HEALTH

Having your (gluten-free) cake and eating it too

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The mission? Build the world’s largest gluten-free cake, covered with gluten-free dairy-free vanilla frosting.

The cake is being constructed to bring awareness to Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where the body can’t tolerate gluten.

It’s estimated that 3 million Americans are living with Celiac disease. About 18 million suffer from gluten sensitivity.

For Jules Shepard, one of brains behind the baking, it’s a personal endeavor.

"I got sick in college and from then on I was sick,” she said. “It took a really long time for someone to figure it out."

For 10 years, she was sick with stomach issues, headaches, anemia and constant sinus infections.

She was passed from doctor to doctor. When she finally got her diagnosis, she learned she was suffering from Celiac disease. When she ate gluten, her body began to attack itself.

“When they finally did (diagnosis properly), it was great,” she said. “But then I had no idea what to eat."

In recent years, the food community has begun to catch up, with gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free products hitting store shelves.

Advocates say better food labeling and more gluten-free menus at restaurants will help them have their cake and eat it too.

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