Celiac disease is a genetic disease that is a severe form of gluten intolerance that results in intestinal complications. Gluten is the major allergy protein in wheat, spelt, barley, rye and oats. A study has suggested that celiac disease is far more prevalent in the United States than previously believed.
Previous studies have shown that about 1 in 250 people in Europe had the condition, but it was thought to affect fewer individuals, about 1 in 5,000 in the United States. This study screened 1200 children aged 6 months to 20 years with blood tests and, in some cases, small intestinal biopsy. The researchers reported that the prevalence of celiac disease in these patients ranged from 1 in 57 to 1 in 33.
Journal of Pediatrics January 2000 136:86-90
This study is VERY IMPORTANT! Most all physicians are cluelessas to how common a problem wheat intolerance is. This study showsthat by current traditional diagnostic methods as many as 1 in 33people who exhibit symptoms could have this disease. This is a farcry from 1 in 5000, which is why most doctors don't consider this.
Because celiac disease has been considered rare in this country,it often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as irritable bowelsyndrome or lactose intolerance. My experience is that the trueincidence is probably much higher still, perhaps on the order of1 in 10 people. The bulk of us however, do NOT benefit from havingwheat.
It is one of the primary reasons why people get sick in thiscountry. It is amazing how many people's chronic health complaintsclear up once they stop the wheat. Some clinicians believe thatno one can digest a protein in wheat called gliaden.
Our body attempts to break this protein down by attaching anenzyme to it. This gliaden enzyme complex in a high percentage ofpeople actually stimulates an autoimmune reaction that can causethe full blown syndrome of celiac disease, or more commonly subclinical celiac disease which is generally characterized by a varietyof chronic health complaints, most of which are intestinal.
However, I have seen many rashes disappear within days, oncegluten was stopped.
So, the moral of the story, is that if you have a chronic healthcomplaint try avoiding gluten for two weeks and see if you improve.That approach is certainly far less expensive and more accuratethan any diagnostic technique currently available.