Book online with select Franklin Medical Group physicians

Celiac Disease: Myth vs. Fact

Celiac Disease: Myth vs. Fact

Meal Planning

Patients who require help with their meal planning or diet may be referred for one-on-one outpatient nutrition counseling. These sessions are available by appointment.

For more information, please call (203) 709-3247.

Myth: Celiac Disease is a Fad Diet Made Popular by Celebrities

Fact: According to the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, this genetic disorder affects an estimated one out of every 133 healthy Americans and is the cause of related symptoms in one in 56. Left untreated, celiac disease results in chronic intestinal irritation and inflammation. Over time, this may destroy delicate villi found in the small intestine, which aid in the digestion and absorption of vital nutrients.

“Many celiac patients who go undiagnosed may not realize this disease can have life-threatening results,” said Kara Moscato, MS, RD, Outpatient Registered Dietitian at Saint Mary’s Hospital. “When the small intestine cannot properly absorb or process food, the brain, bones, and other organs are robbed of healthy nutrients. As a result, celiac patients can quickly become malnourished.”

Myth: People With Celiac Disease Are Allergic to Wheat

Fact: “Celiac disease is not a food allergy,” Moscato explained. “It is an autoimmune digestive disorder that can severely affect a person’s intestinal tract. Symptoms are triggered when a person consumes a dietary protein known as gluten that is found in grains, such as barley, wheat, and rye.”

Myth: If I Had Celiac Disease, I Would Know It by Now

Fact: The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness reports it can take an average of 10 years before a person is accurately diagnosed with celiac disease. Because symptoms of the disease can vary widely, and some people may not present any signs at all, physicians sometimes mistake celiac disease for other gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance.

“It can take months or even years for the symptoms of celiac disease to develop,” Moscato said. “However, if a person suffers with chronic stomach pain, bloating, or unintended weight loss, it’s time to speak with a healthcare provider and ask to be tested. A simple blood test can confirm the disease.”

Media Contact

Jennifer Clement
Corporate Communications Specialist

(203) 709-6240