I recently met a woman at my local grocery store who was stocking up on Gluten-free cereal. She shared some really interesting information with me. She said that her daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease. After that she went ahead and had her whole family tested including all three of her kids, her husband, and herself. They all tested positive for Celiac! No one in her family had known anything about Gluten intolerance previously.
She went on to say that her sister works at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. They have some recent results from studies in Europe that indicate that as many as 30% of the population of some countries may be affected by Celiac Disease!!! Can you imagine that! Now, I don't know how accurate this information is, but just think of the implications of these numbers. Ten to fifteen years ago it was thought 1 in 10,000 people were affected, then about five years ago they determined that 1 in 133 people had Gluten intolerance, but to think of 30% of the population is mind-shattering, it makes me want to go out and open a gluten-free restaurant chain! These type of numbers would also vindicate my mother who thinks anyone who has an illness that lasts more than a few days should get tested for Celiac disease (love you mom!).
The other piece of information that the woman from the grocery store shared with me is that the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center will send out a free Gluten-free care package to anyone recently diagnosed, including food samples and information about how to start a gluten-free diet. Here is the link to apply.