Celiac Disease

Healthy Gluten-Free Family wants you to be informed and aware about celiac disease

Please note: Celiac disease is a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed only by qualified medical professionals. If you have health concerns, please seek competent professional medical advice before adopting any type of dietary restrictions, or any other treatment plan.

About Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease whereby the body can not digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, barely or rye. Even trace amounts of gluten can trigger a response that severely inhibits the body from absorbing the nutrients in food.

While celiac is typically associated with digestive issues, there are hundreds of possible symptoms and reactions, and sometimes celiac disease is asymptomatic.

Celiac is an inherited genetic condition that can be triggered at any age.

At this time, the only effective treatment for celiac disease is to adhere to a 100% gluten-free diet over a lifetime.

Click here for a Celiac Disease Fact Sheet from University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center

Testing for Celiac Disease

There are 3 types of tests you may hear about when testing for Celiac Disease

  1. Blood Test Screening
  2. A small intestine biospy (via an endoscopy) to confirm a Celiac Diagnosis.
  3. Genetic Testing

Some of the best write ups I’ve seen about Celiac Testing are by the University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center, The Celiac Disease Foundation, and by Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast

Gluten in Medicine

Some medicines – both over the counter and prescription- contain gluten.

But as of today, in the United States, there are currently no laws in place requiring manufacturers to label gluten in medications, and it is very challenging for those with celiac disease or those who need to follow a medically prescribed gluten-free diet to ascertain if a particular medicine is safe for them to take.   The individual to reach out to the manufacturer, enlist the help of their pharmacist and read a long list if ingredients to try to figure it out.

According to Beyond Celiac

  • Gluten could be found “in the excipients of medication. Excipients are the binders that hold medicine together”, or in inactive ingredients which can be sourced from wheat, barely or rye.
  • “Few medications actually contain gluten, but it is important that the ingredients of each medication are explored to find the source of excipients – and to verify the particular drug is gluten-free.”
  • “The generic form of a medication may use different excipients than the brand name drug. Even if the brand name is determined to be gluten-free, the gluten-free status of each generic must be verified.”
Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019

In April 2019, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) introduced the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 which if passed, would require gluten be labeled in all medications. 

If you are interested in supporting the bill, please contact your Congressional Representative and urge him/her to support the bill and consider sponsoring it.

Here is a link to GlutenFree Watchdog for more information about the Act and how to contact your representative.
 
It’s super easy to send an email... Just find your representative using the link above and most representatives have easy to find spots on their websites where you can send an email regarding legislation.
 
Here is a sample of what you could say, fill in the blanks with your info (mother, father, grandmother, aunt, friend, etc):
 
Dear Representative _______, 
I am writing to ask you to support and become a co sponsor of the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019.
 As a ________ of a child with Celiac Disease (a hereditary autoimmune disease whereby the body can’t process gluten a protein in wheat, barely and rye, and to which the only treatment is following a strict gluten-free diet), it is very important to me that the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 get passed.   My ______ was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010 and when he/she needs medicine, it is very difficult and laborious at times to track down if a particular medicine is in fact gluten-free.  Passing the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 is critical to the health and well being of my  _______ and others who must follow a medically prescribed gluten-free diet.    
 
For more information see my blog post “Gluten in Medicine”.

*Scroll down for more resources*


Instagram Story Graphics for Celiac Awareness Month 2019

Resources

Please note: This section on celiac disease medical resources is in progress, with more detail coming soon. In the meantime, please avail yourself of the following resources on celiac disease for more information:

Medical and Research Centers:

Non-profit Organizations