This is the header section. It contains the BigY Logo, a search utility, and the Main Menu. The header section can be bypassed.

grains, wheat, bread

What is Celiac Disease?

Often mistaken as a food allergy, celiac disease is a genetic disorder where individuals have an immune system reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley (see our discussion about oats). Gone undetected and untreated, celiac disease can lead to damage of the small intestine and eventually malnourishment.

How is it treated?

For celiac disease, diet truly is the only treatment. Preventing the ingestion of foods that trigger reaction is the primary focus of meal planning. Gluten is extremely prevalent in our food supply and in nonfood items (like medications), so it is essential that you become a food label detective when diagnosed with celiac disease.

Thankfully, as of August 5, 2014, any qualifying product that claims “gluten free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten” or “without gluten” must comply with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) definition of the term gluten free.

Here’s what you need to know about using this labeling:

Learning how to eat gluten free will come with accurate education from reliable sources and repeated meetings with a celiac specialized dietitian. Over time, you will develop your own shopping list of "safe" and "unsafe" foods.