Celiac disease awareness is growing, but misinformation still abounds. Here are 15 celiac disease facts every doctor, patient and member of the public should know.
- 1. 1 in 700 - The average prevalence of celiac disease in the United States 1950. (Mayo)2. 1 in 100 – The average worldwide prevalence of celiac disease across all races today. (NIH) The average prevalence of celiac disease in the United States today. (Mayo)
3. $8,500 - The average annual estimated healthcare cost of each person with untreated celiac disease in the United States. (Cigna/Columbia Celiac Disease Center study)
4. 40+ - The number of countries with celiac disease support groups.
5. $1.56 billion – The gluten-free food industry sales in 2008. (Foodwatcher)
6. 3-12.3% – The prevalence of celiac disease among adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
7. 24% - The prevalence of asthma among children with celiac disease.
8. 200 to 300% – The increased chance of developing cancer in people with untreated celiac disease.
9. 800 to 900% - The increased likelihood of miscarriage for a woman with untreated celiac disease.
10. 300+ - The number of signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications that can directly or indirectly stem from celiac disease. (Recognizing Celiac Disease)
11. Celiac Disease is the most commonly misdiagnosed genetic auto-immune disease in the world.
12. Any Age – Celiac disease is not a childhood disease as previously thought. Symptoms can present at any age following the introduction of dietary gluten.
13. No Cure - The only treatment for celiac disease is the gluten-free diet (No Wheat, Barley, Rye or Oats). Once gluten is removed, healing and recovery occurs. You cannot grow out of celiac disease.
14. All or Nothing - Celiac disease is a pass/fail prognosis. One either has it or they do not. That said, test results can change. A person can test negative one one day and positive weeks, months or years later. Once positive, the diagnosis is lifelong.
15. Treating Celiac Disease Requires Treating Nutrient Deficiencies – Treating celiac disease requires removing gluten from the diet as well as identifying and correcting nutrient deficiencies. Self-management in the identification of symptoms due to nutrient deficiencies is crucial to long-term health as nutrient deficiencies can persist or arise in the future.