This video features an informative conversation that Jon Stewart recently had with Jennifer Esposito, author of Jennifer’s Way, a book about the health challenges she faced as a person with Celiac Disease. Jon Stewart’s son happens to also suffer from this disease.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that is caused by gluten damaging the small intestine. The small intestine is vital for one’s health, as it is responsible for food and nutrient absorption in our bodies. Those with Celiac Disease should not ingest gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and any foods or ingredients derived from these grains. Gluten can also show up in medicines and other products like cosmetics.
What’s great about the interview is Jennifer’s emphasis on her journey to being properly diagnosed, and the struggles she faced along the way when doctors did not believe her symptoms were real. This is the case for so many individuals who unknowingly have Celiac Disease but are suffering from a range of debilitating symptoms like chronic fatigue, bowel disorders, insomnia, depression and more. As Jennifer points out, the search for an accurate medical diagnosis can be long and difficult. Jon Stewart lists a few his son experienced and as Jennifer states, there are approximately 300 associated with the disease.
It’s great to see a serious and sensible conversation about Celiac Disease (and gluten in general) being held in the mainstream on a program like the Daily Show. Often the dialogue occurs without caution or sensitivity towards those who suffer from gluten-related disorders. The more conversations we can create like these, the better off the entire gluten-free community will be.