May is Celiac Awareness Month. How important is “awareness”? It is vital! As with any situation, if one is not aware of it, there is nothing that can be DONE about it.
I was interviewed by a news reporter the other day for my cookbook and one of the questions she asked me was why I thought that it is easier now to be gluten free than it was 18 years ago, when I was first diagnosed. My answer was, “Because of increased awareness”.
With increased awareness, Doctors know where to start looking for health issues, people with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance know what to do to keep their bodies healthy and food manufactures recognize the importance of catering to those who need to follow a gluten-free diet.One organization who has done so much in increasing awareness of Celiac is The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). The NFCA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of celiac disease among the general public and the healthcare community, and to facilitate research to better understand the causes, mechanisms, and treatment of celiac disease and they have done an AWESOME job to date.
As they say on their website “Awareness brings treatment that, in turn, brings improvement of the quality of life for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Our goal is to reduce the time to diagnosis and, in the process, reduce the devastating impact of undiagnosed celiac disease, including the contraction of other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and an ‘autoimmune cascade’.” Sounds like a fantastic goal to me!
There is a wide variety of information on the NFCA’s site including education, resources and events. This month on their staff blog they are also highlighting one gluten-free blog a day. I have always felt that being a part of a community helps individuals deal with the challenges we face in following a gluten-free diet. Take a few moments to pop over and meet the gluten-free bloggers highlighted this month.
The wonderful thing about having Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is that we can improve our health and physical well being by what we choose to eat – the power is ours. But the first step is awareness. And however “aware” we feel we are, there is always more to learn.
I urge you to take some time this month and do something to increase your own awareness of Celiac and to do something to increase the awareness of others!
I would like to shout a big “THANK YOU!” to the NFCA for all they are doing to raise awareness – they are simply the BEST and should be supported in every way possible!!
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