Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, is at the bottom of celiac disease, a common auto-immune disease that has the potential to wreak havoc on the health of a substantial percentage of the population. It’s estimated that one percent or three million Americans have celiac disease; according to The Food Intolerance Consumer, fifteen percent of people, or one in seven, are gluten-sensitive, meaning they can’t tolerate gluten. Fortunately, a resource exists for the celiac and gluten-sensitive communities alike – TheGlutenSyndrome.net, which dedicates itself to providing information about the “Gluten Syndrome”, which it defines as “any adverse reaction to gluten grains.”
TheGlutenSyndrome.net is all about publishing information from a variety of sources on behalf of those with gluten syndrome. These sources are medical centers, celiac and gluten-sensitivity support organizations and groups, and gluten-free food vendors. According to TheGlutenSyndrome.net, “Each resource provides balance in your search for information.”
TheGlutenSyndrome.net began as a quest to find out why a twenty-two-year-old daughter’s severe gluten reaction occurred. The founders of the website put the information together and created a “referenced website” from the viewpoint of a gluten syndrome patient; the website is now family-operated.
One of the most helpful features of the website is the section on the home page called “Nine Crucial Points,” which TheGlutenSyndrome.net recommends reading before exploring the rest of its website. The section provides information “we wish we’d understood when we first learned about gluten and celiac disease.” I couldn’t agree more. These points cover a variety of issues such as celiac testing accuracy, gluten and villi damage, the serious health effects of gluten ingestion by individuals with gluten syndrome, gluten “withdrawal,” and the importance of eating a non-processed gluten-free diet after a gluten syndrome diagnosis. The ample information provided on these nine different products is abundant enough for many people with gluten syndrome, but this is merely the introduction to the website.
There are more than twelve pages on the website covering the gluten-free syndrome. These include information about testing, gluten-sensitivity, diagrams, recommended resources, gluten syndrome networks, a discussion section, and contributed personal stories from those with gluten syndrome. TheGlutenSyndrome.net stays abreast of the latest on gluten syndrome and reports updates to its readers on their home page under the section, “Best Gluten Syndrome Resources and Updates,” a blog-like collection of major research developments and helpful books and papers on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
In an age where less than 1% of celiacs have been diagnosed correctly and gluten sensitivity is unidentified in millions of people, the internet stands out as an extraordinary tool for helping undiagnosed individuals discover their condition and for enlightening medical professionals about gluten syndrome. I went for years, going from doctor to doctor, trying to understand the answer behind my painful physical symptoms. It wasn’t until I researched my health condition on my own that I discovered the cause and was finally correctly diagnosed with celiac disease. Thanks to TheGlutenSyndrome.net, the gluten syndrome community can similarly become enlightened and empowered about their health.
The Food Intolerance Consumer: Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease http://www.foodintol.com/celiac.asp
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.