RESOLUTION CHAPTER _______

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 73—Relative to Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

ACR 73, Baker. Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

This measure would recognize May 2016 as Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

WHEREAS, Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when a person eats foods with gluten; and

WHEREAS, Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains, including wheat, rye, and barley, which individuals living with celiac disease need to avoid; and

WHEREAS, The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate; and

WHEREAS, Celiac disease is estimated to affect one in 100 people worldwide; and

WHEREAS, An estimated 2.5 million Americans who have celiac disease remain undiagnosed and at risk for long-term health complications; and

WHEREAS, Common symptoms of celiac disease include severe abdominal pain, severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, iron deficiency anemia, musculoskeletal problems, muscle cramps, seizures, tingling sensation in the legs, and depression; and

WHEREAS, Celiac disease can leave a person susceptible to additional health problems, including osteoporosis, miscarriage, infertility, growth problems in children affected by the disease because they do not absorb enough nutrients, and cancers of the digestive system; and

WHEREAS, People who have celiac disease may have other autoimmune diseases, including thyroid disease, type I diabetes, Crohn’s disease and colitis, and juvenile arthritis; and

WHEREAS, Some people with celiac disease have so much damage to their intestines that a gluten-free diet will not improve their condition, and these patients may need to receive nutritional supplements intravenously; and

WHEREAS, Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be a difficult change, as gluten is found in some products in which gluten is not naturally occurring; and

WHEREAS, Gluten is found in most processed foods, but it is also used in nonedible products such as lipsticks, vitamins, and medications; and

WHEREAS, Gluten-free food touching the same surface as gluten-containing food can cause cross-contamination that can be dangerous for someone with celiac disease by triggering celiac disease symptoms; and

WHEREAS, Awareness for celiac disease has grown significantly in recent years; and

WHEREAS, The development of new gluten-free food products has made it much easier for people with celiac disease to expand their dietary options; and

WHEREAS, Labeling of gluten-free products makes shopping easier for people with celiac disease; and

WHEREAS, Gluten-free restaurants, gluten-free menus, and the education of food handlers regarding celiac disease have given people living with celiac disease safer options for dining out; and

WHEREAS, Much progress has been made in recent years to educate people about celiac disease and identify ways to improve their quality of life; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That May 2016 be recognized as Celiac Disease Awareness Month; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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