May is Celiac Awareness Month!

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Most of the Celiac Disease Organizations and Research centers recognize May as Celiac Awareness Month! For this month, I’ll try to increase my efforts in educating the public about Celiac Disease, gluten-related disorders and the gluten-free diet. I’ve recently set up the support group with the Gluten Intolerance Group.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Port of Spain’s goal is to raise the profile of celiac disease in the area, reach people who haven’t been diagnosed and educate the public about the gluten free diet and celiac disease.

According to GIG, Celiac disease (CD) is also referred to as gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), gluten intolerance, or celiac sprue. It is considered to be the most under-diagnosed common disease today, potentially affecting 1 in every 133 people in the USA. It also affects 1 in 250 people worldwide. Celiac Disease is a chronic, inherited disease, and if untreated can ultimately lead to malnutrition.
Gluten intolerance is the result of an immune-mediated response to the ingestion of gluten (from wheat, rye, and barley) that damages the small intestine. Nutrients are then quickly passed through the small intestine, rather than being absorbed.
To develop celiac disease (CD) three (3) things must be present: 
  1. you must inherit the gene, 
  2. consume gluten, and 
  3. have the gene triggered. 
Common triggers may include stress, trauma (surgeries, pregnancy, etc.), and viral infections.

Also read this document to learn more about the difference between Celiac Disease, Gluten Allergy and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance.

If you are interested in learning more about Celiac Disease and the Gluten-free diet, check out GIG's library of educational bulletins here.


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