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Summer travel can pose some pretty interesting dilemmas to those of us with food allergies, food sensitivities, and Celiac Disease. If you’re like me, one of the estimated 20 million Americans with some variety of gluten-sensitivity, summer travel can cause more headaches than a delayed flight or highway construction.
Celiac Disease Awareness Month is very close to my heart. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease almost a year and a half ago, and although it's something I live pretty comfortably with now, it wasn't a happy or easy diagnosis to get by any means.
Since I work here at Lauren's Hope, it might seem pretty obvious as to why I'm such an advocate for Medical ID Jewelry, but the reality is, working here has only served to open my eyes as to why most Americans should wear one. Medical ID jewelry isn't just for those with certain medical conditions, drug or food allergies. Medical IDs are also a live-saving tool for caregivers too.
Life after diagnosis has been smooth sailing for the most part. Since my father and I are both gluten free, even Thanksgiving and Christmas (normally a pretty gluten-y affair) were both huge successes for us, and by success, I mean it felt normal, and that meant a lot to the both of us.
As soon as I was greeted by the nurse, I knew something was amiss. The nurse quickly ushered me into an exam room, and only a few short minutes later, my doctor followed.
First off, I’d like to introduce myself: Hello! I’m Brittany McNeal. That's me over there to the right... Snazzy. I’m the brand-spanking new content creator at Lauren’s Hope, and I (like almost 8% of Americans) have an autoimmune disease. In fact, like most people who have an autoimmune disease, I have more than one: Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s Disease.
Whether it's due to Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivities or intolerances, wheat allergies, or a Paleo diet, a great many people are eating gluten-free these days. With the carb-loaded, stuffing-infused, food-focused holiday of Thanksgiving (and then the winter holidays!) fast approaching, it feels like a good time to look at some gluten-free recipes the whole family can enjoy.
It seems that everywhere we go these days, there are more and more gluten-free options. And that's a very good thing. Far from being the latest food fad, gluten-free diets are actually life-changing and even life-saving for some people. But there's a lot of confusion out there about what gluten is, who should be eating gluten-free, and why these dietary changes are helpful. Today, for National Celiac Awareness Day, we're breaking down the Celiac and gluten basics.
One in every 133 Americans has Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack itself in response to gluten exposure. This means people with Celiac cannot eat anything containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Some people with Celiac Disease also find that they cannot tolerate trans-dermal (through the skin) exposure to gluten, either, which means they must be vigilant about checking the ingredients in every soap, shampoo, lotion, and cosmetic before using it, as many of these common toiletries use gluten as a binding agent.
Did you know that having Celiac Disease is not the same as having a gluten allergy? It’s also different from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, despite the fact that the treatments for these increasingly common issues are fairly similar. The main way to manage Celiac Disease, gluten allergies, and gluten intolerances or sensitivities is to remove all gluten from the diet, which is easier said than done, as gluten is widely used and can easily be ingested due to cross-contamination during food preparation. Just ask Amber, a high school student and Lauren’s Hope customer, who has been living a gluten-free life for over a year now.
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