One in 133 people suffer from celiac disease
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dorothy Carpenter had stomach problems her entire life. Eating as much as a bite of bread or pasta could lead to terrible pain.
Her illness went undiagnosed for years until a
"I've been in this body 65 years and I know what's normal for it and something's radically wrong here," Carpenter recalls telling William D. Chey, M.D., director of the Gastrointestinal Physiology Laboratory at the
Celiac disease, a condition characterized by severe, chronic inflammation of the small intestine, develops from exposure to a dietary protein called gluten. Gluten is most commonly found in grains including wheat, rye and barley.
Carpenter's cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, developed as a result of her undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease, Chey told her.
Treatment involved removing 48 inches of her small intestine and a small mass, and undergoing chemotherapy. It's been five years since she was diagnosed and treated and she feels great, says Carpenter, 70.
She has also had to change her lifestyle - maintaining a gluten-free diet.
"Living a gluten-free life, it's what you make of it," Carpenter says. "You have to make up your mind that these are things I have to do if I want to live."
Since she was diagnosed, she's noticed stores have gotten better about stocking gluten-free products and labeling foods properly. "It's getting better all the time," she says.
Awareness and proper diagnosis of celiac disease have improved dramatica
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