Thursday, April 29, 2010

May is Declared Celiac Disease Awareness Month

by Brittany Geragotelis

Four years ago around this time, I was really sick. We're talking throwing up, in serious pain and not eating. I'd lost about 20 pounds in 3 weeks and was down to about 86 pounds (and I'm small, but that was too small). My chest hurt, my back hurt, I was exhausted and having panic attacks all the time. I was NOT well.

After seeing four different doctors to try and figure out what was wrong with me, I finally found one who changed my life forever. When I told him all my symptoms, he told me that he thought I had Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where your body can't handle the protein in wheat, oats, barley and rye. I was like, "No way. I've been eating wheat all my life!" But alas, the good doctor was right. An endoscopy and blood test confirmed that I had Celiac Disease.

One in 100 people have the disease, so CD effects more people than you may realize (Most people with it, don't even know they have it). In the four years since I was diagnosed, CD awareness has grown by leaps and bounds. Mainstream companies are making products gf and more and more restaurants are becoming gf friendly. This is a huge deal for people with CD. That's why I was psyched when I heard that May was just declared Celiac Disease Awareness Month! The more people who know about it, the easier it will be for those with CD.

Happy Celiac Disease Awareness Month everyone!