Celiac Disease is not an allergy.
It is an autoimmune disorder, just like Multiple Sclerosis or Lupus – triggered by even trace amounts of gluten proteins from wheat, barley, rye and oats in genetically susceptible individuals. Once celiac has developed, autoimmune flares can also be triggered by casein (milk protein), corn, soy and other dietary proteins. With Celiac, the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine, causing an inability to properly absorb nutrients.
Celiac manifests itself in hundreds of ways, many of which are secondary conditions due to nutrient deficiencies. A lifelong affliction that is remedied only by strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free lifestyle – food, personal care products, and even things like envelope glue!
Recovery and healing the damage can take weeks, months or even years.
Want to know if you’re at risk or may have Celiac Disease? Get tested.
The only reliable way to know for certain is a (DNA) genetic test. Biopsies and blood tests are unreliable, and require continued gluten consumption.
Gluten Free Society offers confidential testing. I believed that I had Celiac, but while pregnant last year, wanted to know for certain if I had Gluten Sensitivity (immune response) or Celiac (autoimmune response). My test revealed that I am in fact a Celiac. As disappointing as that is, it’s essential to know – if i want to live a long, healthy life and be here for my boys (10 years and 8 months old, respectively).