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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014

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Allegheny General Hospital Celiac Center and Gluten Intolerance Group Celebrate Gluten Free Lifestyle

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Local celiac disease experts are convening to help patients learn the ropes of gluten free living with advice, resources and tasty treats at a free seminar on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
 
Celebrating a Gluten Free Lifestyle will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North hotel in Mars. The event is free and no pre-registration is required, but participants are encouraged to bring a donation for local gluten free food banks.
 
Sponsored by Allegheny General Hospital’s (AGH) Celiac Center and the Gluten Intolerance Group of Western Pennsylvania, the workshop will feature samples of gluten free foods and discussions on celiac diagnosis and nutrition facilitated by adult and pediatric gastroenterologists and dietitians with special expertise in successful management of celiac disease.
 
There will be a series of talks geared toward addressing the needs of children, including: Nourishing Your Gluten Free Child: School Lunches and Afternoon Snacks, Challenges of  Celiac Disease in Children, and  Immune Dysregulation and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
 
Another series of talks will be focused on the needs of adults, featuring presentations on: The Mind-Body Connection: Strategies to Lessen the Stress of Living Gluten Free, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity- What Do We Know?, and Testing in Celiac Disease.
 
For the first time, the conference will also offer diagnostic testing for celiac disease. There is a fee for the blood test and registration is recommended for testing. Visit www.pittsburghceliac.org for additional details.
Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder in which the immune system responds abnormally to gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The resulting inflammation of intestinal lining interferes with absorption of vital nutrients from food. It is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten sensitive enteropathy.

For most people, following a gluten free diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. Improvement begins within days of starting the diet, but healing of the small intestine may take months to years.

 
“Every person is different, but the Celebrating a Gluten Free Lifestyle event will provide information on healthy eating for the entire family along with tips and product recommendations to help people enjoy their meals and snacks while avoiding hidden sources of gluten, cross contamination of foods and other issues that can undermine efforts to control celiac symptoms,” said Kofi Clarke, MD, Medical Director of the Celiac Center at Allegheny General Hospital.
 
Previously thought to be a rare disorder of childhood, celiac disease is now known to be a more common disorder affecting about 1 in 133 people. It impacts people of all ages and is associated with certain genetic markers and may run in families. Patients with celiac disease may be asymptomatic or experience abdominal pain, bloating, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, unexplained anemia and fatigue. They also may have bone or joint pain, bone loss, depression/ anxiety, numbness in hands and feet, menstrual disturbances, infertility, mouth sores, seizures, and skin rash.
 
For information call 412-359-8956 or 412-343-1802.
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