CeliacAwareness2014I am sitting at my desk this morning pondering the highlights of Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Did it raise awareness to people who otherwise wouldn’t have known much about it?

With more than 80% of celiac patients undiagnosed raising awareness is a key part to all this.  We can only hope our chatter about it this month has helped people in some way.

So with Celiac Disease Awareness Month Drawing to a close,  let’s take a look back at some of the big moments of the month.  

The kick off of Celiac Awareness Month was huge on May 1st according to Google Trends.

Month of May Google Trend for "Celiac"

Month of May Google Trend for “Celiac”

 

 This month so many gluten-free writers and bloggers did a great job using their websites and social media to get the word out about celiac disease statistics, research and more.

There have been awareness walks, runs and even a zombie stroll & Thriller dance to raise awareness and money for various research organizations!  Our walk/run in the Twin Cities was held on May 17th.    

Dr. Alessio Fasano from The Center for Celiac Research published his book Gluten Freedom (all proceeds go to the Center for Celiac Research) and Jennifer Esposito of Jennifer’s Way Bakery put out her book, Jennifer’s Way this month as well. 

The biggest gluten-free related news was the increased awareness of gluten sensitivity because of a study that went viral saying it was all in the patients’ head.  Tons of media from entities like PBS addressed the topic to  Jezebel which ran the snarky headline “Gluten Sensitivity is Apparently Bulls*!t”

How do we know the news caught people’s attention?  Take a look at Google Trends history on the term “Gluten Sensitivity”.  That last high point — that is this month.  April was much lower.

 

All-time Google Trend for "gluten sensitivity". May 2014 highest-to-date

All-time Google Trend for “gluten sensitivity”. May 2014 highest-to-date

 

 I haven’t addressed it on my blog until now.  I am not a researcher.  But I am someone who does my best trying to read up on research and understanding the current issues in the gluten-free community.

 The Center for Celiac Research is doing a lot of research on this topic right now. With their goal: to find a biomarker for gluten sensitivity– so there will finally be a medical test for it.  Dr. Alessio Fasano acknowledged in his book that a few years back they didn’t necessarily believe that gluten sensitivity existed.  But now they do.  There is a population of folks who test negative for wheat allergy and celiac disease but have resolution of symptoms on a gluten free diet.  

I also know people who test negative for celiac disease who get horribly sick when they have gluten.  This month, Dr. Fasano did a great job clarifying the state of gluten-sensitivity research and the “all in your head” study on Jules Shepard’s online radio show The Gluten-Free Voice with Jules.  I would recommend listening to it.  Specifically he addresses this research starting at 7:30 into the broadcast.

So what now?  As we go forward for the next year living our gluten-free lives, what can we do to continue to increase awareness?  Is it talking about it to a new friend?  Mentoring someone with a new diagnosis? Supporting gluten-free menus at local restaurants?  Maybe starting or leading a support group?  You may already be doing something!  If so, that is awesome!

One new way you can keep up on all things celiac and gluten-free related is to sign up for The Savvy Celiac’s NEW e-newsletter!  The weekly e-newsletter will keep you posted on the news covered right here on TSC, but also it will highlight other gluten-free news and upcoming events, and much more!  Keep in-the-know with The Savvy Celiac! The e-newsletter launches in June.

Keep up the good work year ’round!

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One Response to “Awareness Brought to Celiac Disease: May 2014”

  1. I think that people need to talk more about Celiac and not just gluten free. Some naive people think that gluten intolerance is a fallacy due to people choosing to live a healthier lifestyle without gluten, but their negative comments hurt those that actually need to get the message! Thank you for sharing.

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