Thursday, September 20, 2007

National Celiac Disease Awareness Day

It's a little late but I thought I would post this.

I received this in an email from National CSA:

To: All CSA Members
From: Mary Schluckebier, CSA Executive Director

September 13, 2007 is Official National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.

S.RES.314 resolution designating September 13, 2007, as "National Celiac Disease Awareness Day" was passed by the US Senate by unanimous consent, Monday September 10, 2007. September 13th is the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Gee, the father of modern Celiac Disease.

For the second year CSA has worked on your behalf with the Senatorial staff and offices leading to the Senate designation of a National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.
The resolution was introduced by Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska . The resolution is reprinted below from


110th CONGRESS 1st Session S. RES. 314
Designating September 13, 2007, as `National Celiac Disease Awareness Day'.

September 10, 2007
Mr. INHOFE (for himself and Mr. NELSON of Nebraska ) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
Designating September 13, 2007, as `National Celiac Disease Awareness Day'.

Whereas celiac disease affects approximately 1 in every 130 people in the United States , for a total of 3,000,000 people;

Whereas the majority of people with celiac disease have yet to be diagnosed;

Whereas celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is classified as both an autoimmune condition and a genetic condition;

Whereas celiac disease causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, which results in overall malnutrition;

Whereas, when a person with celiac disease consumes foods that contain certain protein fractions, that person suffers a cell-mediated immune response that damages the villi of the small intestine, interfering with the absorption of nutrients in food and the effectiveness of medications;

Whereas these problematic protein fractions are found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats, which are used to produce many foods, medications, and vitamins;

Whereas because celiac disease is a genetic disease, there is an increased incidence of celiac disease in families with a known history of celiac disease;

Whereas celiac disease is underdiagnosed because the symptoms can be attributed to other conditions and are easily overlooked by doctors and patients;

Whereas, as recently as 2000, the average person with celiac disease waited 11 years for a correct diagnosis;

Whereas 1/2 of all people with celiac disease do not show symptoms of the disease;

Whereas celiac disease is diagnosed by tests that measure the blood for abnormally high levels of the antibodies of immunoglobulin A, anti-tissue transglutaminase, and IgA anti-endomysium antibodies;

Whereas celiac disease can only be treated by implementing a diet free of wheat, barley, rye, and oats, often called a `gluten-free diet';

Whereas a delay in the diagnosis of celiac disease can result in damage to the small intestine, which leads to an increased risk for malnutrition, anemia, lymphoma, adenocarcinoma, osteoporosis, miscarriage, congenital malformation, short stature, and disorders of skin and other organs;

Whereas celiac disease is linked to many autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, liver disease, collagen vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome;

Whereas the connection between celiac disease and diet was first established by Dr. Samuel Gee, who wrote, `if the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet';

Whereas Dr. Samuel Gee was born on September 13, 1839; and

Whereas the Senate is an institution that can raise awareness in the general public and the medical community of celiac disease: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates September 13, 2007, as `National Celiac Disease Awareness Day';

(2) recognizes that all people of the United States should become more informed and aware of celiac disease;

(3) calls upon the people of the United States to observe the date with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and

(4) respectfully requests the Secretary of the Senate to transmit a copy of this resolution to the Celiac Sprue Association, the American Celiac Society, the Celiac Disease Foundation, the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America , and the Oklahoma Celiac Support Group No. 5 of the Celiac Sprue Association.

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