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Celiac Awareness

It is that time of year again – time for Celiac Awareness. I know that we just had Celiac Awareness month in May, but here we are in October saying that it is Celiac Awareness month. I don’t know why, but I am going to roll with it because as far as I am concerned, the more awareness, the better. With 97% of those with Celiac Disease being undiagnosed, there is no time like the present to talk about Celiac Disease until we are blue in the face.  After I initially wrote & scheduled this blog post, I came across this information on Twitter regarding the issue.  :)

While I have been thinking about ways to bring more awareness to Celiac Disease this month, I have come across several others doing the same.

Mambo Sprouts is a huge supporter of Celiac Disease Awareness month. Check out their coupons on the left hand side of their home page! Sign up for free coupons & newsletters to be delivered right to your inbox. I have once again partnered with Mambo Sprouts to bring about as much awareness as I can to Celiac Disease. Keep an eye out for new product reviews over the next few weeks.

I received a newsletter from my daughter’s school today titled “Nurse Notes”. I assumed that it had something to do with flu season and how we should vaccinate our chilidren, yada, yada, yada. I almost deleted the email, but hesitated. I am just OCD and plain nosey to do that. I opened it and check out what I found (I apologize for the formatting of this – it was from their newsletter format):

October is Celiac Awareness month…

Celiac disease (CD) is a genetically linked
disease with an environmental trigger. In
people with CD, eating certain types of protein
fractions, commonly called gluten, set off an
autoimmune response that causes damage to
the small intestine. This, in turn, causes the
small intestine to lose the ability to absorb the
nutrients found in food, leading to malnutrition
and a variety of other complications.

Celiac Disease is:

*an inherited disease. Celiac disease
effects those with a genetic
predisposition
*linked to genetically transmitted
histocompatibility cell antigens
*COMMON. Approximately 1 in 133
people have CD, however, only about
3% of these have been diagnosed.
This number is based upon a
milestone multi-center study of blood
samples collected from 13,145 people
from February 1996 to May of 2001.
This means that there were over 2.1
million undiagnosed people with celiac
disease in the United States in 2001.
*characterized by (IgA mediated)
damage to the mucosal lining of the
small intestine which is known as
villous atrophy.
*responsible for the malabsorption of
nutrients resulting in malnutrition.
*linked to skin blisters known as
dermatitis herpetiformis (DH).
*not age-dependent. It may become
active at any age.

Celiac Disease is NOT:

*simply a food allergy (IgA).
*an idiosyncratic reaction to food
proteins (mediated by IgE).
*typified by a rapid histamine-type
reaction (such as bronchospasm,
urticaria, etc.).

To learn more, visit www.csaceliacs.org

I was speechless (and that doesn’t happen often, folks, just ask my husband). I wanted to jump up & down and hug the person who included this in the elementary school Nurse’s newsletter. Lucky for those involved, I contained myself and decided to write an email instead. ;) I expressed my appreciation for helping bring attention to such an important issue and offered my help to any newly diagnosed children or adults.

Lastly, I wanted to share a tidbit shared by my mom. My mom was tested to see if she had Celiac Disease a couple of years back and her tests came back negative, or mostly. One number was slightly elevated. Pair that with the fact that she has ulcerative colitis (another autoimmune disease) and I suggested that she be re-tested. She went into her GI appt. this year fully armed with information. The dr agreed to do the tests, but didn’t really seem on board at first. The more information my mom tossed at her doctor, the more the doctor seemed to become on board. My mom also asked for the gene test to see if she had one of the genes associated with Celiac Disease. That way if the tests come back inconclusive, she will know if she could be at risk and should undergo an endoscopy. The doctor left the room to confirm the labs and to make sure they ran those tests and when she came back she was all of a sudden completely on board. My mom said she had heard her doctor speaking with another doctor in the hallway. It was suddenly as if this was all the dr’s idea and not my mom’s! LOL! Whatever it takes, I guess. It is my hope that this doctor will now use this urging by my mom in her practice to consider Celiac Disease in some of her other patients that may be suffering from similar symptoms or ailments.

I will leave you with some links to other Celiac Awareness posts that I have shared in the past:

Five Things to Know About Gluten-Free

Books on Celiac Disease/Gluten-Free Diet

Celiac Awareness in USA Today

Lessons Learned – Celiac Awareness

An article from The Washington Post about Celiac Disease Sufferers

Stay tuned for another fun giveaway starting Monday!!

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