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National Celiac Disease Week: an Occasion to Learn!

From the 13th to the 21st of May, in Italy we will celebrate the National Celiac Disease Week. It's an important occasion to clarify on a disease that has been under the spotlight in the latest years.

As the latest results show, in fact, the cases of celiac people diagnosed in our Country are more or less 19.000, but the statistics report about 6 million “imaginary sick people”, that gives themselves self diagnosis, or simply consider gluten free food as an instrument to lose weight or to improve health in general[1].

Definitely, the number of celiac people is lower in comparison to those who regularly eat gluten free food” – says doctor Elisa Spaghetti, dietician, nutritionist and member of the Scientific Regional Committee of AIC Tuscany Onlus – “This happens because many people give themselves self diagnosis, and don’t go to any doctor, because they believe that eliminating gluten from their diet might be the perfect solution to improve their health. The Celiac Disease Week is definitely an important occasion to inform, for example, on the difference between celiacs, wheat intolerants and gluten sensitive people”.

Even if the growth on the diagnosis of the celiac disease has stabilized, we are assisting now to a growth of “gluten sensitive” people.

Whereas the celiac disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by an evident inflammatory state, for gluten sensitivity we still cannot define clear symptoms – continues Spaghetti – we are still researching on this, but, definitely, through the medical history of the patient and the exclusion of celiac disease and wheat intolerance, the specialists – both gastroenterologists or immunologists – will be able to identify a “gluten sensitive” patient and lead him to a more suitable diet. That’s the reason why talking to a doctor is really important. Nowadays – in comparison to the latest year – we are more sensitive towards these themes and more willing to also consider those kinds of diseases”.

In occasion of the national celiac disease week, it's also important to spread an important message to the people that have to choose gluten free food by necessity, and not by fashion.
Nowadays, eating gluten free is possible and it is important to break the existing cultural barriers through a correct education and information on the products that are naturally gluten free, like rice and buckwheat – concludes Spaghetti – this is really important for the people who has to avoid gluten for necessity, but also for the others, because taking care of our food habits is really important for everybody”.

[1] Source: La Stampa