With National Celiac Awareness Month now upon us, I thought I would take the opportunity to do a few posts throughout the course of the month to help raise awareness. Well, that is only partly true — I really want to set the record straight. You see lately it just seems that everyone and their mother is either going gluten-free, thinking about going gluten-free, lost weight going gluten-free, self-diagnosed themselves, is kind of Celiac but still eats gluten…you get the idea.
What I was hoping to write-off as merely a fleeting fascination of public interest (thanks to mainstream media and the explosion of gluten-free products) appears to still be going strong — and this is what I find pretty darn scary (and, to be frank, annoying). So for the month of May I will be trying to clear-up any confusion on what it means to have Celiac disease by sharing a few posts that will hopefully do just a tiny bit to set the proverbial record straight.
I have also adopted the hashtag #iamnotafad that I’ll be tagging my gluten-free tweets with for the duration of Celiac Awareness Month (please feel free to use it as well). I would also like to point out that the month is not Gluten-Free Awareness – it’s Celiac Awareness. Say it with me. C-E-L-I-A-C Awareness. Nowhere in there do I see gluten-free. For you see, Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder and the prescription is to remove all gluten from your diet — there is no choice involved. If we as Celiacs can get just one person to really understand what it means to be Celiac — and I mean really understand — then that’s one less person we have to worry about.
So to all my fellow Celiacs — Happy Celiac Awareness month. To the fad contingent, please just keep on walking by — this is not your month, this is not your disease, this is not your gluten-free. Gluten-free IS your CHOICE. I don’t have that luxury.