Columbia University Medical Center

Five Surprising Facts about Celiac Disease

wildrice

Wild rice is a safe grain for people with celiac disease. Flickr photo: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources.

Gluten-free foods fill the shelves at most grocery stores these days, but sticking to a gluten-free diet is more complicated than omitting bread, cookies and cakes.

On National Celiac Awareness Day, we spoke to two members of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center about some surprising facts about celiac disease and gluten-free diets, and about why some patients need the expertise of a dedicated celiac center to manage their disease.

Want more information? Contact the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia for free educational material.

1) Nine out of 10 people on a gluten-free diet do not have celiac. Nutritionist Suzanne Simpson, RD, debunks one of the common myths of the gluten-free diet:

Most People Going Gluten-free Do Not Have Celiac by ColumbiaUnivMedicalCenter

 

2) Want a healthy gluten-free diet? Simpson says stick to whole foods:

Is a Gluten-free Diet Healthy? by ColumbiaUnivMedicalCenter

 

3) Gluten is hidden everywhere, Simpson says, even in soy sauce:

Hidden Sources of Gluten by ColumbiaUnivMedicalCenter

 

4) Gluten-free bread packs a high-caloric punch:

Watch Out for Calories in Gluten-free Bread by ColumbiaUnivMedicalCenter

 

5) Celiac is the only autoimmune disease that can be treated without drugs, but maintaining a gluten-free diet isn’t easy. Dr. Suzanne Lewis of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia says patients need expert nutritional guidance. The Internet is not enough:

If You Have Celiac, You May Need the Expertise of a Specialized Center by ColumbiaUnivMedicalCenter

Originally published September 13, 2012.