With September 13 upon us, it seemed like a good time to reflect upon all the reasons why each of us should be spreading awareness about celiac disease. “Why September 13?”, you might ask? Well, because it is the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee, the physician who recognized in 1888 that celiac disease was related to diet.
Gee’s greatest accomplishment with regard to the study of celiac disease, was his recognition of the importance of food, not medicine, as treatment.
“If the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet”
~Dr. Samuel Gee
September 13, 1839 – August 3, 1911
On Celiac Awareness Day and every day, we can thank Dr. Samuel Gee for first recognizing that the key to healing celiac disease lies in the diet alone. Over one hundred years after his death, we celiacs still live by this principle, and live well, I might add!
It is critical that everyone with celiac disease be diagnosed and follow a strict gluten-free diet. Untreated celiac disease (i.e. continuing to eat gluten) can lead to other autoimmune diseases and even a shortened life. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease and its symptoms can manifest in almost any way, so it can be difficult to diagnose, which is why celiac awareness is so critical.
Below is a partial list of potential symptoms of celiac disease. They can occur singly, in combination, occasionally or regularly. Remarkably, most people with undiagnosed celiac disease have no overt symptoms, but they still are at risk from complications of the disease. (This is known as the “Celiac Iceberg”).
For more information, see The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free.
Please share this information with anyone you can, so that more people will be diagnosed and start the diet that will help them have a long, healthy life. Show this list to your physicians too — you might be surprised at how much they don’t know about celiac disease! … up to 90% of those with celiac still don’t know they have it, so we have a lot of awareness to spread!
Bake some gluten-free cookies and start a conversation about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Think of how grateful you would have been for someone to have shared this information with you!
CONGRATULATIONS to Kimberly S! She is our contest winner for the Gluten-Free, vegan shakes from Svelte®!
Svelte® is a healthy meal replacement, snack or pre & post-workout protein boost. Made with fresh, organic soymilk, each shake has 11 grams of protein and 20% of your daily recommended fiber. They are sweetened naturally with stevia and contain only 6 grams of sugar. I like to use these shakes in my gluten-free baking, as a healthier milk replacement. Try it in my GF Chai Tea Muffins
➤For more information on celiac disease, testing pros & cons as well as how-tos, and spreading the GF love on Celiac Awareness Day, have a listen to the free podcast of my radio show, The Gluten-Free Voice