Beyond a strange eating trend, the gluten-free diet is the only option available to those with celiac disease, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population and whose symptoms can manifest at any age. In undiagnosed children this may include stunting, anemia, muscle atrophy and lethargy; that is, this disease can greatly affect their health and development.
In this Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we invite you to learn more about this very serious condition.
The importance of the diagnosis
First of all, you should know that gluten is a protein that is found in almost all bakery products as well as in a multitude of processed products. Avoiding it is not always easy, especially with children.
Moreover, undertaking such a diet blindly, without having established a diagnosis beforehand, cannot only lead to dietary deficiencies but can also affect the screening of a celiac patient and many other conditions. So be sure to have your child assessed first if you suspect he or she may be suffering from this condition.
The tools at your disposal
The Quebec Celiac Disease Foundation (FQMC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to make life easier for celiacs and their families, has developed a host of tools to contribute to the advancement of knowledge about screening and diagnosis, medical monitoring and treatment of this condition.
Though the Quebec website is in French, there is also the Canadian Celiac Association website that has lots of helpful information on this disease, including a full section of brochures explaining what exactly celiac disease is, the myths and facts about it, amongst many other subjects.
Get informed this Celiac Awareness Month!