Celiac; a Disease Not Easily Discovered - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Celiac; a Disease Not Easily Discovered

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According to the National Foundation for Celiac Disease, one in 133 Americans is diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

About 83% of Americans who have it are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Celiac Disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

If you have Celiac Disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine.

Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of nutrients.

Karen Fisher, a dietitian with Nutrition Connection said studies are still being done to determine if more people are developing Celiac Disease or if it has always been a problem and now there's just more awareness.

"It could maybe even be both," Fisher said. "It may be that we are simply diagnosing it more. It may be that people are more aware of some of the digestive symptoms, so they'll seek out treatment for it."

There is one theory that is gaining momentum.

Fisher said the reason more people could be developing Celiac Disease is because of the modification of wheat over the years, where the wheat we eat currently is very different from ancient wheat.

Perhaps our bodies don't know how to deal with that, so we develop a sensitivity or even food allergy.

Not only can Celiac Disease wreak havoc on your gut, but also your wallet, mainly because gluten-free food is three times more expensive.

Fisher said in the past, there were only a couple companies that made gluten-free products and many times a person with Celiac had to have their gluten-free food sent through the mail.

Thankfully, there is more awareness.

"There's so much greater emphasis, but it still takes a lot of effort look through and find those hidden sources, especially of gluten."

To see the interview with Fisher in its entirety, watch Face the State. The show airs Saturday at 4:30am and Sunday at 6:30 in the morning and 4 PM.

Written by Chris Ciarlo

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