Friday, July 14, 2017

Gluten in Holy Communion wafers causes problems for some

From Columbus-

The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio also takes Holy Communion, but it allows members to consume gluten-free wafers, said Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands.

“We’re taking this sacrament seriously in the Episcopal church,” Carter-Edmands said. “The sacrament is meant to be life giving and not a burden and not a health hazard.”

One to two percent of people worldwide have celiac disease and up to 10 percent more might have a heightened sensitivity to gluten, said Dr. Marty Meyer, a gastroenterologist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Celiac disease is characterized by damage to the small intestine from ingesting gluten, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of gluten to incite the intestinal damage,” Meyer said. “I would tell someone to potentially just see how they feel after taking in a Communion wafer. ... See if over time that’s leading to an issue.”

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