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Where do you go for information?

Posted Dec 17 2009 9:13pm
People are always asking me about Celiac Disease and I try to give them the most simple, easy to understand explanation I can, then if they want more details I will tell them more, but most people just want the basics.

There are a lot of new members at our local support group who have been newly diagnosed and I wondered where they were looking for information, how they were handling all the new questions, so I did a Google search on Celiac disease to see just what was out there. A lot of web sites jump right into the complexity of the disease and frankly that just seems too confusing for someone who is simply trying to find out what Celiac disease is.

I would normally turn to Wikipedia for a simple straightforward answer about things, not this time. When you want to know all the medical terms and details, go to Wikipedia. If you want to know just the basics I found the MedlinePlus site had a simple, easy to understand explanation, with links to take you to more information:

Also called: Celiac sprue, Gluten-sensitive enteropathy, Nontropical sprue
See simple, to the point, and easy to understand.

If you have celiac disease and eat foods with gluten, your immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and even the glue on stamps and envelopes.

Celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children. Some people have no symptoms.

Celiac disease is genetic. Blood tests can help your doctor diagnose the disease. Your doctor may also need to examine a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. Treatment is a diet free of gluten."

Other good sites to check out for simple explanations are:

The Mayo Clinic
Web MD

Now some good resources with more information and more details you may find these sights more interesting, these sites are for the newly diagnosed and for the veteran diagnosis alike.

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
- This is a beautiful site with lots of great information.
Celiac Sprue Association
Celiac.com
Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (CDHNF) - They have a PDF called Gluten Free Diet Guide for Families that can be very helpful.
American Celiac Disease Alliance
Celiac Disease Foundation

There are many other sites on the internet that you might want to research, I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg.
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