Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the House a disease that is not at all exciting or high profile but which is tragic all the same. The week of October 2 to 8 has been designated as Celiac Awareness Week by the Canadian Celiac Association.
Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten, a common substance found in all bread, wheat, rye and oat products. The result is an inability to absorb nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals vital to growth and normal health.
Celiac disease affects 20,000 Canadians. It is a lifelong condition whose treatment involves a gluten free diet. That means these people cannot eat pastas, breads, or any other baked goods containing any source of gluten whatsoever.
The Canadian Celiac Association promotes awareness of celiac disease. It offers services to alleviate problems faced by persons with celiac disease in obtaining expedient diagnosis and accurate information and support.
I wish to take this opportunity to salute the Canadian Celiac Association for its efforts on behalf of a disease which is not a high profile one.