One in 133 Americans is living with Celiac Disease, a gluten allergy that causes damage to the small intestine. Gluten has almost become a buzzword today as more people are being diagnosed.
“Physicians are more aware of the disease and are testing for it,” said Dr. Laura Levin. “Also on the other hand, patients are coming in and asking to be screened for it.”
Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, barley and oat based products. So people with gluten intolerance can’t eat very common foods like bread, cake, or cereal.
Dr. Levin was diagnosed with Celiac Disease almost a decade ago after being years of being sick with no answer.
“In the nine years since I’ve been diagnosed restaurants have come very far in offering gluten free options,” said Dr. Levin. “Now it’s a pleasure to get to go out and eat.”
But dealing with Celiac Disease has given Dr. Levin a different perspective when it comes to her job.
“Living with this disease gives me a better understanding of my patients with chronic diseases what they’re living with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Levin.
Celiac disease causes a range of symptoms that presents differently in every patient.
“You can have constipation, diarrhea, weight gain or loss, fatigue, anemia, joint pain, skin rashes, growth failure,” said Dr. Levin. “Really any symptom could be tied back to Celiac.”
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