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Celiac Disease and Gluten Senstivity Awareness Update

November 30, 2010

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Psoriasis

ADHD

What do all three have in common?  They’ve all been linked to an intolerance to one thing in our diet: Gluten.

As many of you who enjoy our Gluten-Free baked goods know, Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity are increasingly common problems that are not yet fully understood and which, sadly, are shrouded in a lack of awareness.  It’s now estimated that roughly 1% of Americans have Celiac disease – the genetic inability to process Gluten, but estimates on Gluten Sensitivity range as high as 40% of the population.

Recent studies from all over the world have linked Gluten Intolerance – which includes both Celiac disease and non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity – not only to the symptoms above but to many others:

  • GERD/Acid Reflux Disease
  • Fatigue
  • Peripheral numbness and tingling
  • Ataxia/Balance problems
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

We talk about these problems as “symptoms” when many of them are widely recognized medical and psychiatric problems in their own right.  That’s the crux of the problem, is that most people, and many doctors, do not know that these problems may actually be symptoms of a body’s inability to digest Gluten.

Recently, we had the privilege of attending a lecture on Celiac disease and Gluten Sensitivity by Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.  His talk, an update on awareness and diagnosis of both conditions, gave us much valuable perspective and an almost mind-boggling amount of information.  Here are a few highlights, and a video excerpt from the talk.  You’ll be amazed by what you hear!

  • Medical research in the United States is largely driven by the pharmaceutical industry.  There is no drug involvement for Celiac disease or Gluten Sensitivity, so there is no financial incentive for the research to be done.
  • There is no ICD code for Gluten Sensitivity.  What does this mean?  ICD codes are numbers assigned by the World Health Organization to classify and monitor every symptom and disease a human being could suffer.  No ICD code means Gluten Sensitivity is not tracked, and thus not studied on a large scale.
  • Given the rise in Gluten Sensitivity, any coincidence that there’s such a spike in ADHD?  Though it is difficult to hear in the video below, he’s saying that 80% of the kids with ADHD that his organization studied tested positive for AGA, or anti-gliadin antibodies, indicating either Celiac disease or non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity.
  • Schizophrenia has been linked to Gluten Sensitivity for so long that it was once known as the “Bread Madness.”

All of this stems, essentially, from one grain: Wheat.  This one food item was only first cultivated 10,000 years ago, and took thousands of years to spread throughout the world.  It was only introduced into our diets relatively recently in human history, and it is impossible for any human being to completely digest.  We can see the damage and health issues the Gluten protein has caused for countless people with Celiac disease and Gluten Sensitivity.  It’s important to understand that we are only beginning to understand all of the ramifications of this serious health issue.  So many of the diseases, disorders and symptoms afflicting millions MAY be linked to Gluten.  We have so much more to learn.

We at Crave Bakery are neither physicians nor scientists, and we encourage you to do your own research and to help promote awareness of Celiac disease and Gluten Sensitivity in your own way.  People – in the public and the medical community – need to know how common Gluten Sensitivity is, and the many ways that it can affect your health.

Now, enjoy this video excerpt from Dr. Green’s talk.  We hope you find this information as valuable and insightful as we did.  And please, share your thoughts!

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