National Celiac Disease Awareness Day

National Celiac Disease Awareness Day - September 13

September 13th is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day.

September 13 is known as “National Celiac Disease Awareness Day” in honor of Dr. Samuel Gee, a leader in celiac disease research who was born on Sept. 13, 1839. He identified the link between celiac disease and diet.

Most of us have heard about this disease by now, but this article will help you understand more about it and how it impacts people who are living with it.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. People who suffer from it cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley (¹), amongst other substances.

The disease is treated by eliminating gluten. Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite. Did you know that gluten may be found in stamp and envelope adhesives, vitamins, and medicines? The person diagnosed with celiac disease must be careful to read labels and must be careful not to eat shared foods like baked goods brought into work unless the item is gluten-free.

Food-sharing is an innate way that we show our love for people we care about. Including others in times of celebration is an act of kindness.  

― Dr. Theresa Nicassio

What happens when people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten?

The immune system is activated when people with celiac disease eat gluten. The small, finger-like protrusions in the small intestine, called villi, get damaged. The function of these villi is to absorb nutrients from food. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, regardless of the quantity and quality of food eaten. (¹)

What causes celiac disease?

Researchers are not sure. They think that it is an autoimmune disease that has a genetic component. This means they believe it runs in families. It can be brought on by stress, pregnancy, a viral infection, or medication. Those affected by it usually remember the precise circumstances that triggered their symptoms to get worse.

What are some of the symptoms of celiac disease?

Here are some of them:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Weight loss
  3. Fatigue
  4. Irritability
  5. Chronic fatigue
  6. Bloating

Although more people are exhibiting:

  1. Anemia
  2. Constipation
  3. Infertility
  4. Osteoporosis
  5. Oral ulcers
  6. Reduced spleen size
  7. Vomiting
  8. Reduced liver enzymes (²)

How many people have celiac disease?

  • If you have a relative with celiac disease, you have a 1 in 22 chance of having it.
  • About 2 million people in the United States or 1 in 133 people have celiac disease.
  • In Italy, 1 in 250 people have it.
  • In Ireland, 1 in 300 people have it.
  • Recent studies show it may be affecting people in Africa, South America, and Asia. (³)

How is celiac disease treated?

Celiac disease is treated with a gluten-free diet. When you are initially diagnosed with it, your doctor will recommend working with a dietician to educate yourself on what you can and cannot eat. For most people, healing begins within days of starting a gluten-free diet. However, it takes time for the small bowel to completely heal.

“The small intestine is usually completely healed in three to six months in children and younger adults, and within two years for older adults. \’Healed\’ means a person now has villi that can absorb nutrients from food into the bloodstream.” (⁴)

Isn’t the body’s ability to heal, amazing? Look after your gut!

Where can you get more information about this disease?

  • The Celiac Disease Foundation:
  • Beyond Celiac:
  • NASPGHAN Foundation for Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition:
  • Celiac Support Association (CSA):

Did you know that you can find help here? From personal to professional well-being, connect with someone who can guide you to a happier, healthier, and whole life! Become a WU Friend today!

If you provide support or products that make the world a better place and help humanity live in health, happiness, and wholeness, join us as a WU World-Changer.

– The Wellness Universe



*Previously published on September 7, 2018

All information, content, and material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The information supplied through or on this page, or by any representative or agent of The Wellness Universe, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Health-related information provided through this website is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. The Wellness Universe reserves the right to remove, edit, move or close any content item for any reason, including, but not limited to, comments that are in violation of the laws and regulations formed pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. None of the posts and articles on The Wellness Universe page may be reprinted without express written permission.

An Amazon #1 Best Seller! The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care 25 Tools to Achieve Anything is the book that just might change everything for you. It’s like having 25 expert coaches rolled into one, each teaching you a practice or tool to help you achieve your goals. You’ll find techniques for mind, body, spirit, and soul. You’ll enjoy a multitude of topics and modalities that will assist with better sleep, spiritual magnificence, mindset mastery, enhanced intuition, balanced nutrition, and peak performance in every area of your life. 


Both e-Book & Paperback are available.

Complementary Journal - The Wellness Universe Self-Care Book Series

The Wellness Universe Complete Self-Care Notes & Companion Journals are here to support your self-care journey!

Enjoy a complimentary notes journal for each book The Wellness Universe has published. All books are available on Amazon in our Self-Care series.

The Wellness Universe is here to serve your best well-being. If you are experiencing anxiety, grief, overwhelm, guilt, anger, or seeking ways to cope and get help for stress, relationships, parenting, or any other issue during this challenging time, we have wonderful resources for you to connect with. Our WU Best Help members are offering reduced rates, sliding scale payment options, and even pro-bono sessions.
WU Best Help

The Wellness Universe invites you to SoulTreat Wellness Retreat for Mind, Body, and Spirit. Imagine yourself and your friends in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for self-care workshops, talks, and one-on-one experiences with wellness experts from around the globe this October.
Release what no longer serves you. Reset your mind, body, and soul.