University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States has been estimated to be as high as one in 133 individuals. At the same time, only one in 4,700 individuals have been diagnosed with celiac disease. The average delay in diagnosis for a person with symptoms is 11 years. On average, a child will visit eight pediatricians before being diagnosed with celiac disease. Undiagnosed celiac patients are at greater risk of osteoporosis, anemia, infertility, type 1 diabetes and other serious illnesses, in addition to suffering ongoing health problems that can compromise quality of life. Once diagnosed, people with celiac disease often receive no instruction on the only medical intervention to treat their condition: the gluten-free diet. As a result, the newly diagnosed celiac struggles to learn the diet on his/her own, often consuming gluten by mistake and delaying their recovery. The mission of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is to raise diagnosis rates for celiac disease and meet the critical needs of people with the condition, through education, research, and advocacy.