Studies from the United States and Europe indicate that the prevalence of celiac disease (CD) has increased significantly in the last 3 decades, possibly by as much as a factor of 4. (Medscape review July 30, 2010)
CD can cause many symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, failure to grow (in children), fatigue, abdominal pain, and malnutrition. For some people these can be very severe and debilitating, dramatically affecting a person’s quality of life. And if you already know that you have CD then you understand the implications of this disease.
If you do not have any of these symptoms, you may be saying to yourself right now, well who cares?
But what if I told you that CD is a tricky disease and that like a magician it can masquerade as many other things like; depression, anxiety, thyroid abnormalities, arthritis, menstrual abnormalities, adverse pregnancy outcome; and increased risks of both malignancy and death. Would you possibly be interested in hearing more now?
Unfortunately the detection method of diagnosing CD is not perfect , but it has, and continues to improve. The treatment of course remains the same, be on a gluten-free diet, which I have to say from experience, is possible, but challenging unless you prepare all of your foods from scratch.
However, according to a review article on Medscape “in the future, alternative treatment strategies may be available. The recent discovery of the structure of transglutaminase 2 may help in designing inhibitors of transglutaminase 2 to treat CD. Another potential treatment strategy is to ingest enzymes that digests gluten, thereby increasing the safe threshold for gluten intake.
In the meantime the gold standard is changing your diet. If you are curious whether or not you are in fact gluten sensitive but want to avoid any formal testing, just take yourself off all gluten for ten days (and you need to be strict, read all ingredients and when yu go out to eat you have to ask a lot of questions-gluten is hidden in many places, sauces, soups, dressings, batters..) and then on day 11 add back in gluten for breakfast, lunch and dinner and see how you feel over the next few days. If over the next three days you develop any symptoms suggesting a sensitivity, you may want to consider a gluten-free diet for a while . After all gluten-free versus feeling fabulous, energized and being healthy? In the end I will take the latter ver gluten any day!
And just because you asked, flackers are gluten-free and they are on sale right now so if you want a crunchy healthy gluten-free snack while you are self testing, go ahead and flacker it!