Numbers and data and stats… oh my!

Information fatigueI did a bunch of research on celiac disease, wheat allergies and gluten intolerance over the last few days. And I’ve got to be honest, half of it put me to sleep. (Science was NEVER my subject.) But it’s important for us all to plow through it at least once. Some sources are better than others, but for this post I’ll pull exclusively from Wikipedia, my best friend.

Reading the posts, it’s natural to become confused about which condition you have. Especially if you haven’t been tested for celiac disease yet. If you haven’t and are experiencing the conditions, you need to run, not walk, to your primary physician. (Um, disclaimer. If you tend to behave badly you should hold off on the competitive eating or binge drinking for at least a week before doing so. You don’t want an embarrassing diagnosis.)

With the benefit of a negative celiac test and a couple of years of experience, I can see how clearly I fit into the gluten intolerance category. It currently affects 6% of the population and has the following symptoms: bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea; or it may present with a variety of extraintestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain. Many of you probably fit in this category.

The good news is that our condition is less serious. The bad news is that we therefore rely on our self-control, rather than medical certainty that any slips systematically destroy our bodies. Sigh.

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