National Celiac Awareness Month
May is national Celiac Awareness Month, an annual campaign to promote awareness and educate individuals about celiac disease throughout the year. While many people have heard of the disease or may know someone diagnosed with it, there are many others that are unfamiliar with it or how it affects those who have 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 it, yet more than 90 percent of those who have it are undiagnosed.
In the last 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. Also, 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 Indy, a local organization that focuses on building, supporting and enhancing the gluten-free community through lifestyle advice and educational resources regularly offers meetings and outreach support in our area. Individuals with celiac disease or that know someone that has it can check out Gluten Free Indy and its expansive resources, from recipes and restaurant menus to risk factors, symptoms and diagnosis to events.