North Carolina Newspapers

Jennifer Cash
Staff Writer
What is gluten? Why do stores now
advertise gluten-free products? Gluten is
the common name for proteins in specific
grains that are harmful to
pei^ons with celiac dis
ease. These proteins are
found in all forms of wheat
and related grains such
as rye, barley and triticale.
Celiac disease is a lifelong
digestive disorder. When
peopie with celiac disease
eat foods containing gluten,
an Immune-mediated toxic
reaction causes damage to
the small intestine and does
not allow food to be properly
absorbed. Even the smallest bit of gluten
can affect those with celiac disease and
can cause problems. The celiac dis
ease Website,, says that
villi, tiny hair-like projections in the small
intestine, get damaged when gluten is
ingested. The damaged villi do not ef
fectively absorb basic nutrients—proteins,
carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and miner
als. If celiac disease is left untreated, then
damage to the small bowel can be chronic
and life threatening. Long-term condi-
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tions of untreated celiac disease are iron
deficiency anemia, early osteoporosis,
vitamin and mineral deficiencies, central
and peripheral nervous system disorders,
pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal lympho
mas and other gastrointestinal cancers
and gallbladder malfunctions,
According to, the cause
of celiac disease is a mystery and one out
of 133 three people in the United States
have celiac disease- It is not a food al
lergy but rather an autoimmune disease.
People can undergo tests for
diagnosis of celiac disease.
Certain antibody blood tests
help identify celiac disease.
Celiac disease can appear at
any time in a person's life and
can be triggered in older age
after a person has surgery, a
viral infection, severe emotional
stress, pregnancy or child
birth. Symptoms that may be a
sign of having celiac disease
include recurring bloating, gas or
abdominal pain, chronic diar
rhea or constipation, unexplained weight
loss or gain, pale, foul smelling stools,
unexplained anemia, bone or joint pain,
behavior changes, depression, irritability,
vitamin K deficiency, fatigue, weakness
or lack of energy, canker sores inside the
mouth and tooth
continued on pg 4
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Jiiiian Curtis
Staff Writer
In March 2009, North Carolina Gov
ernor Beverly Perdue raised the tax on
cigarettes. What used to be a .35 cent
cigarette tax was raised to a $1.35 tax.
This recessive tax was put in place in
order to help fill the financial deficit that
North Carolina is currently battling. It was
also put In place in order to help promote
a healthier lifestyle.
One of the major complaints with this
new tax is, of course, the increase in
price. The tax is significantly greater, and
it is taking its toil on cigarette smokers
across the state. What used to be a $4.26
purchase has now turned into a 6 dollar
purchase. This increase In price has out
raged many of North Carolina smokers.
In addition to the expense, many
North Carolinians are upset about the tax
because North Carolina Is a well known
tobacco state. Its tobacco fields and
companies are known across the country.
The tobacco industry is also a very big
source of income and provides thousands
of jobs to residents across the state. With
the new tax of cigarettes, many people are
concerned that cigarette smoking could
decrease and the tobacco industry vyould
ultimately suffer. If this were the case,
many North Carolinians would be out of a
However, many people are in favor of
this new tax, It is a very good resource
for bringing in revenue. When propos
ing her budget plan to The Legislature,
Perdue stated that she was not Interested
In increasing broad based taxes in order
to help protect her constituents from more
economic pressure. However, she was
proposing what she called a sin tax on
luxury items such as cigarettes and alco
hol. She claims that with this new tax, she
will be bringing in a decent revenue for the
state, without compromising the economic
lifestyles of North Carolina residents.
Perdue also mentioned the negative ef
fects of cigarettes and alcohol. Her belief
is that these items, in addition to being
harmful to the individual who chooses to
us them, are a huge burden on the state’s
health care system, It is Perdue’s hope
that this tax will help fill the 3.4 billion dol
lar gap in this year’s budget.
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