”If the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet”
~Dr. Samuel Gee
September 13, 1839 – August 3, 1911
We have Dr. Samuel Gee to thank for first recognizing that the key to healing celiac disease lies in the diet alone. One hundred years after his death, we celiacs still live by this principle, and live well, I might add!
Today we have the U.S. Senate to thank for recognizing Dr. Gee’s birthday as National Celiac Awareness Day, via S.RES.219. If you can get through all the “whereas” clauses, the Senate lists some good reasons why it is worth learning more about celiac disease, among them:
Whereas celiac disease affects approximately 1 in every 130 people in the United States, for a total of 3,000,000 people;
Whereas the majority of people with celiac disease have yet to be diagnosed;
Whereas celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is classified as both an autoimmune condition and a genetic condition; …
Whereas because celiac disease is a genetic disease, there is an increased incidence of celiac disease in families with a known history of celiac disease;
Whereas celiac disease is underdiagnosed because the symptoms can be attributed to other conditions and are easily overlooked by doctors and patients;
Whereas as recently as 2000, the average person with celiac disease waited 11 years for a correct diagnosis;
Whereas 1/2 of all people with celiac disease do not show symptoms of the disease; …
Whereas celiac disease can be treated only by implementing a diet free of wheat, barley, rye, and oats, often called a `gluten-free diet’;
Whereas a delay in the diagnosis of celiac disease can result in damage to the small intestine, which leads to an increased risk for malnutrition, anemia, lymphoma, adenocarcinoma, osteoporosis, miscarriage, congenital malformation, short stature, and disorders of the skin and other organs;
Whereas celiac disease is linked to many autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, liver disease, collagen vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome; …
Whereas the Senate is an institution that can raise awareness in the general public and the medical community of celiac disease: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) designates September 13, 2011, as ‘‘National Celiac Disease Awareness Day’’;
(2) recognizes that all people of the United States should become more informed and aware of celiac disease;
(3) calls upon the people of the United States to observe National Celiac Disease Awareness Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities
Particularly in 2011 — the year the FDA finally moved forward to establish regulations setting standards for gluten-free food labeling — we should all take time to educate friends, family, restaurants, retailers, doctors, teachers … about celiac disease and the importance of truly gluten-free foods for those of us who live gluten-free for such medically-necessitated reasons.
Building the World’s Tallest Gluten-Free cake for 1in133.org in May 2011 – designed to push the FDA to finalize a GF Food Labeling Standard … it worked!
If you haven’t already, please consider signing onto our 1in133.org proposed letter to the FDA during this comment period before October 3.
Making your voice heard through our unified response will elevate the volume for the FDA and for food manufacturers considering whether and how they want to venture into the gluten-free market.
Take us seriously. We care. Cross-contamination must be avoided. Gluten-free is not a fad. Telling the FDA that you want federal gluten-free food labeling as soon as possible is the final step in our monumental effort to achieve a uniform standard for “gluten-free” — something we can all cheer about!
Speaking of celebrating, in honor of Celiac Awareness Day, we hosted a Luna Protein Bar giveaway! Luna is one of the latest companies to offer delicious and healthy foods for those of us living gluten-free, with their lower calorie, protein-packed, fiber-rich vitamin and mineral snack solution that actually tastes great.
To learn more about Luna’s Protein Bar, have a listen to my Blog Talk Radio interview with their registered dietitian, Tara DelloIacono Thies. To read my review of Luna’s protein bars, as well as some other great new gluten-free snack bars, hop to my review here.
And in case you were wondering about Luna’s gluten-free protocols, here’s their commitment to gluten free:
The processes we use to make the claim for LUNA Protein are as follows:
- First, we ensure our ingredients are gluten free from our ingredient suppliers.
- Second, we make sure the facility has good manufacturing processes and are capable of validating a gluten free claim and
- Third, we test finished product to make sure our products, are indeed, gluten free before reaching consumers.
CONTEST: Luna is giving away THREE great prize packs in our Celiac Awareness Contest:
- 1 Box of the winner’s favorite LUNA Protein Bar flavor
- 1 super cute LUNA T-shirt
- 1 cool LUNA Hat
- 1 fun LUNA Travel Mug
- 1 yummy LUNA Chapstick
OUR CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
–>Congratulations to our winners:
Congratulations & thanks EVERYONE for the amazing, inspiring, uplifting ways you spread celiac awareness EVERY day!! You are making a difference!