If you’ve been reading my blog over the last two weeks you know with the help of people in the celiac community we’ve been looking back at the last decade and ahead at the new decade. This week’s post that looked ahead at our hopes for the next ten years, showed how most celiacs hope for a cure or a pill to mitigate symptoms of a gluten-reaction. But just because some people didn’t have some of the most common answers doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile to discuss.
Mass testing for celiac disease
A few people talked about how they would like to see testing for all Americans. It’s no wonder people would like to see this happen, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center reports 3 million Americans have celiac disease and 97% of them are undiagnosed.
For now, there is no plan for mass testing for celiac disease. However recent studies have actually considered it. Last July when a Mayo Clinic study declared that celiac is more common than in the 1950’s, Dr. Joseph Murray hinted at the idea, “This study suggests that we may need to consider looking for celiac disease in the general population, more like we do in testing for cholesterol or blood pressure.” It will take some time before that happens, I am sure.
What would the United States look like if all 3 million Americans that have celiac were finally diagnosed?
Fabulous Gluten-Free Flour
One respondent mentioned how if there wouldn’t be a cure in the next decade maybe there could be something else…. “Otherwise, a grain that really, REALLY is a match for regular flour that would make our baked goods as good as the stuff we’re missing.”
Right now all of us are probably either buying or making our own gluten-free flour mixes. Some of them already have the binder, xanthan gum, in them and others you have to add the xanthan gum. I suppose if we found this maybe we wouldn’t be nearly as worried about a cure because our food would taste like perfection? Certainly an interesting thought.
A Little Respect for Gluten-Sensitivity
So people with gluten-sensitivity don’t have celiac, as a result, the blood tests aren’t very helpful. Yet gluten may be giving them trouble. In some cases people with a gluten-sensitivity may go for years—perhaps a lifetime never knowing about this sensitivity. Basically, you may have some or all of the discomforts of celiac disease but possibly without the damage to the gut and the medical acknowledgement that you have something that’s ailing you. Frustrating.
A handful of people talked about this. One person wrote that they’d like to see “the truth about gluten sensitivity which is the inclusion of accurate tests from the medical system.” Another person wrote, “More research done on testing..I’m convinced that blood samples don’t catch gluten sensitivity until considerable damage has been done in the body.”
Summing it up:
While those subjects may not have been the most popular – like doing a cure, these suggestions are definitely issues that many of us are dealing with or think about often. And maybe they should be issues to take on in the next decade.