May is Celiac Awareness month! What does this mean? It means that we hope to raise awareness of celiac disease and all the work that organizations do to help support those with the condition and supports all the research that is being done.
What is Celiac disease? Sure, we hear about gluten free foods all the time, but do you know what Celiac disease is? Celiac disease is ...a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine. The small intestine is part of the gut which digests & absorbs nutrients from food. When the small intestine is damaged, the rate of nutrient absorption from food is reduced. Celiac disease can affect people in many different ways and symptoms vary in severity.
People with celiac disease are sensitive to gluten which triggers symptoms. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. Consumption of gluten can affect the whole body, not just the gut. It is estimated that 1 in 133 people have Celiac disease. There currently is no cure, but can be managed by following a gluten free diet.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but all of the recipes that I have posted are all gluten free. This is because I was diagnosed 2.5 years ago with Celiac disease. And even though, I work as a Dietitian and it should be easier for me, it was still difficult to make the transition. My main issue was acceptance of the disease, which is common among some of my clients, or anyone who has a recent diagnosis. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to consult with healthcare professionals, including a registered dietitian to help you understand where all the gluten can be found, especially the hidden sources. And it would also be beneficial to seek out a mental health practitioner to help with the transition, if you are also finding it difficult.
In Canada, each major city has a Celiac Disease Chapter. They can be a great source of support and resources for anyone who has been diagnosed with Celiac and for their families! I highly recommend to find the closet one to you. You can find them through the Canadian Celiac Association and check out their website at: www.celiac.ca for more information.
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.