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New practices could help those diagnosed with celiac disease

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

For those diagnosed with celiac disease, coming in contact with any gluten can be extremely harmful. New practices for restaurants in the Atlanta area could help those with celiac disease and other food-related issues to keep away from allergens.

Food contamination
Even a minute amount of gluten can seriously affect someone with celiac disease. While many restaurants offer gluten-free products, cross-contamination can lead to trace amounts of wheat, rye and other gluten-rich foods contacting dishes and ingredients specifically designated for those with gluten-free diets.

"If I consume a food that contains even the tiniest amount of gluten, such as a burger that was touched by a hamburger bun, I can miss a whole day of work," Stewart Singleton, a trainer for allergy awareness in restaurants who was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Now, restaurants and suppliers are being held to a higher standard to ensure that gluten does not come in contact with foods that are targeted toward people with celiac disease and other similar conditions. With more than 3 million Americans diagnosed with gluten-intolerance and celiac disease, the need for higher standards is pressing, noted the news source. A lab test online can show the presence of celiac disease.

Celiac disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes antibodies to attack the intestines after gluten is ingested. While some may not have reactions immediately, over time these immune responses can damage the intestines and prevent vital nutrients from being absorbed, noted the Mayo Clinic.

In adults, this condition can cause major organs, like the brain, heart and lungs, to go without the nutrients they need. For children, a lack of nutrients can negatively affect growth and development. Headaches, fatigue and joint pain are common symptoms, while more serious complications, like a loss of bone density, can occur. While there is no treatment for celiac disease, maintaining a gluten-free diet can vastly reduce these symptoms.

A lab test can reveal whether someone has the disease or not. For those seeking a discreet method that is as accurate as a visit to the doctor's office or a clinic, many options exist. Similar services are available for STD testing, blood tests and other diseases that can cause serious damage without causing severe symptoms.

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