Celiac Disease is a genetic disorder where the body has an intolerance to the protein called gluten which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. According to the Celiac Sprue Association
, "one in 133 Americans have celiac disease with a diagnosis rate of one in 4,700." Fortunately as awareness grows, so will the diagnosis rate. Left untreated, people with Celiac Disease can develop further complications such as vitamin deficiencies, other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.
Gluten can be introduced into foods in many hidden ways. For example, soy sauce can contain gluten. Modified food starch may be made from wheat. Even raw chicken bought at the grocery store may be injected with broth that contains gluten. It can be very difficult to maintain a gluten-free diet.