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Celiac Disease

For those suffering from Celiac Disease, avoiding wheat and other glutens in our society can be maddening. I don’t mean to overplay this fact, but, the eternal vigilance of Celiac Disease sufferers certainly deserve respect. To those with Celiac Disease awareness, our society might as well be deemed “Wheat-Based” or “Wheat-Driven.” Our economy thrives on wheat as an agricultural industry, and our factories spin wheat and its byproducts into all sorts of myriad forms of edibles and additives.

Celiac Disease, or, coeliac disease, is also called celiac sprue, non-tropical sprue, endemic sprue, gluten enteropathy or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, and gluten intolerance. The term Celiac Disease comes from the Greek word “Koiliakos,” which means either “abdomen” or “hollow.” The abdomen of an individual with a classic case of Celiac Disease, especially in children, can be visibly distended, and in this condition they are literally starving—although they still may be eating exactly what is making them ill—gluten. To recover from celiac disease one must be on a lifelong 100% Gluten-Free Diet. So, the term Celiac Disease paints a very clear picture—the abdomen appears full because it is swollen, but it remains hollow because they cannot adequately absorb nutrients. Gluten disturbs the small intestine, causing bloating, muscular/joint pain, and diarrhea, as well as too many other symptoms to list—or even no symptoms at all.

Contrarily, people who have Celiac Disease in societies where the main grains in their diet consist of either corn or rice, say, Latin America or Asia, might never know they have it because they don’t eat gluten as often as we do. So what are some good solutions for us in our “Wheat-Based” culture? Well, consider, for instance, that other aspect of our culture, the “melting pot,” and hybridize or “internationalize” your Celiac Disease Diet! Search Celiac.com and the Gluten-Free Mall for gluten-free foods and gluten-free recipes that use gluten-free ingredients but won't sacrifice your time or eating pleasure!

For more information, please visit the author's Celiac Disease Information Site.
This article was published on Thursday 11 January, 2007.
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