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Is Gluten-Free Just a Fad?

Celiac Disease

photo of gluten free pizza | GI North | Cumming, GAThe word “celiac” is taken from the Greek word for “hollow,” in regards to the bowels. Celiac disease is an immune reaction to ingesting gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. With celiac disease, if you eat gluten, then your immune system triggers a response in your small intestine. This causes abdominal pain, nausea, and other bowel problems. If this disease persists untreated then you can have inflammation in the small intestine that leads to malabsorption, meaning that your stomach is not absorbing the proper nutrients. If this disease occurs in children, it can lead to developmental problems if it is not treated.

Celiac disease effects around 0.6 to 1 percent of the world’s population, according to the New York Times. It is a growing epidemic and complications can range from diarrhea and anemia to osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to fracture. There is no cure for celiac disease; however, eating a gluten-free diet helps with the symptoms and lets you lead a healthy normal life. GI North can provide you with relief from these symptoms and celiac disease by providing excellent care with the latest techniques and technology.

Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Because we know how serious celiac disease can be, GI North happily supports Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease Awareness Month occurs each year in the United States to raise money for the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness. The events that occur during this month raise awareness for celiac disease and provides information about important things that the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness has done over the past year. Also, this supports the research into finding a cure for the disease because one is not known as of today.

There are many events that occur during the month of May that go towards the awareness of celiac disease. This include:

  • A Gluten-Free Labeling Summit: a number of researchers, legislators, and food businesses meet and fight to have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) create proper gluten-free labeling on food.
  • Ask the Dietician: people use Twitter and other forms of social media, created by the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness, to chat with experts on dietary advice.
  • Webinars: include topics that about gluten-free dieting and celiac disease, and also address those who are 60+ years old with celiac disease or are gluten intolerant.
  • Catwalk for Celiac: final fundraiser which is a fashion show, dinner and dance for families who want to participate. Learn more about this New York event, here, or check your area for a celiac fundraiser near you.

Blame for much of the causes of celiac disease falls on our society being gluten-rich and how a lot of our food contains wheat. However, the epidemiology of celiac disease counteracts this idea because other countries, such as Finland and Russia who do not eat as much wheat, still have a high population of those who have celiac disease. Also, genetics cannot describe the disease either because there is no gene that has been found that is similar in all celiac patients. This vagueness that follows celiac disease makes Celiac Awareness Month so important.

To learn more about how to donate to the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness and ways you can participate in Celiac Disease Awareness Month, visit For help with digestive disorders or if you need a diagnostic procedure, such as an upper endoscopy, done please contact GI North today by calling 404-446-0600. Dr. Cofrancesco or Dr. Quijano would love to meet with you. Dr. Quijano is new to the practice and speaks fluent Spanish.

© 2015 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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