops and manufactures gluten free bread mixes, and an be found in grocers and restaurants worldwide.

"To really find something that has a nutritional value like whole wheat, we're really special in that way," Sobaski said.

Like Sobaski, health officials say 90 percent of Americans with celiac disease don't even know they have it.

"The more information we get out, and the more people know what it is, and how it can be diagnosed, and how it can be treated, which is with a gluten free diet, the better off we will be," said Marilyn McCall, a registered dietitian at Jones Regional Medical Center.

It is recommended those with relatives with celiac disease get screened with a simple blood test.

On Tuesday, July 19th, St. Luke's hospital in Cedar Rapids will host a seminar on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

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