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Why a gluten-free diet?

For those with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is an essential way of life. It's not a cure, but it's a way to make the symptoms vanish and to maintain good health.

Celiac disease is an immune disease in which people can’t eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten may also be used in products such as vitamin and nutrient supplements, lip balms, and some medicines. Other names for celiac disease are celiac sprue and gluten intolerance.

Your body’s natural defense system, called the immune system, keeps you healthy by fighting against things that can make you sick, such as bacteria and viruses. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their body’s immune system reacts to the gluten by attacking the lining of the small intestine. The immune system’s reaction to gluten damages small, fingerlike growths called villi. When the villi are damaged, the body cannot get the nutrients it needs.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning it runs in families. Adults and children can have celiac disease. As many as 2 million Americans may have celiac disease, but most don’t know it.  

In the U.S. alone, reports the Mayo Clinic, about 1 in 133 people have celiac disease, four times as many sufferers as there were 50 years ago. The cause of this increase is still uncertain, but the result has been a boom in gluten-free foods and resources for those who suffer from celiac disease, as well as those who've given up gluten for other reasons.

Simply Free offers quality baked goods that are gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, nut-free and preservative-free.