Celiac Disease Patient Helps Others

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — You may not think that what many consider a typical meal can  launch an assault on your health. But that’s the case for hundreds of thousands of people each year diagnosed with celiac disease. One local woman dealing with the disorder is trying to help.

The Scranton woman has suffered from celiac disease for two decades. Through her experience, she believes she can steer others past some of the health hurdles she’s faced.

“It changes your whole lifestyle.” Living with celiac disease for more than 20 years, Laure Stasik has suffered greatly. She is among at least three million people whose body stages a revolt when eating products containing gluten — a protein found in wheat, rye and barley which triggers an immune response that attacks the small intestine. “You could be nauseated, vomiting, diarrhea or you could be atypical which is neurological.”

That neurological response means dealing with numbness, tingling and weakness. This nurse and dietitian is now disabled, but it’s not stopping her from helping others. Ms. Stasik sells gluten-free food from her home. She deals with a distributor from central Pennsylvania. With products ranging from rice and noodles to cake and muffin mixes, she likes the variety more than what many supermarkets offer. “I figured if I had to have the food so did other people.”

While people with celiac disease must avoid gluten in their food you also have to be careful of certain products such as toothpaste or even medication that can contain gluten which can trigger symptoms and worsen the condition. Ms. Stasik said, “I have been given medication with gluten and it’s made me in the condition I’m in.”

Her warning to others with celiac disease, always check the ingredients. Gluten might even exist in soaps and shampoos. “When you are diagnosed with celiac you must maintain that 100 percent all the time forever.”

Learn more about the gluten-free products Ms. Stasik sells by calling her at 570-342-0901 or e-mailing her at lstasik@verizon.net.

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