Canadian Celiac Association

Canadian Celiac Association

October 02, 2007 08:00 ET

October is Celiac Awareness Month

THE HIDDEN & DANGEROUS TRUTH ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2007) -

Attention: Health Editors

What do diabetes, osteoporosis, infertility, and depression have in common? These are but a few of the multitude of conditions associated with celiac disease (CD). It is now estimated that celiac disease, once thought to be rare, affects up to one per cent of people in Canada or 325,000 Canadians. And to make matters even worse, celiac disease is linked with many other diseases such as dermatitis herpetiformis, cancers of the gut, and other neurological and autoimmune conditions.

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the life-sustaining absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by an autoimmune reaction to gluten. Gluten is the generic name for specific types of sticky proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Intestinal damage from gluten seriously reduces the ability of the body to absorb essential nutrients such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. This malabsorption is the basis of a complex health disorder in which the symptoms are as varied as those who suffer from the disease.

The complexity and diversity of conditions has resulted in celiac disease being dangerously under diagnosed. It is estimated that 39 /40 celiacs are either never diagnosed, or detected so late in life that the person has endured a great deal of unnecessary suffering from associated symptoms and health conditions. There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffering needlessly and at great cost to the medical system.

What we need now is greater awareness of the prevalence of this disease and its associated conditions. Our health care system needs to be proactive in preventing the terrible consequences of undiagnosed, untreated celiac disease.

During October Awareness month, the Canadian Celiac Association is intensifying its efforts to help educate the public and medical community about this disorder. We would welcome the opportunity to spread the word and educate the public through media opportunities such as interviews, talk shows or newspaper articles/photographs.

For more information about celiac disease, visit www.celiac.ca.

About the Canadian Celiac Association/L'Association canadienne de la maladie coeliaque (www.celiac.ca).

The Canadian Celiac Association is a national organization dedicated to providing services and support to persons with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis through programs of awareness, advocacy, education and research.

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