Thursday, May 08, 2008

HAPPY CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH!

Please, oh please, be aware that this month of May is one of two celiac awareness months!

I myself was made aware of this by a press release from the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) and Mary's Gone Crackers, which (as you may already be aware) has often provided its crackers at many area events.

The press release says
More than three million Americans are estimated to have Celiac Disease, yet 97 percent of people go undiagnosed. Those with Celiac Disease are unable to tolerate gluten, the common name for the natural proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

Some common symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

* Recurring bloating, gas, or abdominal pain
* Chronic diarrhea or constipation or both
* Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
* Pale, foul-smelling stool
* Unexplained anemia
* Bone or joint pain
* Migraine headaches
* Behavior changes/depression/irritability
* Vitamin K Deficiency
* Fatigue, weakness or lack of energy
* Delayed growth or onset of puberty
* Failure to thrive (in infants)
* Missed menstrual periods
* Infertility – Male/Female
* Spontaneous miscarriages
* Canker sores inside the mouth
* Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel

Anyone who can identify with one of more of the symptoms listed may have Celiac Disease and should consult a doctor for more thorough testing, which typically starts with a blood test. In addition, anyone who has been diagnosed or has a family member who has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, Sj√∂gren’s syndrome, Peripheral neuropathy, thyroid disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, or osteoporosis may also be at risk.

The number of Celiacs is in fact greater than those with Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease combined.
The CDF offers no less than 10 Ways to Raise Awareness. Use them wisely!

Full Disclosure: "Ask Me About Gluten" button designed by Debbie Glasserman Design for the Gluten-Free NYC Boutique

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