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Celebrate Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Jewel Osco Registered Dietitians


May 3rd, 2017


Celiac Awareness Month is an event held throughout the United States each May and is supported by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and other relevant organizations.  Events are held and information is shared in order to increase awareness about celiac disease.  Whether you’ve been diagnosed, have a friend that has, or just want to learn more, read below to brush up on some basic information on the disease and what it means for those affected.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by consuming gluten.  The ingestion of gluten causes an auto immune response that leads to damage to the villi of the small intestine which causes mal-absorption of essential nutrients. Common symptoms of celiac disease include:  diarrhea, vomiting, unintentional weight loss, distended abdomen, abdominal pain, and constipation. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to other disorders such as Type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, and intestinal cancer to name a few.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a storage protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Common foods that contain gluten include: bread, pasta, cereal, and baked goods.  Gluten can also be hidden in foods and products we commonly don’t associate as containing gluten. Dressings, soups, malt, food coloring, condiments, toothpaste, nutrition supplements and cosmetics can all contain gluten.

Celiac disease Vs. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Non-Celiac gluten sensitive individuals can have similar symptoms as celiac disease; however gluten sensitivity does not result in an immune response that causes damage to the intestine. Treatment of non-celiac gluten sensitivity also includes following a gluten free diet like that of celiac disease. There is not a lot of research on long term effects of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The Gluten Free Diet

The treatment of Celiac disease involves a strict gluten-free diet.  Even trace amounts of gluten can cause an immune response to someone with celiac disease.  There are many products and brands that now are gluten-free. Fresh fruits, vegetables, meat (non -breaded) are naturally gluten free. Dairy such as milk and yogurt are also naturally gluten free, but dairy products with added flavors may contain gluten. Other naturally gluten free foods include rice, potatoes, corn, quinoa, amaranth, legumes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and lentils.

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, please see your Physician.  A gluten free-diet should not be started without direction from a Physician.  A gluten-free diet is linked to deficiencies in iron, folate, calcium and fat-soluble vitamins because a lot of gluten-free products are not enriched with them.

Want to learn more?

Schedule a complimentary store tour with your Jewel-Osco dietitian to learn more about gluten-free products and how to incorporate them in your lifestyle. Attend our upcoming Gluten-Free Fairs at select Jewel Osco’s this May and sample products and recipes from some of our fabulous Gluten-Free Brands like Kay’s Naturals, Antonina’s Bakery, B Free Foods, Siggi’s Yogurt, Maya Kaimal, Udi, Glutino, Kashi, Way Better Snacks, Krave Beef Jerky, and Daiya.



One Response to Celebrate Celiac Disease Awareness Month

  1. julie 09/05/2017 at 11:29 pm

    good to know about celiac awareness month on your health Julie harris

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