Monday, May 6, 2013

National Celiac Awareness Month Puts a Focus on the Family


May is National Celiac Awareness Month; at SensitiviTees we are particularly aware of this specially designated month that promotes awareness of and information about celiac disease because our son has it. At first this diagnosis turned our household upside down but it answered so many questions and mysteries about his digestive problems and concomitant health issues. Once we understood what foods to avoid, which precautions to take, and the intricacies of maintaining a strictly gluten-free diet, we all settled in to our new normal. And our son feels so much better!

What’s more, his condition and diagnosis—and subsequent changes in our diets and our lifestyle—were the inspiration for SensitiviTees. Our gluten-free purple people eater was one of our first designs as a result.

This year the theme is “Fuel the Family,” with a focus on family testing and education. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness  (NFCA) has great materials and information for people with celiac disease and their families. For example, you can download the organization’s first-ever toolkit and get information about the value of family testing. Celiac disease is genetic so it’s important if you or a family member has celiac, to encourage all first- and second-degree relatives to be tested for it.

Living with celiac is not impossible but it certainly has its challenges. However, we found over the past couple of years that there are many other families just like us, who lived through the concern about a loved one’s health before diagnosis and are now figuring out how to live happily and healthily in a gluten-filled world. We have also discovered a wonderful community of families and individuals who are sharing their experiences, insights, and delicious gluten-free recipes for anyone with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten insensitivity.

The website, www.celiaccentral.org, has lots of valuable resources and helpful information about celiac disease, how to talk to family members about it, how to discuss testing, and much more. You can also read stories from gluten-free bloggers who are featured on the website, check out the gluten-free product of the day, and share gluten-free tips. There is also a kids’ page with games and information just for children, and a section where youngsters can share their personal stories and create their own community.

We recommend you check out the NFCA’s website often, as new products are always coming to market, and new information is always becoming available. And we recommend that if you or someone in your immediate family has celiac disease, that you be tested for it so you can maintain your optimal health.

You can purchase any of our designs (above) by logging on to our website: www.SensitiviTees.com