With Celiac awareness on the rise, more and more people are getting tested and properly diagnosed. Many people have lived with troubling symptoms for years before getting a doctor to order the correct tests and give a formal diagnosis. Once people receive their diagnosis, they can cut gluten from their lives, allow their bodies to heal and feel better than they have in years.
Current studies predict that 1 out of 100 Americans have celiac, that is over 3 million Americans, and of those, 97% are undiagnosed. The longer an individual goes with undiagnosed celiac, the greater their risk to develop other serious illnesses.
On average, a child will visit 8 pediatricians before being correctly diagnosed with celiac disease.
As a result The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center offers a free blood screening every October. This year, it will be held October 10, 2009. Pre-registration is required, and opens September 1, 2009. Please call 773.702.7593 to register. The free blood screening will take place on the 4th floor of The University of Chicago Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine.
The free blood screening will be sponsored by Prometheus Laboratories, who will also be available to help answer questions. In addition, there will be exhibitors onsite who cater to the gluten-free community.
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center also has a gluten-free care package program for newly diagnosed patients with celiac*. The program was initiated in 2001 and provides a care package of gluten-free goods, product samples and information on diet and support groups to help newly diagnosed patients with celiac begin a gluten-free lifestyle.
*The gluten-free care package program is available to people who have been diagnosed with celiac, by biopsy, within the past 3 months. A biopsy, by endoscopy, is the “gold standard” in celiac diagnosis, and is usually performed after positive blood work.
For more info: Call The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center at 773.702.7593. For directions, please go here.
Author Information: Anne Steib, Chicago, IL