Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Undeniable Seriousness of Celiac Disease

  It would probably be wonderful if EVERY person with Celiac Disease could ALWAYS wake up each morning and see nothing more than a Road and Friedly Skies ahead.  I like that idea.  Don't you?
  But the fact is that not only are there Depressive type features for many with Celiac Disease; but there are also some pretty realistic voices around who gently tell us that the skies ahead might not necessarily be so friendly.

  If one reads this recent article at Gluten-Free Blog, one will find a well-written piece about the seriousness of Celiac Disease, as well as other helpful information.
  It is interesting how this topic (i.e., "The Undeniable Seriousness of Celiac Disease") pops up sometimes in various literature.
  One of the quasi-suggestions noted in the above-mentioned posting is that perhaps physicians should begin routinely screening for Celiac Disease just as they already do for Cholesterol, Diabetes, TB etc... 
  Months ago, I penned a posting, "Soul-Searching about the Long-Term Effects of Gluten Relapse...", which can be found at Gluten-Free and also chimes in on this same topic.
  Then there are articles such as this from "Science Daily" in September 2009 titled, "Study Finds Increased Risk Of Death For Patients With Celiac Disease-related Disorders", which highlight the seriousness about which I write.
  But then we can really only control that which we can REALLY control.  Right?  I probably cannot convince the entire medical establishment to begin routinely screening for Celiac Disease.  At least not by myself.  Heck, some of us cannot even convince our own family members to get tested even though they are possibly at-risk.
  So life goes on.  And for those of us with Celiac Disease, even though there might be some darkness within the realistic skies ahead; it cannot hurt to smile as often as possible and hope that someday there will be a cure.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why: Celiac Educator?

  The University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center published an informative list of facts and figures about the prevalence of CD in the U.S. population.  Their publication states:
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States:
  • In average healthy people: 1 in 133
  • In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
  • In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac: 1 in 22
  • In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac: 1 in 39
  • Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236
  • In the landmark prevalence study on celiac disease, investigators determined that 60% of children and 41% of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic (without any symptoms).
  • During the prevalence study, researchers found that 21% of patients with a positive anti-endomysial antibody test could not receive a biopsy due to the refusal of their physician to perform the procedure or the insurance company to pay for it.   
  According to the Mayo Clinic News website,

Celiac disease, an immune system reaction to gluten in the diet, is at least four times as common today as it was 50 years ago, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic study published this month in the journal Gastroenterology.

The study also found that subjects who unknowingly had celiac disease were nearly four times as likely as celiac-free subjects to have died during the 45 years of follow-up.
  According to the Celiac Sprue Association, "The best and only known treatment for CD is simply this: a lifelong elimination of "gluten"."

  With and Without treatment, people who are symptomatic with Celiac Disease symptoms can experience numerous troubles including:
  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
  • irritability
  • malabsorption of nutrients
  • failure to thrive in infants
  • delayed growth and short stature
  • delayed puberty
  • dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth
  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
  A failure to stick to a Gluten-Free diet can be worse in the long run:  "Untreated celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption.  Without treatment, people with celiac disease can develop complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, and cancer"  (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse).
  Numerous questions present themselves for any self-conscious diagnosed person and/or any person who is a caregiver or loved one for diagnosed persons.
  At the same time, for various reasons, a Gluten-Free lifestyle can be very difficult for anyone.

  Thus the need for Celiac Educator.  The mission of Celiac Educator is to provide affordable consumer-level education and information as well as focused training of professionals upon whom those with CD and their loved ones depend.

  This is "Why: Celiac Educator?"  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at

  William T. Beverly, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Celiac Educator

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