Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Celiac Support Group

As most you know, support is essential when trying to lose weight. You need someone who has been there. You need others who can share their wisdom and experience when you are feeling at your lowest. Encouragement through the tough times is essential to keep yourself doing what it takes.

Support is just as important in other areas of life. Whether it be an addiction you are trying to overcome or a disease you or a loved one may be dealing with, you sometimes need help. Just knowing you aren't alone can be such a relief. That's why I glad to bring a special support group to your attention - The Celiac Support Group.

Some facts about Celiac Disease:

Did you know that nearly 1 out of every 150 Americans suffer from Celiac Disease? This makes it twice a common as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined. And this disease doesn't discriminate. It will attack young and old alike.

Celiac Disease is a genetic disorder that causes symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, weakness, malnutrition, and other gastrointestinal issues. *People with celiac disease are unable to eat foods containing gluten, which is found in wheat and other grains. The gluten sets off an autoimmune reaction that causes the destruction of the villi in the small intestine. Celiac sufferers produce antibodies to attack the gluten, but the same antibodies also attack the intestine, causing damage and illness.

Long term consequences include malabsorption, osteoporosis, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders, and gynecological disorders. Researchers have also linked celiac disease to an increased risk of cancers, especially intestinal lymphoma.

Managed by a gluten free diet (void of wheat, rye, barely, oats, and other lesser known grains), celiacs can lean normal healthy lives, but there is no cure and no drugs to treat it. You can see why support is so vital for those suffering with this malady.

Thankfully support is available! The Celiac Support Group was created to compliment the regular offline groups and to help those who are unable to attend support meetings. They hope to serve as a hub for people and family who want to share their experiences and knowledge, ask questions and be around people who are facing the same challenges.

If you suffer from celiac disease, or know someone who does, please visit the Celiac Support Group. No one should ever feel alone.

*Information from www.umm.edu

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