Gluten-free choices grow, and food prep is easier now
Celiac disease is the primary reason that one would switch to a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, affecting about 1% of all Americans. In patients with celiac disease, gluten causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine.
However, there is another type of celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which causes the immune system to attack the skin rather than the intestine. And that’s what Carolyn August discovered was her problem. “I was a teenager when the skin problem began and no one could diagnose it properly,” Carolyn explained. “Time went by and it took 10 years before I found out it was celiac disease. In the early ’80s I had moved to Boston and it was there that a dermatologist discovered gluten was causing my problem. Then I had to go to a nutritionist to find out what I could eat.”
Carolyn’s eating and cooking habits were changed forever.
“Back then there were no special packaged food available like those you can find in today’s market. I learned to not eat pasta and got used to not having bread. I remember getting excited about those rice cakes when they came out. Tried adding all types of toppings, but they didn’t turn out very well. I’ve eaten a lot of salads at restaurants when they didn’t offer a gluten-free item on the menu. Usually though I can find something I can have. My husband, Mike, has been a trouper through all of this.