Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Recently I was honored to participate in the San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree put on by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, a non-profit organization devoted to raising celiac awareness. 5 teams of doctors and chefs created gluten-free meals using a "secret ingredient", in this case gluten-free pasta. It was a lot of fun and a wonderful opportunity to network with some like minded medical professionals.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by consumption of the protein 'gluten'. About 1% of the population has celiac disease but only a small percent of those suffering have been diagnosed and it is estimated that currently 3 million Americans have celiac but don't know it. They are suffering from a myriad of health problems and searching for the root cause but not finding the true answer. The average celiac sufferer goes through a minimum of 10 years of misdiagnosis before getting properly diagnosed.
I had a discussion with the Executive Director of the Foundation who has celiac herself but she was unaware that about 45-50% of the population suffers with gluten sensitivity. As you can see we have a lot of work to do to educate people on the subject of gluten.
After this event and discussion with her I am more motivated by how much work needs to be done and why I am currently writing a book on gluten sensitivity and its connection to a widespread host of symptoms. I will let you all know when it is going to be released and will most likely give some "sneak peaks" on this blog to receive your feedback.
Feel free to ask me any questions on this topic.
Dr. Vikki Petersen