May is Celiac Awareness month, and the team at E&C’s Snacks is doing their best to spread awareness about this disease that affects millions of people and their daily diets. We proudly offer our Heavenly Hunks as a delicious gluten-free option for those living with Celiac and wanted to take the opportunity to educate all of our Hunk lovers about this disease. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about Celiac disease.
1. Celiac disease is not an allergy.
Contrary to what you might commonly hear about someone having a gluten “allergy”, Celiac is actually a chronic autoimmune disease. You can’t grow out of it, and the disease does run in families. First degree relatives are about 10% more likely to have Celiac than those who don’t have it in their immediate family.
2. Celiac disease affects about 1 in every 100 people worldwide.
Children are more likely to be suffering from Celiac disease than Crohn’s, Cystic Fibrosis, and Ulcerative Colitis combined. A diagnosis can be difficult sometimes, as over 300 symptoms can be associated with the disease, and some people can even be asymptomatic. It’s estimated that 80% of people living in the United States have Celiac but are undiagnosed and around three million Americans are living with the disease.
3. Deleting gluten from your diet is the only treatment.
However, some people might also need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Those who are diagnosed also commonly suffer from fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, folate, and zinc deficiencies. A trusted registered dietician who specializes in helping Celiac patients can be beneficial for guidance with going gluten-free.
4. Gluten-free foods follow the 20 parts rule.
In order to be labeled as “gluten-free”, a product must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. That is the level of gluten people with Celiac disease can safely consume.
5. Diagnosis can take years.
Because of the variety of symptoms the disease can present itself through, accurate diagnosis usually takes an average of 6-10 years. It’s estimated that 80% of people living in the United States have Celiac but are undiagnosed and around three million Americans are living with the disease.
If you think you might be suffering from Celiac disease, the best and safest thing to do is set up an appointment with your doctor to get tested. Those with the disease do have to make deliberate and thoughtful choices about their diets, but luckily treats like our Heavenly Hunks are available that are both ridiculously amazing and safe for those who cannot eat gluten!