Held each May, Celiac Awareness Month is supported by, among other organizations, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Because people with celiac disease are sensitive to gluten, the month also raises awareness of this intolerance.
Treatment for celiac disease typically mirrors that for gluten sensitivity: Avoid foods, beverages, and other products that contain glutens—which could mean some baked goods, pastas, sauces, lunch meats, and even cosmetics. While this is sometimes difficult, more and more you’ll see efforts to make this easier on people. Stores are housing gluten-free products in specifically signed locations, beer purveyors have gluten-free beverages separate from the others, and restaurants not only designate but even promote their gluten-free offerings.
Millions of people in the United States have celiac disease, yet many may not realize it. Celiac Awareness Month serves to help people understand what the disease is, how to determine if they have it, and how to control or even eliminate their symptoms. And throughout the year, you’ll find celiac disease information and avenues for support, online and in the community.
Locally, D&W Fresh Markets offer classes taught by Margaux Drake, the stores’ Living Well Lifestyle Expert, who is a member of the WOTV 4 Women Healthy Eats Crew and a contributor to WOOD TV8’s eightWest. Margaux is keenly aware of the need for better education on food and nutrition, particularly regarding celiac disease and other food sensitivities and allergies.
For more information on Celiac Awareness Month, start with http://www.celiaccentral.org/.
Written by: Amy L Charles is West Michigan Woman’s editorial director. Later this month, the West Michigan Woman website will offer information on gluten-free dining in the area.
Photo courtesy of: Amore Trattoria Italiano