I ran across this list on Amy’s, The Savvy Celiac, Blog and thought it was too good not to pass on. If you are on FaceBook, you can’t miss all the “25 Random Things About Me” posts. This is Amy’s list, but I am going to insert some personal comments on most of the topics.
25 Random Things about Celiac Disease
1. Affects 1 in 133 Americans** (approximately 3 million)- 97% are undiagnosed*
Shocking! This means that 2.9 Million people do not know they have Celiac! If it didn’t run in my family, and with my lack of the stomach type of symptoms, I would probably never be diagnosed.
2. It takes an average of 4 years for a person with symptoms to get a celiac diagnosis*
My dad accepted that he had irritable bowel and was lactose intolerant for the majority of his life. It took him over 20 years to be correctly diagnosed. My sister went through many tests before they checked for celiac, even though it ran in our family.
3. Gluten is a protein most-commonly found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats.
…you can’t just look for those 4 things on ingredient labels.
4. There is no medicinal cure for celiac disease; a gluten-free diet is the only cure.
Not a bad cure, considering many diseases have no remedy.
5. Tons of money will be wasted trying gluten-free food you or the celiac in your family don’t like – but you’ll also probably find some foods you do like.
I used to base my meals on quantity for the cheapest price. I can’t do this any longer. I now have to experiment at home or pay extra for GF options at restaurants.
6. Sometimes dental teeth cleaning/polishing paste has gluten in it!
I’ll have to ask next time I go. I’m pretty picky about my teeth, so getting my calcium is important. Your body has trouble absorbing calcium when you are not a healthy celiac.
7. Taking a hamburger patty off a regular bun does not “decontaminate” the meat of gluten.
Cross-contamination can ruin a meal that you thought was gluten free. Even down to a restaurant using tongs on gluten foods then your GF food.
8. There is no answer to “How sensitive is she?” when it comes to gluten reactions. It’s all bad.
This is an important one… Even though I don’t pay the price in the bathroom that most celiacs do, it is still damaging me the same.
9. Approximately 36,600 women may never learn that celiac disease is the cause of their infertility*
It takes a good amount of time for your intestines to heal and your body to get back to normal, so this could cost you valuable years of your life.
10. You can be constipated and have diarrhea at the same time.
11. Gluten-free baking takes a lot of trial and error.
I haven’t even attempted it. Some people have great luck and others don’t.
12. Rochester, MN School District has a gluten-free lunch menu that serves 20+ students each day.
Great! I think in 10 years, every school and every restaurant will be moving towards gluten free ingredients for most of their items.
13. A toaster used for regular bread will contaminate gluten-free bread.
Screw up once and it will cost you a new toaster.
14. Just because something is labeled “wheat-free” does not guarantee it is “gluten-free”.
This is a big mistake of uninformed people attempting to buy gluten-free. This should not be allowed by the FDA. I wonder if all the Doritos I’ve been eating are GF?
15. Celiacs must always have snacks with them, because gluten-free food can be hard to find.
Not only snacks, but sometimes your own condiments or foods to take into restaurants with you.
16. Oil that fries breaded items, will contaminate gluten-free foods fried in the same oil.
Very true. Some places will dedicate a fryer for just their french fries.
17. Gluten-free foods cost at least 3 times more than its gluten-filled counterpart***
Tell me about it… I just bought 6 tortillas for $5 vs. $1.50 for 10 normal ones.
18. In Europe, the government subsidizes the cost of gluten-free food***
I don’t want to talk politics….. I’m not asking for a handout.
19. Gluten is toxic to a celiac’s gut, wiping out the villi or “fingers” in the small intestine which grabs nutrients from our food. Without the villi celiacs are malnourished.
Being malnourished leads to a million other health problems….
20. Osteoporosis, migraines, sinus issues, cancer, liver disease are all health problems that can happen because of undiagnosed celiac disease**
I think this is the biggest cause of misdiagnosing. Someone may have one of these other problems, but the root cause is celiac.
21. Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be difficult. Basic diet: meat, potatoes, vegetables and fruit!
If you are an optimist… having celiac will turn you into one of the most healthy people you know(if you stick to the diet)
22. Tons of people “Tweet” about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet on Twitter.
Add me! Switch2GF There is a lot of GF discussion on Twitter.
23. Most gluten-free baked goods must be frozen or they will go bad in 2-3 days on the counter.
Oops, I better go put that cake in the fridge… it has been out for days.
24. Going on a gluten-free diet before being tested for celiac disease will likely cause a negative outcome on either the blood test or the biopsy of the small intestine.
It was suspected that this is the reason my dad’s bloodwork came back negative. They eventually figured out that his body did not produce whatever they test for. An endoscopy is the sure way to be tested.
25. Most mainstream rice and corn cereals aren’t gluten-free because manufacturers add barley malt to them.
Rice Chex recently switched to GF!
***Source: University of Virginia Health System
Thank you Amy for a great list. This is a list is extremely helpful for teaching people about celiac.