What does Celiac Awareness Mean to Me?

This was the question rolling around in my mind today, as I was enjoying a rare few hours to myself, brain singing. I have to brain sing ‘row row row your boat’ over and over again in my head to try to create enough chaos to shut it down, obviously it didn’t work. With less than two weeks left, I started asking myself, am I doing enough? What else can I do to reach more people?


Celiac Awareness to me is a chance for the community to come together with one streamlined theme and educate that message around the globe. This is a time to support each other, have open conversation and invite debate. I feel spoiled living inside my celiac bubble of wonderful people I talk to everyday. I forget sometimes that there are over 300 million people in this country who have no reason to care about gluten or celiac disease.

So, why should they educate themselves about it?
‘Because we say so’ does not really apply here… Or does it?

Advocates fill our community who are researching, writing and educating tirelessly everyday for little to no pay. So, since money does not drive us, why do we do it? We do it because it needs to be done and we are part of the solution. Though, that solution can vary depending on who you ask…

The celiac community does agree on a few things; we all want to eat safely, without fear and to stay healthy. With the increase of awareness and casualties in the last 2 1/2 years, doctors should be more informed about our disease and possible symptoms. Receiving a celiac diagnosis or ruling out CD is not happening often enough before people go gluten free. Not to mention, not very many who are living GF now, would go back to eating gluten for testing purposes.  

With only 15% to date having a confirmed diagnosis, 60% of that are women.  More men need to get tested earlier and not ignore the possible symptoms; especially if other family members have been diagnosed.

How can we accomplish this as a COMMUNITY?  By putting our feelings aside for the greater good and passing one message, one tag line that everyone (or a whole heck of a lot of people) share.  Like, Ellen’s picture from the Oscar’s crashed twitter because it was retweeted so often in such a short period of time. It was also mentioned on the news, talk shows, the picture was seen everywhere. Making history with community support. That sounds like a pretty great idea to me.

Change starts one person at a time creating a domino effect of education passed through the masses. This movement is happening now, how can we celebrate Celiac Awareness for ourselves and reach as many people as possible? What would your #Hashtag be?

About Kirsten Berman GlutenFreeGal

GlutenFreeGal living with Celiac Disease and Changing the American Food System
one person at a time


  1. Love your blog. Thank you for saying thank you for a normally thankless job. It’s just nice to hear it once in awhile, that what we do is helping someone out there.


  2. I love this post, K! And I’m rolling around in my head the idea of one tag… What I like most here is definitely the focus on community though, and how a positive approach to spreading the message while supporting each other really does make an impact.

    I like Taylor’s #PositiveCeliac tag, but on deeper thought, it’s not really the one to reach a non-celiac audience. “Gluten-free not fad” has been a good tagline of sorts. But it would be brilliant to incorporate the fact that gluten-free is a PRESCRIPTION more than a diet. That, I believe, might really reach a broader community with the facts of celiac.


  3. Melinda says:

    I think is a great idea, the need to come together as a community with one cohesive thought. Unfortunately I don’t have any ideas right now but will give it some thought. Great post!


  4. What a great and thoughtful post! It is pretty amazing when I think back to last year before I was diagnosed when I had absolutely no idea what “gluten” or “celiac” meant. I’m not sure about the perfect hashtag, but maybe something like #glutenfreeisourmed, #glutenfreeheals, #spreadglutenfree, #knowgluten (I like this one because I’m partial to puns – “know” about gluten and “no” gluten). Thanks for tagging me on twitter so I could read! Let me know of anything more that I can do!


  5. Jackie Simmons says:

    What a heartfelt post. I think sometimes our community forgets it is a community as everyone pulls in different directions. This is a great idea to bring one voice.


  6. I really like this post! Bringing awareness is key…and it also makes our gluten-free lifestyle a little easier.


  7. The main/biggest issue right now is people not knowing what celiac disease is, or they are confused about it, call it an allergy, etc. To spread awareness about celiac disease people should first know what it is and what it is not so maybe….. #whatsceliac or #whatisceliac The core problem right now is “what is celiac disease?” I am sure we all get the same response of the time, “whats that?’


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