Happy National Celiac Awareness Day! (It’s officially tomorrow, but I want to get a head start!)
The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution designating Sept. 13 as National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. The “Day” is intended to honor those affected by celiac disease, and to also commemorate the birth of Dr. Samuel Gee, a pioneer in celiac disease research.
In honor of NCAD – here are some fun tidbits about Celiac Disease:
- 1 in 133 people in the US has Celiac Disease.
- 1 in 22 people with a first degree relative (parent, child, sibling) with Celiac Disease are also afflicted.
- 21% of patients with a positive Celiac antibody test could not receive a biopsy due to the refusal of their physician to perform the procedure or the insurance company to pay for it. – I am so blessed to have had such an amazing doctor…finally!
- The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 airplanes.
- The exact cause of celiac disease is still a mystery. Research indicates that celic disease can be triggered by a stressful event such as pregnancy, surgery, childbirth or even a bout of gastroenteritis.
- The only treatment for celiac disease is a 100% gluten-free diet. – While it does somewhat pain me to know that there are certain things I’ll never have again, it does give me some satisfaction to know that my treatment is 100% in my control.
- If Left Untreated, Celiac Disease Can Have Serious Consequences…think seizures (due to inadequate absorption of folic acid which causes calcifications in the brain), a leaky gut, or certain types of bowel cancer.
- GF foods are, on average, 242% more expensive than their non-GF counterparts.
- People with CD dine out 80% less than they used to before diagnosis and believe less than 10% of eating establishments have a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ understanding of GF diets. – I would absolutely agree!
- CD affects more people in the US than Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.
- 2.5 babies are born every minute in the USA with the genetic makeup to have CD – A little worried about that half baby though 🙂
- 610,000 women in the US experience unexplained fertility: 6% (36,000) might never learn that the reason for their infertility is Celiac Disease.
- Americans with celiac could fill Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears)– THIRTY SEVEN TIMES!
- Eating gluten-free is not a weight loss diet. Many gluten-free breads and other baked goods are not only expensive, but high in fat and calories. Many people with celiac disease gain weight on a gluten-free diet as the body heals and begins properly absorbing nutrients. Not this week!!!!
The fact that I’ve hardly eaten in 2 days probably helped that number a little. These stupid accidental glutenings are really starting to get on my nerves! Crazy how the side effects get worse the longer I’ve gone without gluten in my life. They may have been bad before but I was already so sick that I didn’t know the difference.
I’m not sure what got to me this time, I have a sneaking suspicion that it was a new brand of corn tortillas that I tried and the end result was BAD. It’s like the flu without the fever. And good gracious am I ever a bitch when I’ve been glutened…It tends to bring out my snippy, Cruella De Vil side! (Minus the affinity for skinning puppies for the sake of my fashion habits.)
Aside from being sick to my stomach, it was like night of the living dead in the house – I think I slept 35 hours this past weekend. And when I’m up, everything is in slow motion. Is this what I used to be like all the time?! It’s crazy to think that I might have been in that weird Zombie-like state for the last 12 years and I’m just now finding some type of semblance of feeling ‘normal.’ Makes me want to have a mulligan on some things I wish I’d put a little more effort into before like college or attempting losing weight the other 100 times. I might have been a little more focused and driven if my energy wasn’t literally going in one end and out the other since nothing was essentially being absorbed. (Sorry for the bad visual.)
Wow what a difference the last 4 months have made!
So how are you going to celebrate tomorrow’s ‘holiday’? Why don’t you bake something gluten-free, sign 1in133.org’s letter to the FDA regarding GF labeling, review the Celiac Symptoms Checklist if you think you or someone you know might be affected, or tell your doctor ‘Sorry’ isn’t good enough and end the cycle of misdiagnosis once and for all!
I’m going to spend the day enjoying how good it feels to be free of gluten and full of life!
Happy National Celiac Awareness Day to the world!
“You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.” ~ David Viscott