Celiac Disease Awareness Month focuses on family member education

Lana Bandoim's picture
Celiac Disease awareness

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is focusing on family member education. If you have celiac disease, then you are probably aware of the difficulties in convincing other family members to get tested. However, the NFCA believes it is important to have the conversation and discuss the disorder.

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Researchers believe celiac disease has a genetic link, so it is essential that family members be tested for the condition. Their health depends on finding it before serious damage is done to their intestines. Although having one person in the family with the disorder does not guarantee that others will have it, it is still important not to ignore the issue. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has created a free discussion guide to give you tips on starting the conversation about testing.

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The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness recommends talking to your family immediately after you have been diagnosed. During the conversation, you should encourage them to get tested and explain that an early diagnosis can help prevent complications in the future. The NFCA suggests that they start by making an appointment with their doctor to discuss the celiac disease blood test. It recommends the Total IgA, IgA-tTG and IgA-EMA tests. In addition, the IgG/IgA-DGP and IgG-AGA tests are available. The NFCA points out that you should not go gluten-free before being tested because it affects the results. You must continue to consume gluten to get accurate results. In addition to the blood tests, you may need a biopsy of your small intestine.

Many people who have celiac disease face the frustration of family members who refuse to get tested. Although it may not be possible to change everyone’s mind, the NFCA encourages people to continue talking about the disease. It is also important to remember that celiac disease can appear at any age, and symptoms are not always obvious.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years

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