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 2/13/2003 - According to a recently published large-scale multi-year and multi-center study, 1 in 133, or a total of 2,131,019 Americans have celiac disease. Alessio Fasano, MD, et. al., and colleagues screened 13,145 subjects using serum antigliadin antibodies and anti–endomysial antibodies (EMA). Those who had positive EMA results were screened again for human tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies and CD-associated human leukocyte antigen DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes, and when possible, intestinal biopsies were also given. Additionally, for those with biopsy-proven celiac disease, 4,508 first-degree relatives and 1,275 second-degree relatives were also screened for the disease. A total of 3,236 symptomatic patients and 4,126 not-at-risk individuals were screened.
The study determined the following:
|First degree relatives||1 in 22|
|Second-degree relatives||1 in 39|
|Symptomatic patients||1 in 56|
|Not-at-risk individuals (overall prevalence)||1 in 133|
These results are much higher than previous studies have found, and they indicate that celiac disease is perhaps the most common genetic disorder in the United States, as well as one of the most poorly diagnosed diseases.
February 10, 2003 edition of Archives of Internal Medicine