Today marks the start of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month ... and more awareness would certainly help.
For example, did you know that, of the estimated 3 million celiacs in the U.S., at least 2.6 million of them remain undiagnosed?
And, despite many recent advances in awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet among physicians and other health professionals, it still takes more than four years, on average, before someone with active celiac disease symptoms gets handed the correct diagnosis?
Yes, we've come a long way from a decade or two ago, but we still have a really long way to go.
Therefore, I want to use this 2013 national awareness month as an opportunity to get the word out to people about celiac disease, its symptoms and diagnosis, and the gluten-free diet. In the days ahead, I'll be sharing information on symptoms, testing and diagnosis for those who believe they may have the condition or who want to be tested.
To start off, here are the basics: What Is Celiac Disease?
Do you know someone who shows symptoms of celiac disease? What about a family member who remains undiagnosed? For the sake of their health (and to help increase celiac disease awareness this month), please consider forwarding them the article linked above as a start on providing them with some information on the condition.
If we all work together to increase awareness of celiac disease, I suspect we could go a long way toward improving the health and well-being of a lot of people.
Photo © Getty Images/Steve Satushek