Celiac disease may seem like a modern affliction connected with food antigens introduced into the human diet in the past few decades, but it actually dates back to the 1st century A.D., when the Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia took note of a condition that inhibited the retention of food and caused it to pass through the stomach undigested. He called this condition “koiliakos” (derived from “koelia,” the Greek word for abdomen), and patients with this illness were called celiacs.1
Over the years, there have been many breakthroughs regarding celiac disease. These include Dr. Samuel Gee’s publication of its first clear description in 1888,2 Dr. Margot Shiner’s finding of a diagnostic technique for the illness3 and Dr. Ludvig Sollid’s discovery of genes associated with the disease.4
Defining celiac disease
Celiac disease is a serious genetic and autoimmune disorder wherein the small intestine becomes damaged (particularly in the lining called the villi) due to the consumption of a protein called gluten, which is found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. This disorder goes by other names, such as celiac sprue, coeliac disease (particularly in the U.K.), nontropical sprue and gluten sensitive enteropathy.5,6
How prevalent is celiac disease?
A 2018 meta-analysis published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology analyzed studies published between January 1991 and March 2016 from various parts of the world, including Asia, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Australia, to determine the global prevalence of celiac disease.7
The researchers were able to conclude that “the pooled global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals” based on blood tests, whereas the “global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7%.” The results also show that “the prevalence values for celiac disease were 0.4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania.”8
The researchers also found that celiac disease is more likely to affect women than men, and is more prevalent in children than in adults.9
You can effectively manage this disease
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with celiac disease, a lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet is your best course of action, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.10
Living a gluten-free lifestyle has become quite popular today, and even famous personalities like actresses Zooey Deschanel and Emmy Rossum and TV host Elisabeth Hasselbeck claim to follow this diet or at least have minimized their intake of gluten.11 Be aware, though, this diet is not just a fad, as going gluten-free could greatly benefit those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.12
Find out the best food choices you should make for a gluten-free diet in these Celiac Disease pages. You’ll also discover more information about the different symptoms of this disease, as well as home remedies and techniques you can employ to lower your risk of developing this condition.
Source: mercola rss