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.
Note that the endomysial test he used correlates well with a damaged mucosa. Less severe forms of gluten intolerance would have an even higher incidence. - Don Wiss
Dr. Fasano, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, began the meeting with some interesting data on celiac research:
Over the past 30 years there have been 6,276 papers published on celiac disease and only 10 of these were from the USA.
In an effort to quantify the number of celiacs in the USA Dr. Fasano took his own money and purchased 2000 blood samples from the Red Cross. He screened each of the blood samples for celiac disease using the endomysial antibody test. Eight of these samples tested positive. This indicates a potential ratio of 1/250 people in the USA with celiac disease or with the genetic potential to develop CD. If this ratio were to hold true for the entire USA population, it would mean there are over one million celiacs in this country. Remember this is one small study, using samples from the Baltimore area. The point is, we need more studies such as this, using a larger sample size derived from multiple areas around the country, to get a reliable estimate of the incidence of celiac disease in this country.
For more information on the incidence of celiac disease see the Research Data On Celiac Disease page.