Common Myths About Celiac Disease – Gluten Allergy and Sensitivity

There are so many misconceptions when it comes to Celiac disease, most people think Celiac is not even a disease but a preference, or that you can heal from it or that you flat out just imagine your illness.

In this post we want to bust some common myths about Celiac so you can educate your friends ( or maybe even yourself ) about what is or what it is NOT Celiac disease.

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, their body’s immune system attacks the small intestine, causing damage to the villi, which are small, finger-like projections that help absorb nutrients from food.

This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Read this to learn about the symptoms of Celiac disease

The most common myths about the disease

There are various Celiac Disease myths that often contribute to confusion. If you want to educate yourself, it can help you greatly to learn how to recognize them.

Myth #1

Celiac disease Is an Allergy

Celiac disease is in no way, shape or form an allergy, plain and simple. It’s an autoimmune disorder that simply leads to symptoms that are reminiscent of those that are commonly linked to allergies.

Celiac disease is not an allergy to wheat, although there have been many people who have thought that it is for a long time.

If your immune system for whatever reason begins to battle it out against body tissues and cells that are completely innocuous, then you have an autoimmune condition rather than an allergy.

Although it is important to point out that there is a thing as gluten sensitivity which makes people who eat gluten develop mild symptoms but do not have Celiac disease.

Myth #2

Celiac Disease Exclusively Emerges in Kids

It isn’t unheard of for people to think that celiac disease is exclusive to children. That honestly couldn’t be further from the truth. It emerges in individuals of all different age groups.

People can notice that they have celiac disease regardless of how how old or how young they may be at the time.

In the past there was less awareness about the disease so less people had it tested and lived with it their entire lives.

Today people are noticing the symptoms faster and testing, for example, we found out our daughter has it at the age of 18 months, which is very very early but she had a LOT of the symptoms and all the tests pointed to Celiac.

Myth #3

Celiac disease is just a fad diet. 

Celiac disease is not a fad diet. It is a serious autoimmune disorder that can have a number of health consequences if left untreated.

I heard this so many times. People think that when you say you have Celiac that it’s just a diet choice – and not a medical condition.

Nothing can be further from the truth, while some people do choose to avoid gluten, if you are diagnosed with Celiac, it is a medical condition and not a choice.

Myth #4

This Medical Condition Is Insignificant

People who don’t know much about celiac disease sometimes brush it off and forget it for good. They sometimes behave as though it’s not severe at all. That’s a big mistake

Sometimes people who suffer from Celiac don’t have strong physical symptoms and only suffer mild ones so they think it’s not a big deal, but while the outside symptoms might feel mild, the internal damage can be greater and prolong exposure to gluten is highly not recommended.

Myth #5

There are more Celiac cases today because wheat was engineered

Some people believe that Celiac is on the rise in the world because in modern times companies engineered wheat to contain more gluten. But several studies have been done on the subject, one of these were by the late Phd Donald Kasarda in 2013 where he showed that there is no correlation between wheat breeding and the rise in Celiac cases.

Other blames people think are the higher consumption in general of wheat in the world and an additive known as ” vital wheat gluten ” but so far there is no evidence to support it.

As this topic of research will continue it’s sure to have more theories that will need to be checked and tested.

Myth #6

It’s a pretty rare disease

People sometimes assume that Celiac is very rare while in fact it is said that 1 out of 100 people in the world suffers from it.

Think about it, in the US alone there are around 3.4 million people who are diagnosed with it right now and many more that are not diagnosed but might be suffering from it due to lack of testing and awareness.

Myth #7

People Who Have Celiac Disease Always Have Symptoms That Are Identical

There’s no disputing that celiac disease can be rather tricky. That’s the reason that people shouldn’t assume that individuals who are related and who have the disease should have identical circumstances.

A patient may have a sibling who has intense digestive woes. The patient himself, however, may be anemic. There may be yet another relative who is fully devoid of any and all symptoms of the disease.

It’s critical for people to grasp the reality that celiac disease symptoms frequently differ. That’s what makes them tough to guess and anticipate.

It’s not called as the disease with a thousand faces for nothing. It really has many symptoms so no person has it exactly the same as the other.

If an individual is related to someone who has the disease, then it may be wise to go for testing. It isn’t uncommon for doctors to recommend that people who are related opt for simultaneous blood tests.

That’s the reason that it’s not out of the question for a family member to initially get a negative test outcome. He or she may get a positive one further on down the line, too.

Genetic tests can come in handy for individuals who want to figure out if they have the gene that’s associated with the condition.

Myth #8

Celiac Disease Subsides Without Medical Intervention

Sorry to say that no, Celiac has no treatment or cure as of now, the only treatment that has been proven helpful is cutting out gluten from your diet completely.

As far as we know, it is a life long condition, and does NOT heal by itself.

In recent years there have been developments that try to create a treatment but so far to no real success.

Myth #9

Celiac Solely Harms the Gastrointestinal Tract

The consequences of celiac disease may be more intense than many people out there even realize. It’s not a disease that exclusively harms the gastrointestinal tract, although there are many people who think that.

Symptoms that are frequently linked to celiac disease often involve the gastrointestinal system. People who have celiac disease often feel bloated and have to deal with gas and constipation.

Physicians are starting to discover that the disease can bring on a host of different effects that have absolutely nothing to do with gastrointestinal factors.

People who have celiac may develop anemia. Anemia, in brief, is a medical condition that involves insufficient amounts of red blood cells that are healthy.

They may have arthritis. If an individual has bones that ache and that feel bizarrely stiff, celiac disease could be responsible and many other conditions.

Myth #10

People With Celiac Disease Can Count on Dining Establishments

There are so many eateries out there that have vast selections of dishes that are labeled as being “gluten-free.” People who have celiac disease, however, should approach them with a lot of care.

That’s because it’s not at all uncommon for restaurants to offer GF meals but in fact they use the same dishes, without being washed, or for example cook the gluten free pasta in the same water as regular pasta and they think it’s ok.

It can help people with the disease greatly to speak with restaurant employees in advance. They may want to discuss the methods they use to separate gluten from gluten-free ingredients.

Myth #11

Rice Contains Gluten

Rice is a mealtime staple for millions and millions of people all around the planet. Some people believe that it includes gluten, but it doesn’t.

Gluten isn’t a part of 100 percent of all the grain options that are out there. If an individual has celiac disease, then he or she can chow down on rice without any concerns whatsoever.

People with celiac disease can chow down on buckwheat, quinoa and potatoes without any agonizing as well. There are other examples of food items they should dodge, though.

These include spelt and couscous. People who have the disease should be committed to meticulously assessing all of the labels that are part of food packages prior to completing any grocery store purchases.

They should exclusively purchase food products that leave zero room for doubt.

Foods with gluten by category

Grains that contain glutenGrains and other basic foods that are Gluten Free
Khorasan wheat
einkorn wheat
Barley Beans
Triticale Nuts of all kinds
Wheat starch and moreQuinoa and Soy and more

Myth #12

You should avoid hair products that contain gluten and similar

This has been in debate for years. Some people report that even the touch of gluten on their skin will cause a reaction, while this is rare, science does not support this. It has been proven that gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin – there for using a shampoo that contain gluten is fine as long as it doesn’t make it’s way into your stomach or blood stream.

Important note – Please make sure you wash your hands after using a hand lotion or any other product that may contain gluten to avoid accidentally touching your mouth with it, same goes for products that may end up in your mouth like lipstick.