In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
(Celiac.com 03/17/2000) In the latest issue of Gut, Italian researchers propose that celiac disease is more common than previously thought, and that pregnant women should be screened for celiac disease. They conclude that a screening could help women to avoid negative outcomes and miscarriages. Dr. L. Greco and his colleagues from the University of Naples Federico II screened blood samples from 845 pregnant women in an effort to determine the prevalence of celiac disease. They looked for elevated levels of endomysial antibodies against tissue transglutaminase to determine how many of them had celiac disease. Out of the 845, women 12 had celiac disease (1.4%), and only three of the 12 had been previously diagnosed and were not following a gluten-free diet. The other nine women underwent a small intestinal biopsy to confirm their diagnosis. Out of the 12 diagnosed women, seven had either a pre-term delivery, or their babies were smaller than normal. Out of the remaining five women, four had had at least one miscarriage. Three of the babies died.
When following up with 11 of the women, eight had another pregnancy and seven of them had reached term at the time of publication. Out of the eight women, five followed a gluten-free diet, and six of their babies turned out healthy. According to the researchers: Coeliac disease is considerably more common than most of the diseases for which pregnant women are routinely screened. The authors conclude: Consideration should be given to screening for coeliac disease in pregnancy, because of the high incidence of avoidable outcomes and the chance of reversibility through consumption of a gluten-free diet.