The text of the notification
The prevalence of gluten-related disorders has quadrupled in North America. Nearly 10% of the population is at risk of being affected by a gluten-related disorder, which is a serious public health issue according to Dr. Idris Saïah, immunologist and researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine.
Celiac Awareness Month2 aims to increase the number of diagnoses among the population to help better manage people’s health problems, since gluten-related disorders affect a growing number of individuals.
Despite improvements in the amount of time needed for a diagnosis (which was 12 years in 2013)3, celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders remain under-diagnosed due to their often unusual or subtle symptoms. Thus many people suffer for several years before being diagnosed and are unfortunately in a precarious state of health at the time of diagnosis.
Studies estimate that for every person diagnosed with Celiac Disease, five or six others do not know they have the condition, with many being adults experiencing no gastro-intestinal symptoms.
The diagnosis of celiac disease includes a medical questionnaire, serological tests and an intestinal biopsy. Genetic tests (HLA) can also be undertaken. The diagnosis will be established according to the attending physician’s judgment and depending on the data collected.
It’s important to continue eating gluten throughout the entire process, from visiting the doctor until the diagnosis.
Without being diagnosed, some people opt for a gluten-free diet because they notice a reduction of their discomforts when they remove gluten, completely or in part, from their diet.
The consequences can be numerous:
Celiac disease must not be taboo in the affected person’s family since it is hereditary and can develop at any age. Family members should therefore advise their doctor.
The Fondation québéquoise de la maladie coeliaque (FQMC) (Quebec Foundation for Celiac Disease) is a charitable organization whose mission is to make gluten-free living simpler and safer.