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Appetite for Awareness

The gluten-free diet isn’t just a fad. It’s a medically necessary treatment—currently, the only treatment—for celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease.

Celiac disease is triggered by consuming the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye.

When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the protein interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food by damaging a part of the small intestine called villi. Damaged villi make it nearly impossible for the body to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, leading to malnourishment and a host of other problems including some cancers, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, infertility and the onset of other autoimmune diseases.

Intestinal villi comparison

Celiac Disease Awareness Facts:

  • An estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease can affect men and women of all ages and races.6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
  • Over a four-year period, people with undiagnosed celiac disease cost an average of $3,964 more than healthy individuals. (Source: Long et al, 2010)
  • 5-22% of people with celiac disease have an immediate family member (first-degree relative) who also has celiac disease.
  • There are no pharmaceutical treatments or cures for celiac disease.
  • 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac disease today.
  • The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease. (Source: Datamonitor Group, 2009)

Download icon Download: The Gluten-Free Diet Overview


Download icon Download: The Beyond Celiac Getting Started Guide

Help Spread Awareness about Celiac Disease

Help raise awareness by distributing the Beyond Celiac “Do I Have Celiac” brochures to doctors’ offices, grocery stores, pharmacies and more!

Request free brochures for distribution by filling out the following form:

Appetite for Awareness Events

Since the inaugural event, Beyond Celiac has hosted over 8,000 members of the celiac disease community and their families at Appetite for Awareness events at notable locations in Philadelphia.

It all started at the Wells Fargo Center in 2008 with 35 chefs from renowned restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia area paired with the area’s top doctors to create and serve gluten-free dishes for all attendees to sample.

Appetite for Awareness became a unique and captivating way to raise funds to support research while raising awareness of celiac disease and educating both restaurateurs and healthcare professionals about the seriousness of this serious disorder.

This event brought a surge of gluten-free menus in restaurants throughout the area and increased the rate of diagnosis of this serious genetic autoimmune disease.

Over the years, these events each showcased 35-40 top chefs working with healthcare professionals and representatives of the media to demonstrate that gluten-free can be delicious and healthy.

Appetite for Awareness = Charitable fundraising services for promoting research, education, awareness and other activities relating to celiac disease.

Think you may have celiac disease?

Symptoms Checklist