May is Celiac-Disease Awareness Month. Which might seem unnecessary, if the superfluity of “gluten free” labels and advertisements were any indication of people’s awareness of the disease. Gastroenterologist Norelle Rizkalla Reilly believes it’s quite clearly not. She directs the Celiac Disease Center’s pediatric program at Columbia University. Her understanding of public misconceptions comes not just from daily immersion in the world of gluten-related immune disorder, but from a careful analysis of the true window into our souls: our Google histories.On Friday she published the chart below in the Journal of Pediatrics:Google Search Term Popularity: “Celiac Disease” Versus “Gluten Free”“I thought that was particularly illustrative of how the popularity of this diet has increased, totally out of proportion to any sense of awareness of celiac disease,” Reilly told me, an air of exhaustion about her after a “particularly grueling” day in the clinic.There the foundation of her practice is careful, deliberate implementation of a gluten-free diet, so she has been concerned to see that therapy slip out of its serious medical context. For people with celiac disease, avoiding gluten is a medical necessity. Done carefully, it can take a person from incapacitated to symptom-free in short order, as the lining of the… Read full this story
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