Maybe you've seen gluten free products on grocery store shelves and wondered what they were all about. Perhaps you know of someone at work who cannot eat anything with wheat, rye, or barley in it. Or, you might even have a family member living with it. It is Celiac Disease, an autoimmune condition affecting over 3 million people in the U.S. that seems to be on the rise. When people with Celiac Disease eat gluten, the immune system has an abnormal response and attacks the small intestine. It can cause a myriad of symptoms and undiagnosed, can wreak havoc on the body.
Today is National Celiac Awareness Day in honor of the birth of Samuel Gee. He was a leader in celiac research and credited with first discovering the link between Celiac Disease and diet. Although there is research underway to try and find therapies and ultimately a cure, the only treatment today is strict adherence to a gluten free diet.
That being said, today is truly a day to celebrate for many of us with Celiac Disease. The gluten free diet really does help. I have heard countless stories of celiacs feeling stronger, healthier, and happier after going gluten free. Since this is a disease that is highly under-diagnosed, there are many others out there who may benefit from going gluten free but just don't know it yet.
So, please take a moment today to spread awareness by sharing a gluten free recipe, informing a friend about the disease, or donating to a university or charitable organization helping to find a cure. If you are looking for a dinner idea tonight, stop by Roti Mediterranean Grill for a Celiac Awareness Day promotion they are offering. 1$ of every Gluten-Free Sultan Sandwich, Gluten-Free Salad and Gluten-Free Platter purchased from Roti's special menu today will be donated to the Celiac Sprue Association, the largest non-profit celiac support group in America.