Nonprofit organization announces its plan for supporting research for expanding treatments and finding a cure for this serious autoimmune condition.
Ambler, PA – April 27, 2017 – May is Celiac Awareness Month, an opportunity to inform the general public about a serious genetic autoimmune disease that affects nearly 1% of the population in the United States. Beyond Celiac, a national patient advocacy organization, is taking the opportunity to raise awareness about the struggles faced by those with the disease, and to elevate awareness for the need for more research.
Beyond Celiac developed its new the mission statement in response to input from the celiac disease community, medical and scientific advisors and its 13 years of advocacy experience. As an evidence-based organization, Beyond Celiac relies on credible science to drive the education of its community as well as advocate for changes that will improve the quality of life for everyone with celiac disease. Today, a medically-necessary gluten-free diet, which requires abstinence from wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives, is the only available treatment. Despite strict adherence to the gluten-free diet, recent research shows that up to one-third of people with celiac disease continue to experience intestinal damage caused by the body’s immune response to gluten.
Since its founding in 2003, Beyond Celiac has played a key role in increasing the rate of diagnosis, making more gluten-free foods available on mainstream store shelves and supporting the community in managing the disease. With mounting evidence that the gluten-free diet is not enough to stop persistent intestinal damage, which leads to a host of serious health issues, such as depression, anxiety, infertility, migraines, osteoporosis and even certain cancers, Beyond Celiac has turned its formidable influence to conquering the disease all together.
In 2017, Beyond Celiac is building an on-line community to make sure that people with celiac disease are active participants in research efforts aimed at improving their quality of life. This includes accelerating potential treatments beyond the gluten-free diet, and potentially discovering a cure.
“Beyond Celiac is fostering a community where research scientists, medical professionals and people with celiac disease have the same focus and respect for each other’s roles in moving the field forward,” said Alice Bast, CEO of Beyond Celiac.
Until science has advanced an effective treatment beyond the gluten free diet for celiac disease, Bast says Beyond Celiac will remain vigilant in pushing for increased access to safe, gluten-free food options to help people manage their celiac disease. “We will continue to be a trusted resource to the community until a cure is found.”
For the month of May and in commemoration of Celiac Awareness Month, Beyond Celiac is launching the “What I Wish You Knew” campaign. Through social media and on-line resources that include a series of podcasts, an infographic, an ecookbook and more, people in the celiac disease community will have resources to share with the friends and family members to raise awareness about celiac disease as much more than a collection of manageable symptoms. Visit www.BeyondCeliac.org or www.facebook.com/beyondceliac
About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a serious, genetic, autoimmune disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, 83% of whom are still undiagnosed. The disease causes debilitating symptoms, and if left untreated, can lead to serious long-term health problems including infertility and some types of cancer.
Beyond Celiac unites with patients and partners to drive diagnosis, advance research and accelerate the discovery of new treatments and a cure.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Beyond Celiac envisions a world in which people with celiac disease can live healthy lives with freedom from social stigma and fear of gluten exposure – A world Beyond Celiac.
Media Contact: Claire Baker, Beyond Celiac, 267-419-2111, cbaker@BeyondCeliac.org