Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CELIAC Disease Awareness Month (Gluten Intolerant)

May 1st, 2013 the day that kicks off this year's CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH ~ a month where we kick up our efforts to educate and reach out to people with Celiac Disease, and friends and loved ones of those with Celiac Disease, as well as the general public about the disease.  Being involved with the Canadian Celiac Association - Edmonton Chapter as one of the Board members and being a blogger of Gluten Free Living I have to say I am proud of the efforts of many who work all year round to bring education and awareness in focus about this Disease. 

This month - May is Celiac Awareness Month - and right here in Edmonton and area there are many events going on ~ Education Events, Dinner and Food Sampling Events ~ all focused on raising the awareness and reaching out to those who may be searching for an answer to health problems.  Yes - for those with Celiac Disease it is an autoimmune disease that the bodies reaction actually attacks and damages the digestive system which leads to many serious health problems if not addressed, but even those with gluten intolerance/sensitivity are affected with an array of symptoms that can make everyday life an uncomfortable chore and cause serious health problems, so raising awareness is important to many for optimum health.

Celiac Disease ~ quoted from the Canadian Celiac Association - Edmonton Chapter's Site:

"Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system no longer recognizes gluten. When gluten is eaten, it sets off an autoimmune response and the absorptive surface of the small intestine (known as villi) is attacked and damaged. Continued deterioration of the villi can have many serious effects, including malabsorption of important nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 people in Canada is affected by celiac disease. Many of them are still waiting to be diagnosed. People of any age, from infancy through old age, can be diagnosed with celiac disease, and you don’t outgrow it."

To learn more about Celiac Disease, symptoms and the steps to being diagnosed - please check out the rest of the information on the site.  As well as check back often for the Events/Sessions that are posted up all year round.

The Edmonton Chapter is hosting many awareness events this month - In which they will have on hand resources and volunteers with knowledge and information:

"Join us at one of the following locations to learn more about Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis and other gluten intolerances. We will have on hand resources for distribution and knowledgeable people available to answer questions. Check out our information on screening, testing, gluten-free diet guidelines, cross-contamination and more. At the hospital displays, health-medical professionals can drop by to pick up our free Celiac Toolkit.
Find us at:
  • Sturgeon Hospital – St. Albert May 2-3 (Thursday – Friday) 9:00am-2:30pm
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital – Edmonton May 7-8 (Tuesday-Wednesday) 9:00am-4:00pm
  • University of Alberta Hospital – Edmonton May 15-16, (Wednesday-Thursday) 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Grey Nuns Hospital – Edmonton May 23-24 (Thursday-Friday) 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Misericordia Hospital – May 21 (Tuesday) 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Leduc Hospital – May 28 (Tuesday) 9:00-3:00pm
Other dates:
Downtown City Market – City Hall – April 27 (Saturday) 10:00am-3:00pm
Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market – Saturday June 8 (8:00am-3:00pm)"

Canadian Celiac Association  - Is the National voice for people who are adversely affected by gluten, and is dedicated to improving diagnosis and quality of life.

There are also awesome events happening in and around the city for all to partake in:
  • Edmonton Health & Wellness Show - May 4 & 5 -  This will be quite the show - filled with information, products, contact with Industry experts - covering so many aspects of healthy living such as Diabetes, Healthy homes, Career fair, Health testing, Get Fit Zone, and this year is the first for an Exhibit dedicated to "Gluten Free Living" ~ Saturday's "Meet the Experts" Forum - Debbie Pietsch , B.Sc., RD - will be there to answer questions regarding Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Living. :) 
  • Gluten Free "Cravings" Food Fair - Sherwood Park - May 18th - Entry is Free to the Food Fair - and sampling costs $10 a punch card.  
  • Gluten Free Louisiana Purchase Dinner - May 26th - Register before May 22nd - Hosted by the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter.  
I need to also post a couple amazing blogs that I follow ~ the information up-to-date, relevant and informative, they also will have information all month geared towards Celiac Awareness Month and have great information all year round!  :) 

Gluten Free Edmonton - This blog is amazing - Since I have been diagnosed I was so fortunate to come across this blog ~ Amanda and Abisaac have put together and amazing blog which (he quotes: "is for the gluten free, wheat free person looking for gluten free recipes, gluten free products, gluten free tips and stories".  They inspired me to become more involved with my local chapter, at this time we all sit on the Board of the Edmonton Chapter - it's been a great experience being more involved in what is happening where I live.  :)  Their post to kick off Celiac Awareness Month 2013.

Gluten Dude - His post to kick off Celiac Awareness month - encouraging us to be advocates of celiac disease awareness all year long. :)  Gluten Dude has built a true Celiac Community with his site - and while his site is full of amazing information, tips, stories, and more (he is a true advocate to take the media, celebrities, doctors ect. to task or to praise their "version" of what Celiac Disease is) he also encourages us to talk among ourselves for support and insight, and makes sure we don't ignore the facts ... that there are dark,scary, sometimes just plain hilarious places to see, feel, experience with Celiac Disease and we all need to do that and then ... keep moving on and up to better health.  Truly appreciate his insight.

Wow going to be an exciting month and so many avenues to explore ... sure hope you can take advantage of some of the activities that are going on in your area this month, and look into opportunities all year long to support Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance - Gluten Free Living Awareness. 

Cheers :)

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