You have most certainly witnessed the gluten-free “fad” that has grown in popularity over the past few years. You may even know some followers. But do you know what's really behind it?
Beyond a strange dietary trend, the gluten-free diet is above all the only option available to those who suffer from celiac disease, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1% of the population and whose symptoms can appear at any age. In undiagnosed children, this can include growth retardation, anemia, muscle atrophy and lethargy; this means that this disease can greatly harm their he alth and development.
During Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we invite you to learn more about this very serious condition.
The Importance of Diagnosis
First of all, you should know that gluten is a protein that is found in almost all baked goods as well as a multitude of processed products. Avoiding it is therefore notalways easy, especially with children.
Furthermore, undertaking such a diet blindly, without first establishing a diagnosis, can not only lead to nutritional deficiencies, but can also interfere with the detection of celiac disease and many other conditions. So be sure to have your child evaluated first if you suspect they may have this condition.
The tools at your disposal
The Quebec Celiac Disease Foundation (FQMC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to make life easier for celiacs and those around them, has developed a host of tools to contribute to the advancement of knowledge surrounding screening, diagnosis, medical monitoring and treatment of this condition.
Among these, we find a playful reminder aimed at reminding children of the list of ingredients and foods to avoid when they are visiting friends or elsewhere, an explanatory poster illustrating the disease and providing a better understanding of its impact, testimonials from parents telling their story and the daily challenges they face with their children,Coup de coeur products certified gluten-free and easily identifiable in grocery stores and food training courses for families and loved ones of affected children.