Learning about Celiac Disease and gluten-free

 

SUNBURY – You may have heard about gluten-free diets or Celiac Disease, which is more commonly diagnosed in the last several years. Beth Stark is a registered dietician for Weis Markets and says it’s an autoimmune disease that happens in the small intestines and can be genetic.

Those who have Celiac Disease must follow a diet that is gluten-free. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley and sometimes oats.

 

Jessica Newell of Selinsgrove has Celiac Disease and is a member of a local support group. She said, “It’s really easy when you have something like this to kind of get stuck on what you can’t have instead of what you can have. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself or think I can’t have cake at a birthday party, but I try to twist it around and look at the things I can have.”

 

There are now many gluten-free products available in local grocery stores. You can visit www.healthybites@weismarkets.com to learn more about gluten-free choices. There are also support groups for those who have Celiac Disease. Gluten Free Friends meets at Evangelical Community Hospital and you can contact their Community Health Education Department at 522-2000. (Ali Stevens)