It's an Epidemic! In the last three months since I was diagnosed, two sisters have been diagnosed. This brings the grand total to 15 relatives who either suspect or have confirmed that they have this disease, both on Mom's and Dad's sides of the family.
I know to develop CD requires that one or both of the genetic markers be present and then it must be triggered. Hey, I have no problem pulling triggers.... mine is set to a hair.
DNA markers HLA-DQ-8, HLA-DQ-2 See: http://www.mayoclinic.org/celiac-disease
and the Columbia University program http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/CF-HOME.htm
CD isn't an alien disease to me. My mom was dq'd (diagnosed) in 1996 after a bout of tick fever that never ended and Grammy was dq'd ten years before that. Grammy suffered 20 years of misdiagnosed hypochondria before a physician told her she had sprue (precursor name for CD) and handed her a little blue piece of paper scrawled with three things she could eat. Meat, vegetables and fruit. (I do not exaggerate).
In the -80's even Bette Hagmen (the gluten-free Queen, Praise be her name) was just finding her way and producing smart recipe books and somehow, through the underground Grammy learned to bake and what to eat.