Thank you so much, GlutenDude for this chart.
Celiac Disease and gluten-sensitivities have stirred enough commotion to have the public buzzing about it, ranging from: sit-coms poking fun of those with Celiac as being too different to be acceptable, too picky, too high-maintenance, too inflexible; to some news broadcast companies interviewing high-profile individuals who have suffered at the hands of Celiac Disease and including informative details regarding Celiac Disease and related information.
So, symptoms of sensitivities or allergies to gluten are not obvious like other allergies. A stranger or acquaintance may not see the sufferer sneezing one's head off, swelling eyes, or developing huge itchy hives. Instead, the symptoms are more unpredictable (varying from individual to individual), unnoticeable to the naked eye; likely to cause long-term damage; negative results or impact are not always immediate.
The long-term consequences include one or more of the following: destroying the lining of the small intestine, making the body's absorption of nutrients difficult, creating mind-exploding headaches or migraines, rendering a person incapable of thinking clearly, causing long-term auto-immune problems (where an individual gets sick often and may end up needing antibiotics more often than the usual person), resulting in enamel and other long-term dental damage, causing a brain fog, disrupting sleep, causing diarrhea, belly aches, and severe cramping, and as daunting as it may be, the symptoms stretch above and beyond the scope of what I can discuss here.
Will Celiac kill someone? Not right away. It's a slow and very painful, debilitating, and destructive process. Would a person rather die a slow and painful death (as one could argue occurs with a person with Celiac) or would a person prefer to die a quick, less painful death. I would venture to guess that those who have experienced the decay and destruction of one's body as a result of cancer that such a slow death is no cake. Why must we treat one with Celiac any differently?
If this is a month where we focus on giving thanks and adopt an attitude of gratitude, for those of us who do not have Celiac or sensitivities to gluten, how about if we be thankful for not having such a body-destroying problem; and, raise up those who have it with praises and support. For those of us who have it, we can support each other through this particular journey we have been given.
Life is too short to be mean and cruel towards each other or poke fun at people who are different. Call me crazy, but loving others and supporting one another is much more fulfilling and life-giving.
Today, I am thankful for everyone, as unique and special individuals