Top Myths Overheard About Celiac Disease
With almost one percent of the global population suffering from celiac disease, it is perhaps one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders around today. A condition that causes severe gastrointestinal problems, if left untreated, it can lead to other health problems related to malnutrition. Still, it remains one of the most difficult medical conditions to diagnose; even in developed nations, it may take years to be detected. It is an underrated and often misunderstood disease, and this lack of solid information has given rise to many myths surrounding the disease. Here, we look at some of its most common misconceptions and provide information that is supported by science rather than opinion.
Celiac is known to affect millions of people around the world. This disease mostly causes gastrointestinal problems, and if these concerns are not taken care of or if timely treatment is not provided, it can also lead to malnutrition. There are several misconceptions about this disease that have to be addressed, or else people will have the wrong information. These are the most common myths concerning celiac disease:
- Being allergic to gluten can lead to celiac disease: Although the symptoms of a gluten intolerance can be the same as those of a gluten allergy, they are in fact different conditions. Celiac is a serious autoimmune disease, which means that if an individual takes in any gluten-containing food, their immune system will start to attack its own lining of the gut. An allergy is also a kind of immune reaction, but it leads to local inflammation and there is no attack on the intestinal wall.
- Symptoms persist even if the individual avoids gluten: This can happen in rare cases, and if the symptoms do persist, they should be brought to the doctor’s attention. The symptoms may crop up because the individual is consuming gluten in small quantities without realizing it.
- Even if you are not suffering from celiac, a gluten-free diet is healthy: Although the gluten-free diet is not deemed harmful, it would not provide much benefit to anyone who is not suffering from celiac disease.
- Pills are available to cure or prevent celiac: The disease currently has no known cure, and the pills advertised as preventatives or cures are very toxic and can lead to the suppression of the immune system, thereby putting the individual at risk of infections or other diseases.
- Celiac can lead to diarrhea or other gastro issues: This is true, but not always. There is a large number of people who have celiac disease, but are not aware of it because they have not had any gastro issues for years. Because of this, diagnosing the disease often takes a lot of time.
- Celiac is a disease that essentially concerns the gastrointestinal tract: This is not true, as celiac is a completely different disease. In the past, it was thought to be connected with the gastro system disease, but gradually, this understanding has changed considerably.
- Celiac may be presented as a psychiatric or neurological issue: Some recent studies have found a certain link between the disease and other neurological disorders, but the symptoms are not present in all patients. There is very little known about what mechanisms are involved in such manifestations of this disease.
- Celiac people are skinny: On the contrary, many celiac patients are in fact overweight, and most of these cases are seen in Europe and the U.S. Even after a celiac diagnosis and switching to a diet free of gluten, many overweight people continue to gain weight.