A New Study Suggests That Over 1 Million Americans Have The Gastrointestinal Disease And Don’t Even Know It. Gluten-free may be a buzzword in the food and nutrition industry but it is a critical word for people who have celiac disease. A new study suggests that over 1 million Americans have the gastrointestinal disease and don’t even know it. Gluten-free may be a buzzword in the food and nutrition industry but it is a critical word for people who have celiac disease. A new study suggests that over 1 million Americans have the gastrointestinal disease and don’t even know it. What is celiac disease? Blue Blood’s actress Jennifer Esposito was one of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who are unaware of being celiac. Esposito told SheKnows that despite discussing her symptoms with a gastroenterologist for years, she’d never heard of celiac disease . The actress recalls, “I never heard of celiac disease before my diagnosis, which is frightening [considering] that I was with a gastroenterologist for five years where I was being treated for every other stomach disorder under the sun. He never once thought to mention celiac disease.” Celiac disease is a digestive disease characterized by the inability to digest wheat, rye, and barley due to the presence of the protein called gluten. People with celiac disease must avoid any foods that have these grains as well as any ingredients derived from these grains. They must essentially follow a gluten-free diet or they become very ill.

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