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Celiac Disease is one of the fastest growing diagnosis’s worldwide, with an estimated 80% of celiacs currently misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Celiac is now recognized as one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. Celiac often takes nearly 10 years to receive a proper diagnosis as it is so easily misdiagnosed. How can something be so easily misdiagnosed?
Celiac is an autoimmune disease in genetically predisposed individuals.( meaning it runs in your family and no doubt all of your predecessors deny any intolerance to gluten even when you compare the list of symptoms with lifelong ailments they have suffered) When a person with celiac ingest gluten it triggers the immune system and the end result is damage to the lining of the stomach. This damage to the stomach causes malabsorption. This means the body is no longer absorbing nutrients or anything else, which can lead to a list of over 300 associated symptoms and conditions. Every person manifest Celiac different making it a tricky guessing game for doctors and the reason it remains misdiagnosed in most people. There is no known cure for Celiac, however, the disease can be managed by maintaining a strict gluten-free diet. Celiac patients have exclusive responsibility for their own care, Which is amazing that you are not reliant on a costly medical team or prescriptions. However, do note it is said 5% of celiacs are label refractory meaning even on a gluten-free diet they never heal.
The first test for Celiac Disease is a blood test, for many, it does not show in the blood, so the only way to be sure is a scope of the intestines and stomach. When I first suggested Celiac to my doctor it was unheard of and so rare they ran blood tests and concluded I was not celiac, which leads to years of undiagnosed and long-term damage to the body which I am working to reverse.
If my doctor was so sure I did not have celiac, why would I not let go of the idea? It just made so much sense to me and I couldn’t believe they thought I was crazy. For instance according to Medscape international statistics say the highest prevalence of celiac disease is in Ireland, Finland ( I have grandparents from both of these countries) and places to which Europeans emigrated. Notably North America and Australia where celiac affects 1 in 100 individuals. Celiac incidences are increasing in certain populations. In Africa (Saharavui population) Asia (India) and the middle east. Saharawi Children have the highest prevalence of 5% of the population. Intriguingly celiac is rare in Chinese, Japanese and African people
Females are slightly more affected than men, however, traditionally men are less likely to regularly visit a doctor. We see 20% of celiacs are over the age of 60. Perhaps this is because they are more likely to receive regular medical attention and procedures such as endoscopy are more common at that age.
Another important note, with diabetes so prevalent it is said that 10% of all type one diabetics have celiac. Many individuals who initially tested negative for celiac eventually presented on duodenal biopsy samples. When I look at the conditions that can be found in the health history of my family we see diabetes, skin problems, dementia, Alzheimer’s, gout, arthritis, lactose intolerance to name a few all linked to celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The only reason I have been diagnosed is my younger sister became so ill she was hospitalized. This is the time she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and celiac disease, When the doc gave her the diagnosis she laughed, he explained to her it was not a joking matter and very serious conditions. She said, “no no I am laughing because my sister always preached that she had celiac and no-one would believe her and now here it is I have celiac.” I had a call from my doctor to book a colonoscopy endoscopy the next week.
When I saw the connections in gluten-related conditions and the family history it was so apparent that it was celiac and I needed to remove gluten from my diet. With my doctor never hearing of celiac prior I seemed like a crazy person but, Seeing how everything is linked is what started me on my journey to wellness. It is not just gluten when you look at research linking bacteria in dairy to triggering celiac you see that all the foods we eat are linked too and it is up to us to research and do what is right for our individual bodies. Every time I have a friend who has an unexplained headache, mysterious infertility, poor skin conditions, stomach problems and so on I always suggest gluten as a culprit. People are so resistant to believe a staple in the global food chain a crop subsidized by the government, so overproduced that we need to add it the everything we make to use up the surplus. Gluten can be found in everything from food, stamps, makeup, most medications, shampoos lotions and body and beauty products. I urge you if you think you may have a gluten intolerance or celiac do not go gluten free until you have a scope to confirm. But check it out online 80% of celiacs are undiagnosed are you sure that mysterious symptom you have for years that your doctor always chalked up to stress isn’t something more. I do not think of celiac as a disease it is merely our food chain evolving and adapting to the environment. The conditions linked with celiac can be devastating and lots of work to control, but I want to show you that celiac does not mean life is over and that you can never eat or go out again, and no matter how hard you try to be gluten free that pesky stuff hides everywhere. It is our job to stay positive and empower the people around us with knowledge. You cant get mad at others for their ignorance in something that doesn’t affect them directly you can only be persistent in providing truthful educational information.