If you didn't gather from my post title, today is Celiac Awareness Day. No, not Celiac Awareness Month, that was May. Excessive? Maybe. But mostly not. As long as people still scratch their heads and say "Celiac disease? Which one is that?" or "Oh, that's just the food thing," we will need to make EVERYDAY Celiac Awareness Day.
I will be "celebrating" (I use the term loosely, because I hardly think autoimmune diseases are worthy of celebration) by drinking lots of home-made pumpkin spice lattes and noshing on some leftover GF mac and cheese I made last night (recipe to come. Prepare your arteries accordingly).
1. Yes, I know, 97% of you think statistics are boring. But it's kind of interesting to think that 1 out of every 133 people has celiac. That's a little less than 1%. Researchers think that more people have the disease, but because testing and diagnosis are, um, imperfect here in the U.S., they don't realize it. The average amount of time most celiacs suffer symptoms without a proper diagnosis? Eleven years. That's right. Many of us suffer the lifespan of a tween before even being diagnosed. For me, it was longer than that. So even though I am only officially a few months out from a diagnosis, I am pretty sure my celiac is getting its driver's license.
2. The gluten-free product business is booming, as it becomes more prevalent to follow a GF diet. You can even find specialty GF stuff at *gasp* Wal-mart! I was actually a little jealous on my trip to North Carolina last week, because my sister's Target carries a lot of the things I usually have to trek to Whole Foods for. I know, I know, #glutenfreeproblems.
3. I posted this in last week's Three Things, but I cannot stress enough the importance of being tested for celiac if a) you have any of the symptoms or b) you have a close relative with celiac. And University of Chicago is doing it FOR FREE. As someone who lived without insurance for a while, I know how expensive testing like this can be, and some insurance companies STILL don't cover it. So go here, register and get screened.
Also, check out some of the great bloggers I feature on my Rad Reads list - you will find everything from recipes to snarkiness to inspiration ... at least, I do!