Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. The first awareness day was held in 2010. The date, September 13th, was chosen in honor of Dr. Samuel Gee who was a leader in celiac disease research. He was born September 13, 1939.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that impacts the gastrointestinal system. Those diagnosed with celiac disease must avoid gluten. Consuming gluten causes damage to the small intestines. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 141 Americans have celiac disease although the majority of them do not know it.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases lists possible long-term complications of Celiac Disease:
- malnutrition, a condition in which you don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to be healthy
- accelerated osteoporosis or bone softening, known as osteomalacia
- nervous system problems
- problems related to reproduction
To learn more about celiac disease and available resources, visit the National Celiac Association website.