The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is an amazing organization dedicated to the awareness and education of Celiac Disease. Seeing as May is National Celiac Awareness Month the awesome people over at NFCA decided to do a month-long event called “Blogger A Day – The Gluten Free Way” where each day they feature a different gluten-free blogger (check out all the great bloggers on their blog). I’m very excited because today I am their featured blogger!
When the e-mail was sent out a few months ago I was very excited for this opportunity. NFCA is my go to resource for Celiac Disease – especially when I was first diagnosed almost three years ago. It was this website (not my doctor) that informed me of what Celiac Disease was, that it was hereditary, and most of all that I was not alone in this new lifestyle. They cover all of the bases when it comes to Celiac Disease – resources (including printable guides!!), “what is Celiac Disease“, recipes, gluten-free “hot products”, a list of some gluten-free bloggers, and more recently they created a program called GREAT – which as a future gluten-free chef/dietitian I am very excited about this. Below is a little excerpt from their website:
- Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) is a gluten-free initiative of the NFCA that aims to raise awareness about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
- GREAT programs provide comprehensive information for foodservice and healthcare professionals, including a PowerPoint presentation and printable materials for ongoing reference. Many of the programs offer continuing education (CE) credits through professional accrediting organizations.
Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts:
- Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
- One in 133 Americans have celiac disease.
- An estimated 3 million Americans across all races, ages and genders suffer from celiac.
- 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. (Source: Fasano A, et al. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:286-292.)
- 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
- 5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
- Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune disease.
- $5,000-$12,000 is the average cost of misdiagnosis per person/per year of celiac, not including lost work time.
- There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
- A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.
- A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members.
- The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease. (Source: Datamonitor Group, 2009)
- The gluten-free sales are expected to reach $2.8 billion by the end of 2010 thanks to new vendors manufacturing better tasting and more affordable products. (Source: SPINSscan, 2010)