Tuesday, September 13, 2011
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- About 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, yet studies show that close to 95 percent of people who have it don't know or they're misdiagnosed.
Experts say it's time to learn the symptoms - and get help. Thirty-six year old Rachelle Juquay was first diagnosed in 1993.
"I became very ill. They hospitalized me and after two weeks they came to the conclusion that I had celiac," she recalled.
Juquay was forced to change her eating habits to get healthy and began a gluten free diet. Gluten is a protein found it wheat, barley, and rye.
That diet lasted for about two months, and for years Juquay felt fine eating whatever she wanted - until about six months ago.
"I started having problems again: joint pain, fatigue, iron deficiency, other vitamin deficiencies, headaches, very bad headaches," Juquay said.
Juquay is now back on a gluten free diet and constantly reading labels, looking out for what she can't eat.
"Wheat, wheat flour, wheat starch, barley, anything that says malt," Juquay explained.
Alice Bast, founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is working to raise awareness of celiac disease - hoping to reduce the time it takes to diagnose the illness.
"I was misdiagnosed for eight years before finally a veterinarian properly diagnosed me with celiac disease and at celiac.org we have a check list. So if you're misdiagnosed with migraine headaches or infertility, a simple blood test is the first step to being properly diagnosed with celiac disease," said Bast.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha[/color][/i]
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