Eugene, OR – Living with Celiac Disease Difficult for Families but Possible with the Right Diet and Access to Gluten Free Foods – Celiac Disease creates emotional hardship for many people by depriving them of their favorite foods, from pizza to Ben and Jerry's cookie dough ice cream. Access to gluten-free alternatives helps those affected by the disease achieve a happier lifestyle …
A few years ago when Natalie Johnson was diagnosed with both Celiac Disease and lactose intolerance she was devastated. "I had a major sweet tooth and feared facing limited dessert options," says Natalie.
Ms. Johnson jumped for joy when she discovered Turtle Mountain, makers of popular dairy free ice creams with gluten-free offerings. "I love their Purely Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough," says Natalie. "I could not remember the last time I enjoyed that flavor!"
Parents with gluten intolerant children especially appreciate the availability of desserts that do not make their children sick. "Turtle Mountain's products allowed my autistic son on a gluten-free diet to enjoy eating ice cream with his siblings for the first time," says consumer Thomas Fuller.
"We began developing more gluten-free offerings as a result of the enormous amount of phone calls we received about the gluten content in our products," says John Tucker, Vice president of Technology at Turtle Mountain. "It is rewarding when we hear from consumers about how these products improve their quality of life."
Most but not all of Turtle Mountain's products are gluten-free. For example, the wafer in the ice cream sandwiches contains gluten. The company's website offers a list of over 50 gluten-free items. In the Fall of 2009 the manufacturer will offer packaging with the official Gluten-Free icon prominently displayed to make identifying their gluten-free products easier.
Celiac Disease occurs when individuals develop or inherit an intolerance to gluten – a protein typically found in foods such as bread, pasta, cookies or other foods containing barley, rye, oats or wheat. Celiac affects an estimated 1 in every 133 people (2.2 million) in America. Presently no cure exists.
Recognizing celiac disease presents difficulties to the medical community because its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. Consequently, Celiac disease has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. As doctors become more aware of the varied symptoms and reliable blood tests become more available, diagnosis rates are increasing.
The condition hinders intestinal absorption of vital nutrients. Overtime the body becomes deficient in nutrients, causing harmful affects on the brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs. A littany of symptoms exist, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, osteoporosis, stunted growth in children, general weakness, anemia, skin rashes, dental disorders and more.
Patients must avoid foods containing even trace amounts of gluten – a daunting task in today's marketplace where gluten pervades countless processed foods. Many manufacturers routinely hide gluten in the ingredient deck or process their products on lines that also process gluten.
Fortunately, grocery stores today carry more gluten-free items than ever before, from gluten-free pasta to gluten-free cookies. The business accounts for more than $700 million a year with a 20% annual growth rate, according to Mintel International. "In the last few years as more people develop allergies to gluten and dairy, the food industry has adapted to provide an array of allergen-free food options," says Natalie.
About Turtle Mountain, LLC
Based in Eugene, Oregon since 1990, privately held Turtle Mountain provides consumers with healthier alternatives to dairy-based foods. All products are 100% plant based with no artificial sweeteners, trans-fats or hydrogenated oils, and most are made with certified organic ingredients. For full product offerings and complete nutritional information, please visit: www.TurtleMountain.com.