Can’t Stomach Wheat? It May Be Celiac Disease!
Few people know what it is. Doctors rarely test for it. Yet celiac disease — an inability to digest the gluten in wheat, barley and rye — causes needless suffering in as many as 3 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Classic symptoms are severe abdominal distress and bowel problems. But research also ties the autoimmune disorder to epilepsy, chronic headaches, learning disabilities and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A recent Israeli study found that children with celiac disease are 2 1/2 times more likely to develop neurological disorders.
If you suspect you have this disease, ask your doctor about diagnostic tests. The treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet: Substitute rice, corn and quinoa and eat only baked goods and cereals labeled “gluten-free.”
This EatSmart column is reprinted from USAWEEKEND Magazine and is copyrighted by Jean Carper. It cannot be reprinted without permission from Jean Carper.
Share the knowledge!
Article updated on: October 17th, 2004