We here at GastroIntestinal Healthcare want to give a shout out to all of our celiac patients on National Celiac Day. The U.S. Senate first recognized September 13 as National Celiac Day in 2011. They chose this date because it’s the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee, a leading celiac researcher.
Who is Dr. Gee?
Samuel Gee (1839-1911) was an English physician who is credited with providing the first modern description of celiac disease. Dr. Gee’s interest in medical history and ability to read Greek led him to an ancient description of the disease by the ancient Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the first century. Dr. Gee had noticed similar symptoms in some of his own patients at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street in London. He gave a lecture on the disease in 1887 and hypothesized that diet would be the best treatment.
We now know he was right. William-Karel Dicke, a Dutch pediatrician, discovered that it was gluten that needed to be excluded from the diet based on dietary experiments with his own patients. He published his findings in 1941.
Ways to Celebrate National Celiac Day
- Bake your favorite gluten-free goodies.
Gluten-free recipes abound. Why not have some friends or family over for a gluten-free dinner? They won’t miss the gluten at all! Need inspiration? Check out some of the recipes on the Celiac Disease Foundation’s website with ideas for every course: https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/lifestyle/recipe-grid/.
- Get together with some of your celiac buddies for lunch at your favorite restaurant (with a gluten-free menu, that is).
Every celiac patient knows which restaurants in their area have the best gluten-free menu (and not just salads). Need some ideas in the Raleigh area or maybe looking to try something new? Check out this article: http://www.themenunc.com/cheap-eats-gluten-free/. There’s even an Italian restaurant with gluten-free pizza and pasta on there!
- Have your (cup)cake and eat it, too.
Head on over to your favorite gluten-free bakery for a delicious treat. And while the icing may be your favorite part, rest easy knowing it won’t hurt you to eat the cake, too.
- Be a part of the research.
The Celiac Disease Foundation offers online training to become a patient advocate, which allows you to participate in their research projects, serve on research committees, and find other ways you can help in your community. You will also enter your data in the iCure Celiac patient registry. This data is made available to scientific researchers and government policy analysts.
Celiac disease isn’t just the gluten-free diet trend (although the gluten-free diet trend has certainly filled the gluten-free aisle at the grocery store with more choices than ever!). A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for the disease. Commit to educate those in your everyday life that your dietary requirements are essential to your health and must be met.
- Join a support group.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be around people who understand you because they really have walked a mile in your shoes. Reach out to local support groups and consider taking the time to join. You never know how your experiences with celiac disease may help someone else or how someone else may help you.
Concerned you or a loved one may have celiac disease?
Contact our office for an appointment. We’ll be happy to discuss your symptoms and recommend testing to determine whether you do, indeed, have celiac disease.
And to all our fun-loving, healthy, happy celiac patients out there, a very happy National Celiac Day to you!