Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet The Basics

We have learnt in the course of many years' experience in the treatment of cases of celiac disease that it makes a great difference to the patient what kind of starch-containing foodstuffs are included in the diet; in particular whether or not wheat is used.

—Willem-Karel Dicke, Dutch pediatrician and early advocate of the gluten-free diet for the treatment of celiac disease, 1953

Most likely, you are reading this book because you or someone you know has celiac disease. If that's the case, it may help you to know that you or your loved one is in good company. Years ago, celiac disease was considered rare in the United States. However, research conducted by Alessio Fasano at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research now tells us that the prevalence of celiac disease in the general U.S. population is 1 in 133. This is similar to the prevalence of celiac disease in parts of Europe. In Italy, for example, it has been reported that 1 in 250 people has celiac disease, and in Ireland the prevalence is reported to be 1 in 300.

Thanks in part to Fasano's study, celiac disease has hit the big time. In 2004, the National Institutes of Health held a con sensus development conference on celiac disease, the Food and Drug Administration is currently developing a labeling rule to allow for the voluntary identification of food as gluten free, and stories about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet appear in the print media frequently. Quite frankly, there has never been a better time to be diagnosed with celiac disease.

Historical Nuggets

London physician Samuel Gee is often credited as being the first to describe celiac disease in his famous article, "On the Coeliac Affection," published in the St. Bartholomew's Hospital Report in 1888. However, Roman physician Aretaues may have described celiac disease as long ago as the second century, when he wrote, "If the stomach be irretentive of the food and if it pass through undigested and crude, and nothing ascends into the body, we call such persons coeliacs."

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word celiac literally means of or relating to the abdomen. Celiac comes from the Latin word coeliacus, which comes from the Greek word koiliakos. Koilia in Greek means abdomen. In the United States, the disease is spelled "celiac," while in Britain it is "coeliac."

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Living Gluten Free

Living Gluten Free

A beginners guide that will reveal how living "G" free can help you lose weight today! This is not a fad diet, or short term weight loss program that sometimes makes you worse off than before you started. This is a necessity for some people and is prescribed to 1 out of every 100 people on earth by doctors and health professionals.

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