Hey, in case you didn’t know, 3 million people in our country are affected by celiac disease, yet 97% of them are undiagnosed.
I bet most of you are wondering what celiac even means. Well, I’ll give you the definition: it is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine.
When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, the individual’s immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body. Undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer. There are many side effects to a person’s immunity as a result of eating gluten ranging from mood swings, stomach pain, and breakouts to even death.
When eating out, celiacs have to follow certain procedures, such as letting the restaurant become aware of your allergy and making sure they cook with uncontaminated utensils and surfaces.
“Active Culture is one of my favorite places to eat out because almost everything is gluten free,” said senior Lindsey Southworth. “Mostly organic and GMO free so not only is it healthy but it tastes great, it just is the best.”
As decades pass becoming gluten free is more popular in our society due to the mass impact of GMO grown products. Yes, GMO’s seem to be in everything, but don’t panic because there are plenty of alternatives to create amazing and healthy meals. To be quite honest, it takes a while to get used to monitoring your food intake and watching for gluten contamination, but don’t worry it gets easier. Replacing your hamburger bun with lettuce, or your flour tortillas for corn, gluten free is not as hard as it seems. You really don’t lose any of your favorite foods, basically you just alter them to fit into your gluten-free diet.
“If I had to choose my favorite thing to eat on the daily it definitely would be rice,” said sophomore Paige Riley. “I could eat it for every meal! I can’t imagine not being able to eat it regularly.”
If you believe you are truly celiac, I suggest visiting your doctor for more dietary information. Going in and just becoming aware of the allergy is a really smart thing to do. People go their whole lives not knowing they have a sensitivity or allergy and ultimately it wrecks their body. Take the time and become informed before you put your body at risk.