Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder. You are genetically predisposed to contracting celiac or you are not. Celiac disease is triggered in your body by a stressful event like surgery or pregnancy. Before you have full-blown Celiac Disease, where the microscopic finger like protrusions in your small intestine called vili have been distroyed by your immune system, you will most likely have one or more of the symptoms of Celiac Disease like stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, bloating, fever, constipation, failure to thrive, iron-deficiency, and the inability of your immune system to keep you healthy.
Treatment is a Gluten Free Diet. Symptoms disappear in as little as a few weeks. It can take months or even years for your vili to grow back and your immune system to rebuild. One of every two people with CD is likely to grow colon cancer. Each exposure to gluten may increase your risk of cancer. Persons with CD may be advised to begin annual colonoscopies at the age of 30.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. So why are oats off limits?
In the United States, wheat and oats may be grown in the same fields, and processed at the same mills. Oats are cross-contaminated. They will induce symptoms in those effected by CD.
Quaker Oats does not even address the cross contamination on their website, as persons with Celiac Disease are not their target customers.
You can buy Certified Gluten-Free Oats, online and at specialty stores.