Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celiac Awareness Day!

September 13 is Celiac Awareness Day!

So, I was blissfully unaware that today is Celiac Awareness Day until I noticed a Facebook post by 1-2-3 Gluten Free! So here's a blog post about today's 'Day'.

Celiac Central, the national foundation for celiac awareness in the USA, are the group behind Celiac Awareness Day.

Check out the Celiac Central website for more information and their top ten ideas for marking Celiac Awareness Day.

Richard Gottfried is Gluten Free
I've been living the gluten free life since I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in May 2008. One of Celiac Central's ideas for Celiac Awareness Day was to show support by wearing green. I've worn blue clothes today - but here's a photo of me from last Christmas in my festive jumper

Things to remember about Celiac/Coeliac - it's NOT an allergy, it's NOT a preference, it's NOT a fad, it's NOT a diet, it's NOT an intolerance, it's NOT a choice - it's an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE.

Also, it's NOT contagious - though it can sometimes be quite amusing to see waiting staff and people who've never heard of it before recoiling in horror at your 'plague'.

Coeliac Disease (aka Celiac Disease in the USA) is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and while there is no cure the only treatment is to adhere a strict lifelong gluten free diet - which can be harder than you think when you factor in the risks and hazards of cross-contamination!

In the UK it's estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition, in the USA the figure is 1 in 133.

The strict gluten free diet means that a number of commonly found ingredients must be avoided. A non-exhaustive list of gluten containing things include wheat, barley, rye and oats. This means the diet is restrictive, expensive and can be a challenge. Every day is a learning experience about how to manage the condition, so its great to see so much information available online.

Good work by 1-2-3 Gluten Free in spreading the word. I met the team at the Allergy and Free From Show 2014 at Olympia and they told me about the brand's launch in the UK, having started life in the USA.

This year Coeliac Awareness Week here in the UK ran from the 12 to 18 May and Coeliac UK promoted the Gluten-free guarantee to ensure that key gluten free items are available in stores around the UK.

May was also Celiac Awareness Month in the US and Canada.

The team at Glutenlibre have their own 'smashmouth awareness campaign' and are on a mission to spread awareness worldwide. Check out the Glutenlibre website for more info.

Related blog posts:
- Gluten Free
- Coeliac
- Celiac
- Minigolfing gluten free in Margate
- Coeliac UK Awareness Week 2014 and the Gluten-free guarantee
- Awareness Week: Coeliac Facts from Udi's Gluten Free
Funny things about being a Coeliac

- Celiac Central - the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- Coeliac UK
- 1-2-3 Gluten Free
- #CeliacAwarenessDay on Twitter


Alicia_NFCA said...

Hey there! Thanks so much for giving us here at Celiac Central/National Foundation for Celiac Awareness a shout on Celiac Awareness Day! Great to see you wearing your green! While we'd love to take full credit for Celiac Awareness Day, it is actually celebrated nationwide in recognition of Samuel Gee's birthday (he first recognized the connection between celiac disease and diet).

It's great to know we have a supporter across the pond - thanks a bunch!

NFCA Communications Assistant

Richard Gottfried said...

No problem, thank you for the comments.

I never knew about Samuel Gee! Since diagnosis I've focussed on eating safely, rather than the history of the disease. I must do some reading up ;-)

Keep up the good work.