Whole Story

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Celebrate Health with Celiac Awareness

By Paige Brady, May 8, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Alice is the founder and president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). NFCA’s mission is to raise awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance and improve the quality of life for those living with these conditions. May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. How aware of celiac disease are you? Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that can cause serious problems if even the smallest amount of gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley - is digested. Millions of people struggle with the symptoms of celiac disease before being properly diagnosed. In fact, one in 100 Americans has celiac disease, and 95% of those are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is the product of my own personal experience with celiac disease. Before I was diagnosed, I suffered a host of health problems: my teeth were cracking, my hair was falling out, I had multiple miscarriages and stillbirths and yet I had been told by 22 physicians that I “looked fine.” Some actually suggested that I consult a psychiatrist. At last, the 23rd doctor diagnosed a “rare” autoimmune disease called celiac sprue. I learned that there are no pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease, and a 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment. What a sense of relief knowing what was happening to my body. Then came the panic of wondering how I was going to deal with it!  What foods can I eat? Am I going to spend the majority of my time in the kitchen trying to prepare them? Where do I turn for food that is safe? That’s when I discovered that Whole Foods Market has an extensive selection of delicious, nutritious, easy-to-prepare, gluten-free products. What’s more, they make it easy to locate these products with gluten-free product lists and in-aisle labeling! With education and awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance on the rise, the number of great-tasting, gluten-free products available to consumers also has increased.  In fact, the gluten-free marketplace is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2012, thanks to new vendors manufacturing better tasting and more affordable products. In 2006, roughly three years after I founded NFCA, I was approached by Anheuser-Busch to talk with them about gluten-free food production as they were working on the development of Redbridge, the first nationally available gluten-free beer. I was even invited to fly out to St. Louis and play beermaster for a day — it was fantastic!  The Anheuser-Busch team was dedicated to producing a fine-tasting, high quality gluten-free product that would appeal to all Americans, especially those embracing the gluten-free lifestyle. When Anheuser-Busch turned to producing a gluten-free product, I knew that the gluten-free market had reached a tipping point and general recognition of the need for these kind of products would expand rapidly. And, it worked. Redbridge is available across the U.S. (including in Whole Foods Market stores that carry beer!) and you’ll be able to find it in most major sports stadiums as you go to the ball game this summer. I encourage you to visit our website, www.CeliacCentral.org for information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. We aim to bring even more awareness, faster diagnoses and greater understanding to celiac disease, as well as offer solutions to those who are newly diagnosed, so that they may restore their health and regain their lives through a gluten-free lifestyle!
Category: Food Issues

 

21 Comments

Comments

youssef says ...
1-if one didn't diagnose that celiac diseases, what is the side effects or the advanced stages of this disease ? 2-does it have any other cure except the beer ?
05/08/2010 12:56:08 PM CDT
Charlotte White says ...
I realized I also had Celiac Disease when my Mom was diagnosed, in 1992. At that time, it was virtually impossible to find gluten free foods, and while we baked our own gf treats and cooked carefully, we never had good bread. When Whole Foods opened in Maryland, where my Mom lived, I would carry back several loaves of bread, scones and muffins to last until my next visit from Hawaii. Now that we have Whole Foods in Honolulu, I feel like my life has changed. I can buy a full range of really good gluten free foods, including Red Bridge beer, and even eat at the Hot Bar, since all ingredients are listed on the labels. Thank you, Whole Foods!
05/10/2010 12:47:07 PM CDT
Margo says ...
I had never hear of Celiac Disease before - thanks for the intro. Are there other conditions or diets out there that call for a gluten-free diet?
05/10/2010 1:45:36 PM CDT
Linda Michaels says ...
I found your blog very helpful and enjoyed reading it. I was told I had celiac earlier in the year. A naturopath diagnosed me. After eliminating gluten I felt better. A lady I know from a Celiac Sprue society in Ft. Collins, Colorado told me, that it takes a whole year for the gut to heal. And your right, Whole Foods Store has gluten free foods. King Soopers is a great place for gluten free foods and I noticed King Soopers has a greater variety of gluten-free foods than Whole Foods Store in Ft. Collins. Linda
05/10/2010 10:45:09 PM CDT
Suzie says ...
I just found a month ago that I have a gluten sensitivity, I'm so grateful for the awareness out there at grocery stores and most restaurants. I feel like a totally different person since changing my diet...I feel amazing!
05/10/2010 10:54:24 PM CDT
Emily says ...
I'm so glad more businesses and organizations are bringing awareness to Celiac Disease especially during Celiac Awareness Month. I have been diagnosed for 5 years and in those 5 years so much has changed in relation to Celiac Disease. There is more media coverage, more people are finally getting correctly diagnosed since 1 in 133 people have it but so few actually have been medically diagnosed, there are now more food regulations about indicating that food items are gluten-free, more food companies have realized that there is a large market for making gluten-free food since so many new brands have begun to make gluten-free food, and also going out to restaurants and feeling confident that the food will be gluten-free and uncontaminated because the restaurant has been certified by a gluten-free organization or that the waiter and chef understand and communicate about how to prepare a gluten-free dish. Getting sick from eating gluten is horrible. I get an array of symptoms that change (and people experience a unique set of symptoms). Sometimes I get a migraine, stomach ache, nauseous, vomiting, headache, bloating especially in my stomach, my mind gets hazy and its harder to concentrate, etc. And each time I do ingest gluten my body is attacked by my own anti-bodies in my stomach and intestines. The more a person eats gluten without knowing it puts them at risk for developing other auto-immune disorders, cancer, or diabetes, etc. Celiac Awareness also involves acknowledging that a gluten-free diet is needed for a variety of people- not just those with Celiac Disease. Many people believe that a gluten-free caisen-free diet is essential at managing a child's autism symptoms. Also, people can be allergic to wheat or gluten or have a gluten sensitivity also need to be on a gluten-free diet or a wheat-free diet. My fiance and I have been living together for 2 years and due to my disease he eats an almost entirely gluten-free diet so that our kitchen is not contaminated and because it makes more financial sense.
05/12/2010 6:45:32 PM CDT
Kristina says ...
I am so thankful for all of the gluten free products out there. I too, went through so many doctors, even a hospital visit where my doctor said, "I'm sorry but there is nothing we can do for you". Two months later a gastro did blood work and found that I had celiac disease. Redbridge is fantastic, and I've written my own emails to them on how thankful I am! Thanks!
05/12/2010 9:17:55 PM CDT
Sue Adams says ...
Would love to have some gluten free recipes. Thanks
05/12/2010 9:59:41 PM CDT
Jed Garfunkel says ...
This is great! Over the past year I have become gluten free, as I became aware that I am allergic to wheat, corn, sesame and a host of other foods that had previously been a staple of my diet. Going gluten free is the easiest way to regulate what I consume. Whole Foods is a wonderful resource! The only gluten free bread Ii have found that I actually enjoy is the Whole Foods brand gluten free bread.
05/12/2010 10:30:00 PM CDT
Rae says ...
Amen to Celiac awareness! However, I think the Red Bridge beer is nasty. My favorite is Bard's Tale Beer, yummy.
05/13/2010 7:29:54 AM CDT
Susan Bouldin says ...
Thanks so much for your comments. I was diagnosed about 3 years ago, but I had to almost die before the doctors discovered what was wrong with me. I love to cook, and have found ways of preparing most things I enjoy. Finding edible GF bread remains a problem, so suggestions are always welcome. Redbridge is my favorite beer thus far!
05/13/2010 8:45:48 AM CDT
Sharlene McIntyre says ...
I have heard that Whole Foods is discontinuing thier gluten free 365 EveryDay Sandwich Bread box mix. Is this true? My daughter went to your store and could not find it and was told they didn't know if they would have it anymore.
05/13/2010 11:00:33 AM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Sue We have almost 1000 gluten free recipes on our Whole Foods Market website. Here's the link to a search for all of them: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/search-results.php?tagId=601 You can also go the advanced search page for recipes and search specifically for gluten free desserts or side dishes or whatever you want to make. Enjoy!
05/13/2010 12:06:37 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Sharlene While it is true that you won’t find Gluten Free Baking Mixes labeled with our 365 brand name, we are transitioning back to the Gluten Free Pantry products that were moved out to make room for the 365 versions. We have worked with the folks at Gluten Free Pantry to deliver the exact same products at the same size and retail. This is really a label transition and not a discontinuation. You will still have access to the great taste you enjoy today with these gluten free products. We know that the products we sell fill a unique need for gluten-free customers. If you have any further questions about this, please feel free to send them to customer.questions@wholefoods.com and we’ll get some answers for you. Thanks for understanding!
05/14/2010 7:58:04 AM CDT
maria sotis says ...
I am really interested in knowing if anyone makes gluten-free phyllo dough. My husband is greek & I learned to make spanakopita[greek spinach pie]. Before I found out I was gluten intolerant, I would buy the phyllo dough @ Whole Foods. I really miss being able to eat spanakopita.
05/14/2010 9:07:50 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
I am so thankful for the overwhelming awareness Celiac Disease has had recently! I have had GI issues since I was child and like Alice, I too was referred a psychiatrist for my unidentifiable issues. Not until my infant’s GI Doctor was progressive enough to diagnose him at 11 1/2months was it determined that I too may have had this condition. I recently came back negative for a Celiac Blood Test, but my Endocrinologists told me that one can have a negative test result and still be a Celiac. My son and I are now both living a Gluten –Free life, and I am hoping that it will reverse home of my existing health conditions. The awareness of this disease has saved my child years of health issues, pain, and malnutrition. We are so fortunate!
05/18/2010 5:41:20 PM CDT
Torie says ...
I'm so excited to learn that there is growing awareness about celiac and gluten free! For fun and easy gluten free recipes check out my newly published cookbok: A Bite of Heaven. Visit www.biteoheaven.com to buy your copy today!
05/20/2010 10:36:53 AM CDT
Wayne says ...
I feel that anyone and everyone should try a gluten free diet. I had always heard only adults with celiac, like aunts and uncles. But wow have we found out how children from such a young age can have celiac disease too but many times you think its ADHD, ADD, etc. With our son, he went from an extremely calm easy-going child to something very aggressive and angry. Due to my wife's education, we tried a kinesiologist and pinpointed he had celiac. Since then we have changed his diet and the calm child is back! You can read a could of my posts about our ordeal on our website/blog ( http://www.caringformyhealth.com ). Oh yes, being the whole family has been on a gluten free diet to help our son, I have definitely within 2 months lost 10 pounds just from the changed diet. Hey, it doesn't hurt!
11/16/2010 3:22:06 PM CST
Alisa says ...
I have interstitial cystitis and would love to start eating clean and working with healthy recipes but i find that everything has vinegar or something acidic in it...those things are just asking for pain in my situation. Any suggestions even though this a different condition?
01/11/2011 1:59:01 PM CST
Claudia says ...
i am looking for a GF phyllo dough, either a recipe from scratch or a brand to buy. anybody have any info?
06/07/2011 10:39:34 PM CDT
Ezequiel says ...
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12/23/2012 7:17:54 AM CST