What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder that erodes the villi of the small intestine, preventing the absorption of essential nutrients. It is triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. An estimated 1 in 133 people has celiac disease, but 97% of the afflicted remain undiagnosed. For a detailed explanation of the disorder, visit the Mayo Clinic online.

Gluten isn’t only found in bread and pasta products; it’s in soy sauce, beer, couscous, and some chocolates, to name just a few others. Products made from spelt, while safe for many with wheat allergies, contain gluten. For a list of unsafe ingredients for those with celiac disease, click here. For a list of ingredients that are safe, click here.