Gluten Confusion: What going 'gluten-free' means - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gluten Confusion: What going 'gluten-free' means

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We are being bombarded with "gluten-free" this and "gluten-free" that.

But is going gluten-free really more healthy for most people?

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Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance -- The Basics

- Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

- An estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1 percent of the population, has celiac disease.

- Celiac disease can affect men and women across all ages and races.

- It is estimated that 83 percent 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. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)

- 5-22 percent of celiac patients have an immediate family member 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.

- There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.

- A 100 percent gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.

Teal's Celiac Story:

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in May of 2013.

I went to the doctor in Chicago feeling very sick. I had fatigue, headaches and horribly sharp pain in my stomach.

After a few blood tests, my doctor called to say I was severely anemic. Additional testing found a loss in bone density.

A blood test and biopsy confirmed I had celiac disease.

At first, I was angry -- goodbye to pasta, bread, beer and cupcakes. But in time, as I eliminated gluten from my diet, I began to feel better.

I did still feel like I was missing out on all of the things I'd always been able to eat before. I turned to gluten free products -- waffles, bread, pretzels, cookies and brownies. It was then that I gained weight.

Now, I'm working to manage my celiac, enjoy treats every now and then and stay healthy.

Gluten Free at the Grocery Store

Hy-Vee: http://www.hy-vee.com/meal-solutions/special-diets/default.aspx

Target: http://www.target.com/c/gluten-free-grocery-ways-to-shop-essentials/-/N-54wab

Wal-Mart: http://www.walmart.com/browse/food/gluten-free-foods/976759_1228023

Fareway: http://www.fareway.com/gluten-free.aspx

Aldi: https://www.aldi.ie/en/product-range/gluten-free/

Celiac Support Groups

Waterloo/Cedar Falls Celiac Support Group: http://www.wcfceliac.com/

Gluten Intolerance Group of Eastern Iowa: https://www.gluten.net/local-branches/cedar-rapids/

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