Deciphering A Common Disease

Deciphering A Common Disease

Celiac, A Rarely Diagnosed Allergic Reaction, Can Trigger Even More Serious Ailments

By David S Morgan  –  From: CBS Evening News

Celiac is one of the most common of diseases — in fact, one out of every 100 Americans has it — yet many don’t know they have it. Only 5 percent of cases are diagnosed properly.

Detection is important because, left untreated, celiac can lead to a variety of health problems.

Celiac is one of the most common of diseases — in fact, one out of every 100 Americans has it — yet many don’t know they have it. Only 5 percent of cases are diagnosed properly.

Not so long ago, the Teitelbaum family all were suffering from a variety of nagging health problems.

Rory had severe migraines; Bruce had a chronic upset stomach; and Sandy had osteoporosis. But it wasn’t until little Emma became seriously ill that the search for her diagnosis led to a startling discovery: They all had the same disease.

Six years ago, Emma was severely underweight, unable to keep food down — and no doctor knew why.

“She was no longer walking,” said her mother, Rory. “No tears anymore from crying, so I guess she was just so dehydrated, and she was in constant pain — tummy ache, tummy ache constantly.”

At age 2, having dropped from 25 to only 16 pounds, Emma became limp and was rushed to the emergency room.

“They said, ‘Your child is so severely malnourished,’ — and I’m quoting this and this is the honest truth — ‘if you had waited 24 hours she would have been dead,'” Rory said.

After pouring over medical books on her own, Rory pushed the doctors to give her daughter the blood test for celiac disease — a disorder triggered by eating foods containing gluten.

“Gluten is the protein mainly that’s in wheat and other grains such as rye and barley,” said Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Center at Columbia University.

“It’s very common. Actually, it’s considered that it represents 1 percent of the population,” Green said.

In patients with celiac, gluten causes a severe immune reaction. That damages the intestinal lining and prevents nutrients from getting into the bloodstream.

“Primarily it affects the intestines, but it can affect any organ in the body,” said Green.

All kinds of disorders are linked to celiac disease: iron deficiency, osteoporosis, infertility, upset stomach, even neurological problems.

It’s also hereditary. After Emma tested positive, her family did, too. The mystery of their ailments was solved.

All it took to alleviate their symptoms was a gluten-free diet.

Here’s a video produced by CBS on a family that just discovered they had celiac disease.

See the Video News clip

Gluten free restaurant meals

Click to Find Gluten Free Restaurant Meals

Gluten Free Food at Wholesale Prices



Leave a Reply