Welcome back live on AM 570 KVI. Andrew Schorr here with Patient Power week after week talking about chronic health concerns and cancer, things that affect you, your family, your neighbor.
We're talking today about celiac disease. I didn't know much about it until my daughter started to have some GI problems. It turns out not to be that, but there are blood tests now that they have and certainly endoscopy to take a look and understand what the difference is. We're visiting with Dr. Michael Saunders. He's the director of endoscopy at the University of Washington so he's looking inside people all the time to see are there changes that are going on that could have been triggered simple by a reaction to gluten, and some of the things that we eat in bread and additives in food, could that be the villain here.
So Dr. Saunders, it's sort of a curable or a changeable condition, isn't it? In other words, you take that out of the diet and you eat differently like Annette's family does or as Shaynee has done, and then the symptoms go away, right?
It's the only autoimmune disease that we know of the environmental trigger. So multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, all these autoimmune conditions where we don't know the environmental trigger, celiac disease is the only one. And because of that it's the only autoimmune disease that we can treat and basically eliminate with dietary modification.
So the bad news is you have to watch your diet pretty carefully in our society, although I guess there's some good news is that we're more aware of it and there are choices for people. And then the other good news is if you follow that gluten free diet you live well.