Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.
Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts:
- The latest research estimates that as many as one in 141 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease.
- Celiac disease can affect men and women across all ages and races.
- It is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
- 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
- 5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
- Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
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