Wednesday, May 4, 2011

North Carolina Governor Declares May Celiac Disease Awareness Month

Media Release

North Carolina Governor Declares May Celiac Disease Awareness Month for Second Year

Raleigh, N.C., USA, May 2, 2011 – The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog has announced Governor Beverly Perdue has declared May 2011 “Celiac Disease Awareness Month” in North Carolina for the second year. The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog and Pat Berger, leader of the North Raleigh Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) Support Group brought the petition to the Governor’s office regarding the awareness month.

Celiac Disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that affects one in 133 people in the United States. It interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food and can cause gastrointestinal and neurological issues, infertility, skin rashes and cancer. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is lifelong, strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.

“Research indicates there are approximately three million people living with Celiac Disease in the United States and of those, only about 120,000 have been diagnosed,” said Alice Bast, founder and president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). “It’s great to see North Carolina working to raise awareness about this disease so perhaps others can be accurately diagnosed by their doctors. Zach Becker and the entire North Carolina Celiac Disease community should be commended for their leadership and successful advocacy efforts.”

In honor of this proclamation, I encourage you to spread awareness about Celiac Disease and living Gluten Free.  You can do this by downloading and printing out the Food Allergy Awareness Poster and taking it to your favorite local restaurant to educate them on safely serving Gluten Free food to consumers.  Ask them if they'd be willing to review this poster with their staff and ask them to post this information in their kitchen to serve as a reference.  You can also mention to them the Governor's proclamation as added ammunition on why they should listen to your request.  Are you willing to do your part to spread awareness?

Click here to read the Proclamation on the Governor's website or in PDF format.

MAY 2011
 WHEREAS, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is a genetic autoimmune disease that affects 1 in every 133 people in the United States; and
 WHEREAS, research indicates that there are approximately 3 million people with celiac disease in the United States; of those, approximately 120,000 have been diagnosed; and
 WHEREAS, 1 in 22 first degree relatives of people with celiac disease may also be affected; and
 WHEREAS, celiac disease may take an average of 11 years to be diagnosed after the initial onset of symptoms; and
 WHEREAS, celiac disease affects equal percentages of men and women and may have severe and varied detrimental effects on the body; and
 WHEREAS, people with celiac disease may have other autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus; and
 WHEREAS, the only known treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet; and
 WHEREAS, children with celiac disease must adhere to their medically-prescribed diet while at school and during school-based activities; and
 WHEREAS, the National Institute of Health Consensus Development Conference on Celiac Disease held in 2004 found that consultation with a skilled dietitian and identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies were key elements in the management of celiac disease; and
 WHEREAS, the consensus panel on celiac disease recommended the standardization of serologic tests and pathologic criteria for the diagnosis of celiac disease, the adoption of a standard definition of a gluten-free diet based on objective evidence such as that being developed by the American Dietetic Association, and the development of an adequate testing procedure to determine the amount of gluten in foods and of a definition of standards for gluten-free foods in the United States to lay the foundation for rational food labeling; and
 WHEREAS, increased recognition and awareness of celiac disease will have a significant positive impact on the quality of life of people with celiac disease;
 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim May 2011, as “CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH” in North Carolina and commend its observance to our citizens.


 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this fourteenth day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


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