To help raise awareness about celiac disease, Senator Bob Huff, (R) 29th District  introduced SCR 7, designating May, 2011 as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in California.

Celiac disease is the #1 genetic autoimmune disease in the United States as well as the most common in the world. It is estimated that 3 million Americans are affected by celiac disease, yet 97% of them don't even know it....yet. The average delay in diagnosis is 9 years.

If left undiagnosed, related autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disease and certain types of cancers.
  • There is no cure. Celiac disease is the only disease completely controlled by diet. The "cure" requires a life-time commitment to a strict Gluten-Free diet. Ingestion of even a crumb of wheat, rye and/or barley can cause a severe reaction.
  • Symptoms may include: diarrhea, weight loss/gain, migraine headaches, anemia and infertility.
  • Research shows that the numbers of affected Americans doubles every 20 years.
Shining a light on "the #1 disease that you've never heard of" will certainly result in earlier and more accurate diagnosis, ultimately saving lives and, of course, saving money on health care.

May is already recognized as National Celiac Awareness Month, and New York, Oregon, North Carolina and Ohio have recently come on board at the state level with their own resolutions.  Declaring May as Celiac Awareness Month in California will help bring attention to the disease and facilitate the goal of increasing awareness.  Elaine Monarch, founder and executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, expressed the importance of such a designation:  "CDF is grateful to Senator Bob Huff for being at the forefront of this Resolution, which will help us shine a light on the importance of the early diagnosis of celiac disease"

Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1
Studio City, CA 91604
818-990-2354 phone
www.celiac.org

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