Where does the time go? It’s May and it’s hard to believe but here we are again in celiac awareness month. With the gluten-free market heading towards a $20 billion dollar market you can be sure that there is a multitude of information and products being talked about everywhere.
Celiaccentral.org even has a “toolkit” for people with celiac that includes improved resources for getting tested, ways to push for safe gluten-free options and getting more involved in the community.
Restaurants are touting their gluten-free options, having contests, putting out more and more free recipes and generally getting people to be more aware of gluten intolerance and the importance of getting tested if you have any of the by now well-touted symptoms.
U.S News & World Report has even included an article on finding the “best gluten-free picks.” Of course selecting of the “best of” anything remains subjective but it’s definitely a great way to read about new or even not so new but well received products available nationally in most cases.
The market for gluten-free options is getting so large that even the Florida Times-Union just wrote an article about how to eat gluten-free at the Players Championship golf tournament.
Because it’s become such a huge market which equals big money, the message of the seriousness celiac disease sometimes gets a little lost. “Gluten free has taken over celiac disease,” said Alice Bast, founder and president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. “It’s very concerning that gluten free has taken over the messaging in the restaurant community.”
May being Celiac Awareness Month, makes it a good time to remind people that celiac disease is a serious condition and the gluten-free diet is a serious treatment for people with it. It’s not the fad diet that some people and even celebrities make it out to be.
Thankfully more and more restaurants are gaining knowledge about this serious disease and the effect cross-contamination can have on people suffering with celiac. Just having gluten-free options isn’t always enough though; the staff and kitchen have to be taught safe practices in order for the word to get out among sufferers who will trust eating out at certain establishments.
Nobody wants to find out they have celiac disease because it’s a hard and strict diet to follow, but it’s better than being diagnosed with the slew of major health problems that can arise by ignoring it. This includes some very deadly cancers that can be avoided, so don’t ignore it by not doing what your body is clearly telling you to do.
If you have any of the symptoms, get tested, it’s that simple. Your health and body will thank you.