National Celiac Awareness Day – September 13, 2010

In honor of English physician and pediatrician, Samuel Gee’s birthday, in 2006 The Untied States Senate declared September 13 National Celiac Awareness Day.  Samuel Gee was the first person to link Celiac Disease to diet.  It was later discovered that a gluten-free diet rids a Celiac patient of their ills and allows them to recover.

Read more to learn and obtain 4 PF Chang restaurant recipes.

Celiac awareness is represented by a green bracelet.


What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease which destroys the intestines which causes the inability to absorb nutrients.  It is found in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.  It can be passed on to one’s children.

Celiac Disease includes a host of symptoms and related conditions.

If having Celiac Disease was not bad enough, autoimmune diseases are know to show up in multiples in individuals.  One who has Celiac Disease may have type 1 diabetes; an autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease; rheumatoid arthritis; an autoimmune liver disease; a hormone autoimmune disease such as Addison’s disease; or Sjögren’s syndrome which prevents tears and saliva from forming.

But the conditions do not stop there.  Some Celiac patients develop irritable bowel syndrome, malnutrition, anemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, weight loss, risks of certain cancers and more.

There is no cure for Celiac Disease besides avoiding gluten: rye, wheat and barley, and any foods that may be cross-contaminated with gluten.

Because Celiac Disease symptoms mimic so many other diseases, included ones which cause cognitive disabilities it can take several years for one to be diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Celiac Disease is diagnosed through blood tests for specific antibodies; and intestinal biopsy or an antibody tests for dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash).  Symptoms are also taken into account.

Celiac Challenges

Besides the challenges of dealing with the physical and emotional problems of the disease, Celiacs are also challenged in the daily living by their diet.  A newly diagnosed Celiac suddenly can no longer eat the bread they used to eat; the pizza crust; the pastries; and more.

There are also a number of hidden sources of gluten.  Does the brand of sour cream they eat contain gluten?  How about their steak sauce?  They cannot eat regular oats, but only oats that are free from cross contamination.  Gluten is used as a filler in many prepared foods.

Luckily today, there are so many new gluten-free products on the market.  Manufacturers are stepping up because not only are Celiac patients eating gluten-free, but many others.  Instead of the typical wheat or all purpose flour which contains wheat, Celiacs use other flours and starches such as rice, potato brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, tapioca, arrowroot, millet, sorghum, xanthan gum, guar gum, cornstarch, potato starch and more.

Some Celiac patients are allergic to other foods such as dairy, corn and soy; and possibly other more common foods.

There are more and more restaurants that have a gluten-free menu, making it helpful those diagnosed or just on a gluten-free diet because they are aware the our bodies are not made to digest such ingredients.

What can you do?

You have taken the first step by getting informed yourself by reading this article.  To do more, pass this link to your friends and family, post it to your Facebook, Twitter or website.  Get the word out!  That is what National Celiac Awareness Day is all about!  Has September 13 already passed?  It’s never too late!

Hot Tip

In honor of National Celiac Awareness Day, PF Chang Restaurants have published 2 of their gluten-free recipes.  See the following link:

3 Replies to “National Celiac Awareness Day – September 13, 2010”

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