5 Facts to Know About Celiac Disease and Following a Gluten Free Diet

With gluten free foods becoming more accessible at restaurants, supermarkets, and health food companies, you’re likely at least somewhat familiar with a gluten free diet and lifestyle. However, Celiac disease — an autoimmune disease associated with consuming gluten — may be uncharted territory for you.

With May being Celiac disease Awareness Month, we wanted to clear the air on some common misconceptions when it comes to the condition by giving it to you straight (with the facts)! To help you brush up on your knowledge, this week on the Vibrant Health blog we’re sharing five facts to know about Celiac disease and following a gluten free diet.

 

5 Facts to Know about Celiac Disease

  1. Celiac disease is Not an Allergy
  2. Wheat Free Doesn’t Always Mean Gluten Free
  3. A Gluten Free Diet is Not “Just a Fad”
  4. Food Labels and Standards Matter
  5. It’s Important to Get a Proper Diagnosis

 

  1. Celiac disease is Not An Allergy

While those living with Celiac disease have issues consuming gluten, it is not in fact an allergy or food sensitivity. Rather, Celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease — causing an immune response that attacks the small intestine when gluten is ingested. While avoiding the trigger may be the recommended treatment for both ailments, there’s a big difference between an allergy and an autoimmune disease.

 

  1. “Wheat Free” Doesn’t Always Mean Gluten Free

Speaking of allergies, many products are labeled “wheat free” to alert those with wheat allergies, but this does not automatically mean the product is gluten free. Those with Celiac disease can not consume any gluten — the protein found in barley, wheat and rye. Therefore wheat is just one piece of the dietary puzzle, making it crucial to dissect nutrition labels (more on that below)!

 

  1. A Gluten Free Diet is Not “Just a Fad”

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, one in 100 people worldwide are affected by the condition. And while it may seem like gluten free options are everywhere these days, a gluten free diet is not “just a fad” — especially for those living with Celiac disease.

In fact, even consuming the smallest amounts of gluten (think: accidental breadcrumbs from an unwashed butter knife) can instigate a negative response in the small intestine. The solution? Avoiding gluten at all costs.

 

  1. Food Labels and Standards Matter

For someone living with Celiac disease, following a gluten free diet isn’t just a lifestyle choice; it’s a necessity for their health. Therefore, it’s extremely important to trust the ingredients you’re putting in your body. This may include dining at restaurants known for their dietary accommodations, asking questions and dissecting food labels.

At Vibrant Health, trust is one of our core values. That’s why you can rest assured all of our products are below the minimum FDA standards for labeling a product ”gluten free.”. According to FDA standards, gluten free means there are less than 20 parts per million of gluten — and Vibrant Health products are all far below this minimum standard.

 

  1. It’s Important to Get a Proper Diagnosis

Are you suspecting that you may have Celiac disease? While it’s great to track your symptoms and be aware of your health, it’s important to speak with an experienced medical professional in order to get a proper diagnosis.

Fortunately, there are a variety of testing methods for Celiac disease, ranging from a simple blood test to more in depth genetic testing. Here’s a Symptoms Assessment Tool you can use to gauge your risk factors!

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.

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