AMUK Healthy Living Blog

Nov
19

Why the Increase in Celiac Disease?

Author : Hazel Econs

Studies from the United States, Europe and other Countries around the world indicate that the commonness of celiac disease has dramatically increased in the last decade, possibly as much as four-times the amount seen in the 1950's. Most current studies show that celiac disease is prevalent in at least 1% of the general population.

Scientists are now suggesting that this is because people eat more processed wheat such as pastas and convenience foods that use wheat with a higher gluten content.  Gluten helps dough rise and gives baked goods structure and texture.

However, there is a possibility it is because of changes which have been made to wheat.  In the 1950’s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter and better growing plants.  The scientist responsible for a lot of the work behind this, Norman Borlaug, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

It is possible that the gluten in wheat has changed and that is causing problems.  It may well be that some people are not actually suffering with celiac disease but rather more people have a sensitivity to gluten.   

The last few post World War II generations have gone through an increasingly intensive use of flour in all kinds of foods.  For example, it is unusual to find a soup in a supermarket that does not contain cream or flour!

It is well known that more and more people are intolerant to wheat, again caused by the repetition of wheat and grains in our diet.  Wheat and gluten intolerance cause common symptoms such as bloating, wind, change in bowel habit, tiredness.

The supermarkets and suppliers have responded to the increase in gluten and wheat intolerance by filling the shelves with more and more Free From foods which are wheat and gluten free, as well as many dairy alternatives, which is another ingredient that causes a number of health symptoms.

In our clinics we help people to identify their own particular food intolerances.  It is rare that a patient has just one food they are reactive to.   Once the item/s have been identified, advice is then given on alternatives and how to maintain a balanced diet.

You can read more about the forms of treatment we offer here.

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