April 2010


Outside of my family, there are very few things that take precedence over celiac disease in my life. However, the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico has taken top billing. Today, for the first time , I truly understood the magnitude of the situation in the gulf. As you sit and read this post, thousands of gallons of oil are pouring, unrelenting, into the ocean. The wildlife has already started to show the after effects of the spill and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The latest estimates state that it will take  three months before we are able to dig another well and fill this current well with either mud or another substance to halt the flow. One can only imagine the health effects on the people in the region as well as the health of the ecosystem in this part of the gulf.

 It has been quite a bit of time since I wrote my last post as I was waiting to be inspired. This has not only inspired me, but sickened me. As we sit helplessly waiting for the higher-ups to figure out a solution, I cannot help but wonder how many generations will pay for this mistake?

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While in Chicago this afternoon, my family and I stopped at Water Tower Place to have a bite to eat. We went downstairs to Food Life as my children love to have control over the charge card for the different meals. For those who have never been, it is an area of numerous small carry out restaurants  at which you can order food and put it on “charge card” of sorts. There is a rather large eat in area and when you are done, you pay for everything (all cards in your party) in one lump sum. The area is included in the Lettuce Entertain you chain of restaurants. As it turns out, Lettuce Entertain you has really embraced the gluten-free lifestyle. Several of their establishments offer a gluten-free menu with many selections to choose from, Food Life being no exception. After speaking with one of the owners, Steve Hofferth, I came to find out that they are planning several more additions to the gluten-free menu over the coming months. He explained to me that having a gluten-free menu is as commonplace as having a children’s menu in the Lettuce Entertain You network.

  Lettuce Entertain You takes Celiac Disease/gluten-intolerance as seriously as it should be taken. Further, they understand that as more of us get diagnosed, there will be a shift in the market forces. Those prepared for this will reap the benefits. Good to know there is power in numbers!

For more information on Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, please go to www.leye.com.

It is that time of the year again, time for University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center yearly function. This year’s benefit is called Spring Flours and will be held on May 14 at 7pm at the Swiss Hotel on Wacker Drive. For those who never been to this function, it is a night filled with wonderful gluten-free food made by some of the finest chefs in Chicago. It also offers an evening of networking, making new friends and sharing stories/recipes with those around you. 

Another highlight of the evening is the silent auction. Every year I am flawed at the generosity of those bidding in the auction. This year’s prizes include  getaways to Sonoma, Door County and Michigan or tickets to Dancing with the Starts. The profits benefit the Celiac Disease Center where very important research is presently being conducted .

 The price per ticket for this incredible evening  is $150. You can visit www.celiacdisease.net or call (773)702-7593 to reserve by phone.  Those of us living with celiac disease are very blessed to have a world-class center such as this in our own backyard. Now is the time to band together and offer our support so that the great work they do may continue!

There is an excellent article published in this month’s Consultant magazine titled “Atypical Celiac Disease: Could You Be Missing This Common Problem?” (free registration required to read the article). The article stresses the importance of considering celiac disease as a multisystem autoimmune disorder rather than an afterthought in patients who have diarrhea.

As the Table below shows, celiac disease can affect neurological, endocrine, cardiac, hepatic, rheumatologic, skin, and genetic systems.

The author acknowledges that celiac disease can be considered one of our generation’s “great masqueraders.”