Celiac disease—which makes it difficult for your digestive system to process gluten, commonly found in wheat and other grains—is quite common in the U.S. It is estimated (based on this National Institutes of Health case study) that about 1 in 140 people in the U.S. have this disease, although many people may not be diagnosed. Other sources peg this number at 1-percent of the population.
Luckily, there are ways to minimize the symptoms of this inflammatory autoimmune illness with lifestyle choices. Since Celiac Awareness Day is in September, here are 6 lifestyle tips for those looking to improve their health through diet and other means…
1. Scan the Ingredients
Changing your diet to remove harmful gluten that can cause pain and other digestive issues is the first move. However, WebMD points out that there may not be as many commercial gluten-free food options in the U.S. as other countries, which have a higher diagnosis rate for the disease.
However, the source gives a list of gluten containing ingredients to be wary of, such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein (the vegetable should be identified), modified food starch (from wheat) and malt (and any malt variation). Some medications may even contain gluten, so you should consult your doctor or pharmacist to learn more if you’re a celiac patient, it adds.