May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month- What Can You Do?
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May 3 2011

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month- What Can You Do?

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month.  This is probably not the first time you have heard that and it certainly won’t be the last, not if I can help it.    Some quick facts about Celiac Disease:

  • 1 in 133 people in the US actually have Celiac Disease
  • 97% of those people are undiagnosed
  • Celiac Disease is not an allergy – it is an auto-immune disease

I bet you may be wondering what you can do to help with awareness.  Well, I am going to talk about several things right now.   Do you have Facebook, Twitter, an email account?  If so, utilize them. You don’t have to have a blog to spread the news.   First and foremost, educate your family & friends.   If they don’t understand what Celiac Disease is or what the ramifications of eating gluten are, when you need to be on a gluten-free diet, tell them.  Words not working?  Send email, mail, flyers.  Since Celiac Disease is genetic, your condition came from someone, right?  Make sure that your family members get tested.  Arm them with the knowledge that they will need to speak with their doctor, who may or may not be well versed in Celiac Disease.  Share the consequences of not being diagnosed/treated or not following the gluten-free diet.  Some of those consequences may include:

  • malnourishment
  • cancer
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • short stature
  • miscarriage and/or infertility
  • lactose intolerance
  • cancer
  • neurological issues

Is it really worth having someone you love sticking their head in the sand?  That being said, you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do.  However, that doesn’t mean you have to drop the subject completely.

Part of what makes Celiac Disease hard to diagnose is not everyone experiences the same symptoms.  Some peoples’ symptoms may be intestinal, some neurological and some may even be asymptomatic, only being diagnosed after a family member has been diagnosed.  As you know, the initial screening is a simple blood test.  If you know someone who has health issues that have gone undiagnosed or are continuing to get worse, it may be worth looking into Celiac Disease.  The NFCA  has a symptom checklist right on their website.  Simply go through it and print it to bring along to the doctor for help in explaining the need to be tested.

There are several different companies that have launched special campaigns for Celiac Disease Awareness month.  Check them out below:

  • 1in133 – The Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit that will be taking place on May 4, 2011 in Washington, DC
  • Mambo Sprouts – Many of the brands they support & offer coupons for are running contests for great prizes!
  • Celiac Central is spotlighting a different gluten-free blogger daily during the month of May.
  • NFCA – National Foundation for Celiac Awareness – Many different events will be going on during the month of May.
  • Rudi’s Gluten-Free – Hosting a recipe contest that runs through May 20, 2011

For more information on Celiac Disease, symptoms, testing, etc, please visit the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness).  What are you doing to help spread the word?

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!

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Comments

  1. nic tatum says:

    Its so important and I am thrilled to see so many people doing something. I have my created an event on my fb, a donation page and a giveaway on my blog. I have raised some money already too!!!!
    Being a celiac, every time someone posts , re-posts, or helps out touches my heart
    check out my giveaway

  2. Nic –

    Thanks for helping spread awareness about Celiac Disease!

    Kim

  3. nic tatum says:

    ITs important and people need to know that !! And I have such a passion for all those people who are undiagnosed and think that is just how life it ..you eat you feel bad. . People can live life better and freelu..glutenfreely!

  4. Bryanne says:

    I was recently diagnosed last week with celiac disease. This has been a hard reality after being sick for so long. Now I know what I must do and this article couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you!

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  1. […] is also Celiac Disease Awareness Month in America.  The View last week had some fantastic gluten free recipes on the show. (cannot find a […]

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