Can someone who has loved carbs and gluten all their life have celiac disease or gluten intolerance?
Hi Givonne. Your question is a good one, and to answer it: Yes, someone who has loved carbohydrates and foods high in gluten, such as wheat, all their life can most definitely be diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity/intolerance.
When I was studying nutrition in college, I learned that celiac disease was very rare; that it presented in infants and young children; and that the symptoms were diarrhea and failure-to-thrive. Flash forward many years, and researchers now know that not only is there a wide array of symptoms attributed to celiac disease (many of them non GI-related), but also that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can occur at any age. Indeed, researchers are finding that celiac disease on the rise, and the rates are especially increasing in the elderly.
To learn more about the incidence of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity, please check out Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts on the NFCA website. In addition, the following article, “Celiac Disease on the Rise in U.S,” outlines some of the possible explanations for why celiac disease is on the rise in the United States.
In good health,
EA Stewart, MBA, RD