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Q. Why does celiac disease seem to be more common these days?

A. The National Institutes of Health has made an effort to educate the medical community, and consumer groups are providing increased awareness. Food manufacturers are also marketing gluten-free foods. All of this has led to what appears like an explosion in diagnosis rates. Actually, the majority of these newly diagnosed people were already suffering from misdiagnosed conditions or for unknown reasons—they might have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or another condition, or they may not have been able to pinpoint what was going on, and now they finally have answers. Celiac disease is a common disorder, but was not considered by doctors as a possible cause for someone’s suffering until recently.

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