Statistics show that 1 out of every 100 people in America suffer from Celiac disease. About.com and several Celiac websites say that researchers believe that there are more than 2 million people in the United States with Celiac disease who live every day feeling miserable and are undiagnosed. On top of that, doctor’s and researchers don’t even bother keeping track of the people who are gluten intolerant. So that means that the 1 out of every 100 statistic is made up only of people who have had a positive diagnosis for Celiac disease. Add on another 2 million that are living undiagnosed, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands more who may not have Celiac disease but are still gluten intolerant…it’s not as uncommon as people think.
Have you recently been told you’re gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease? Or maybe you’re just trying to improve your diet, overall health, and energy levels. Either way, there’s actually a lot of grains and flours that don’t contain gluten. According to the Celiac Sprue Association and Triumph Dining – The Essential Gluten Free Blog, there are 102 flours and grains that those of us with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease can eat and only 19 flours and grains that we can’t. We may not be able to eat gluten, but there’s a whole host of things out there that we can eat that most of us have probably never tried or even heard of. Living gluten-free doesn’t have to be a prison sentence, it can be exciting and adventurous! As in most areas of life, it’s all in the way you look at it.
I worked in a Naturopathic medical office for years and I cannot tell you how many times we had to convince patients after they had been told that they needed to change their diets that it definitely is possible to do. They would come out of the Dr.’s office like deer in the headlights! We had lists of restaurants and all kinds of information to give them, but it’s still pretty overwhelming. I had a great sense of satisfaction when I could convince a patient that living a gluten-free or allergen free life really isn’t as difficult as it sounds. I could speak from experience and I knew exactly what they were feeling. When we found something we liked, we made sure we shared it with the patients, and they did the same for us. If you’re newly gluten-free, make sure you’re looking at other gluten-free sites, blogs, etc. Ask around at work, church, and your child’s school if anyone else is gluten-free. Chances are there are at least a few people and they’ve probably been gluten-free longer than you have and can give you tons of tips and ideas. I’ve had many conversations with other gluten intolerant people in the specialty isles at grocery stores! There are gluten-free magazines, books, cook books, and support groups. I would also recommend adding a Naturopath to your list of physicians. Learning how to live gluten-free takes time and a lot of patience, along with a willingness to step out and try new things. And let’s not forget the most important part of going gluten-free and taking control of your health…the silver lining to all of this is that YOU WILL FEEL BETTER!