With the increase of people being diagnosed with Celiac disease, November is Celiac Awareness Month. If you have Celiac disease or know someone who does, you know what Celiac disease is and what it means. For those who do not know much about Celiac disease, here is some information to help you understand it as we raise awareness this November.
What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease that affects how your body digests food. This disease damages the small intestines and interferes with the absorption of essential nutrients from food which can lead to malnourishment. Essentially, the body’s immune system attacks itself every time a person with this disease consumes gluten. If undiagnosed, Celiac disease can have a devastating impact – often leading to the contraction of other diseases and disorders, such as cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
What exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is in a lot of food that we consume regularly. If it has flour, chances are it has gluten, because wheat flour is the most common flour used in foods.
Gluten-free vs. Celiac disease
Lots of people these days are becoming gluten-free, but this does not mean that they have Celiac disease. Some people do it because they think it is healthier, and others do it because they have another gluten-related disorder. There has been an increase in diagnoses of Celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders like gluten sensitivity.
Treatment and Awareness
Treatment for gluten-related disorders can significantly improve the quality of life for those who are more sensitive to gluten. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is raising awareness to help advance and optimize research to improve life for those who have Celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities. Help raise awareness and get a Celiac Awareness Month 2014 kit.
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