A disease millions have and even more don't know it

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Beth Holdridge comes from a family of bakers. Her grandmother, mother, and herself are all bakers. When she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease five years ago and couldn't be around gluten anymore, she thought everything was going to change.

"I was a professional baker, and then I got this diagnosis and I can't do this job all of a sudden," Holdridge said.

Instead of giving up her passion of baking, she tweaked her recipes and created the Bakers Daughter, a gluten free bakery in Buffalo.

"Food that you can't tell this is an allergy-friendly food. I want bread that tastes like bread and scones that taste like scones."

There are over three million people in the US who have Celiacs disease or have some type of gluten intolerance. Many don't even know they have it. That's why today is dedicated to Celiacs Awareness Day.

"The majority (of people) don't even know it. Those are a lot of people walking around with a lot of symptoms and pain and suffering that they don't need to be," Andrea Langston, a nutritionist said.

She said not being treated can lead to serious side effects.

"It can lead to a lot of long term effects like anemia, infertility, cancers."

There are a lot of symptoms that can indicate a gluten intolerance beyond the most common sign which is irritable bowels.

"Skin issues. You could have achy joints, achy muscles," Langston said.

It's a hereditary disease, so Langston suggests that anyone who thinks they may be experiencing symptoms that also has a relative with the disease, get themselves checked-out by a doctor.

Ironically, if you feel like you may have a gluten intolerance, you can't eliminate gluten from your diet immediately. You have to get your blood tested at a doctors office, and the only way to have a positive reaction is if gluten is in your system. So you need to be eating gluten before your doctors visit.

 

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