What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. While this seems easy enough to avoid, you’ll start to understand just how crazy it is to read every single label of every single product and ingredient you eat on a daily basis.
Oats are complicated. While they are gluten-free in nature, they are often manufactured and grown alongside of wheat and therefore contaminated. Only consume gluten-free oats - preferably certified gluten-free oats or purity protocol oats.
It’s important to not only read the allergy labels on the product, but read the entire label. Wheat must be declared in the allergen statement, but not rye, barley or oats (as they are not top allergens). That means reading every label every time.
Food labeled “gluten free” must comply with FDA rules to be under 20ppm of gluten. This is the amount that celiacs can digest without damaging their intestine’s villi and causing major issues.
It’s important to stick to a strict 100% gluten-free diet if diagnosed with celiac disease.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease. It is not a food intolerance, and it is not a food allergy. However, it is triggered by food - namely gluten. Celiac disease currently only has one treatment - a strict 100% gluten-free diet. If a gluten-free diet is not followed, major damage can occur - from issues with teeth enamel, osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies, other serious autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. Yes, you can die from celiac disease.
How do I get tested for celiac disease? – Get tested for celiac disease properly, with a blood screening test, an intestinal biopsy, and if needed for clarification - a genetic test.
Is celiac even that serious? - Yes, celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease.
Why do I need a celiac disease diagnosis? – If I feel better eating gluten-free why do I even need a real celiac disease diagnosis?
What if my celiac gene test is positive? – Don’t worry, a positive celiac gene test doesn’t mean you have active celiac disease.
Why do I have to get a follow-up biopsy? – Unfortunately with celiac, you’re not done with tests, even after you’re diagnosed and start following a gluten-free diet. You’ll need a follow-up biopsy.
Is there a cure? – Not yet, but there will be a cure, or a pharmaceutical intervention for celiac disease soon.