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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Celebrate Celiac Awareness Month and Expos for Gluten-Free Lifestyles

May 08, 2014 10:09PM

May kicks off national Celiac Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness and educate individuals about celiac disease throughout the year. An autoimmune disorder triggered by the consumption of and an intolerance to gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley and rye—plus gluten sensitivities, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, estimates over 3 million Americans have celiac disease, yet it can go undiagnosed for years.

As awareness of the disease increases and more people speculate that gluten might be at the cause of specific health issues, diagnosis of it has risen sharply. Adhering to a gluten-free diet has become easier and tastier as more manufacturers and restaurants feature products that are safe to eat.

Also, there’s a bevy of information and resources through many websites, organizations and events for education and support for the celiac community. The Carmel-based Gluten Free Living Now Expo, co-founded by Shelia Cafferty, and acquired by Living Without magazine late last year, now offers several two-day expos around the country.

The Living Without’s Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fests will offer sampling of gluten-free, allergy-friendly foods, presentations by experts and sharing of experiences with others in the celiac and food-allergic community. This year’s series will begin on May 3 and 4 in San Diego, California. The expo will return to its original home base in Indianapolis, August 23 and 24, and conclude in Portland, Oregon, September 6 and 7. It will expand to seven cities in 2015.

“Working with Living Without allows us to support gluten-free communities across the country on a large scale,” says Cafferty. “We have the opportunity to help celebrate living well and bettering the lives of those with gluten intolerances.”

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