Recognizing Celiac Awareness Month: Supporting education and awareness
May is national Celiac Awareness Month, an annual campaign to promote awareness and educate individuals about celiac disease throughout the year. While most people are aware of the disease, many are unfamiliar with what the condition is and how many are affected by it.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an estimated 3 million Americans have celiac disease, yet 95 percent of those that have it are undiagnosed.
Over the past several years, diagnosis of the condition has risen sharply as awareness of the disease increases and more people speculate that gluten could be at the root of their health issues. In addition, adhering to a gluten-free diet (the only current treatment for celiac disease) has become easier and tastier as more manufacturers and restaurants feature products that are safe to eat.
Gluten Free Living Now, a local organization that focuses on building, supporting and enhancing the gluten-free community through lifestyle advice and educational resources, will sponsor its third annual Gluten Free Expo on October 5 at The Fountains, in Carmel. “It will feature local and national experts on celiac disease and over 80 gluten-free food, product and service vendors,” says Shelia Cafferty, co-founder of the organization.