13 September - National Celiac Disease Awareness Day 2019
National Celiac Disease Awareness Day is a time to increase awareness of the celiac disease, the need for a cure, and spur advocacy on behalf of those suffering from it.
National Celiac Disease Awareness Day: Every year, National Celiac Disease Awareness Day is commemorated on September 13, encourages all the public to support those with the auto-immune disease affecting more than 3 million people on in America itself.
Those with celiac disease avoid gluten due to the immune response that damages the villi in the small intestine. Over time, the damage prevents the absorption of nutrients into the body. Grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and even some oat products contain gluten. The destruction is irreversible and the only known treatment is a carefully controlled diet.
National Celiac Awareness Day promotes the importance of diagnosis as well as bringing resources and support to those who have already been diagnosed. Alternative meal preparation, diet suggestions, and celiac support groups help families provide nutritional lifestyles.
What is Coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body can’t absorb nutrients properly. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance.
There is no cure and once diagnosed you have to stick to a strict gluten-free diet for life. Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK but only 30% have been diagnosed which means there are nearly half a million people who have the condition but don’t know it.
Symptoms of undiagnosed coeliac disease include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Weight loss/gain
- Regular mouth ulcers
- Skin rash
HISTORY OF CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS DAY
The United States Senate passed a unanimous resolution in 2005 supporting Celiac Disease Awareness Day on September 13. The day recognized the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee, the physician who first published literature on the nature of the celiac disease and the need for a diet to treat the disease. The Senate continued to call for National Celiac Disease Awareness Day annually until 2011.
5 Straightforward Facts about Celiac Disease
- Noteworthy people have celiac disease
Some of the more famous names diagnosed with celiac disease include American gymnast Alyssa Baumann, NFL running back Cedric Benson, and Brazilian musician Ivete Sangalo.
- It's a holy — but not healthy — communion
In 2017, the Vatican decreed that gluten-free bread could not be used in the Eucharist or Holy Communion.
- Gender plays a major factor
Women are more likely to have celiac disease than men. In fact, according to Beyond Celiac, "Women in the general population are diagnosed with celiac disease two to three times more often than men."
- Outdated information persists
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center reports that "medical textbooks still contain outdated information" on celiac disease.
- Gluten-free's a big business
A recent report indicates that by 2025, the gluten-free products market will top $33 billion.
How to Observe Celiac Disease Awareness Month
- Go gluten-free
The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.
- Get a screening
Know someone in your family with celiac disease? Then get a screening. Parents and their kids have a one in 22 chance of developing the disease if someone in the family is diagnosed.
- Check the label
When the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act went into effect in 2006, people with celiac disease could for the first time check food labels to determine if a product was safe for them to eat.