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Celiac Human Interest Story For Newspaper


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#1 faithladene

 
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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:11 AM

Ilive in the Redding area of northern California. I learned about Celiac Disease in May of 2003. I have been cooking gluten-free, since then, for my dear friend. Finally, he has even quit beer.

He would love to go out and eat, and, I have, recently, learned that Outback has a gluten-free menu, so, that is wonderful. More and more, he is realizing Celiac Disease is really a disease, not just an allergy. He has slowly discovered others that have the same disease and that has helped him, immensely.

Ever since I've learned about Celiac Sprue disease, I wished someone would write a human interest story for our newspaper, to enlighten the public, as well as, help the community of Restaurants see how there is a real need to have gluten free food available on their menus.

I thought, perhaps, someone has, already, written an article and wouldn't mind me offering it to our Record Searchlight newspaper.

Perhaps, someone, has the ability to outline an article and/or give me suggestions

THANKS
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#2 kejohe

 
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Posted 09 April 2004 - 09:58 AM

Well, I think it's really important to begin by covering the facts of the disease, what it is exactly and how often it is misdiagnosed. The numbers often scare people who have never heard of the disease, but the reality is that you can overcome it if you are conscientious about maintaining a strict diet.

I have found the most common questions I am asked when someone finds out about celiac disease is:
-What is it?
-What are the symptoms/effects of the disease?
-What is gluten/ what foods contain gluten? (be sure to mentions the obscure things that people don't associate with wheat, like yogurt, proccesed meats, cheeses etc.)
-How difficult is the gluten-free diet?
-What do I look for on the label, to be sure the product is gluten free?
-Can a person "grow out" of celiac, like an allergy?
-What happens when you accidentally ingest gluten?
-How long does recovery take?

And just to be sure the person understands the severity of the disease, I always try and mention that if a strict gluten-free diet isn't followed, then you are subjecting yourself to an increased chance of things such as miscarriage, wasting, gastrointestinal cancers, osteoperosis, and more.

For a human interest story, maybe you could follow your friend around, go shopping and discuss the difficulty with label reading, and describe how it takes about twice as long for a celiac to grocery shop than the average Joe. But also describe that the life of a celiac, the part unrelated to food, is still as normal as everyone else. Describe how he was before his diagnosis, how long his diagnosis took, and how he has imporved on the gluten-free diet and so on. Also maybe add in a few resources information sites, such as this board, or a phone number for a local support group etc.

That's all I can think of now, but there is a lot of information out there and maybe some more folks here will have suggestions for you.

Hope this helps a little and good luck!
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Kathleen
Son has been gluten-free since December 2001




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