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 09/27/2005 – Italian researchers have discovered a link between celiac disease and chronic urticaria (hives). The researchers conducted a case control study that screened 79 children with chronic urticaria for celiac disease, then compared the results to that of 2,545 healthy controls in order to determine the clinical relevance of any association. Children and adolescents who had chronic hives for at least 6 weeks that did not respond to oral antihistamines were used as subjects in the chronic urticaria group, and each group was screened for celiac disease via anti-transglutaminase and anti-edomysial antibodies, with confirmation done via endoscopic intestinal biopsy.
The researchers found celiac disease in 4 of the 79 chronic urticaria group—a full 5%, and in 17 of the 2,545 controls (0.67%). The four children found to have celiac disease in the chronic urticaria group were put on a gluten-free diet and after 5-10 weeks their chronic urticaria symptoms completely disappeared (while it took 5-9 months for their serological tests for celiac disease to return to normal).
The researchers conclude that the presence of celiac disease in children with chronic urticaria is significantly more frequent than in controls, and children with chronic urticaria should be screened for celiac disease, and, if it is found, they should be treated with a gluten-free diet.