Canadian Celiac Association is Setting the Record Straight

Celiac Disease is Not Pretend

TORONTO, May 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- May is Celiac Awareness Month and the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is setting the record straight for Canadians suffering with celiac disease.

An increase in the popularity of gluten-free and gluten-reduced diets has driven accelerated product demand and availability, but it has also decreased general awareness of the severity of the disease and overall empathy towards those who suffer from it. This May the CCA and partner Promise Gluten Free will set the record straight, launching a compelling video with eight-year-old Sadie. Watch it here

“I have a disease. It’s not that rare, either. But it’s a disease other people pretend to have. They tell their friends and co-workers they have it. Some even really think they have it. But they don’t feel like I do. They don’t experience the pain that goes along with it. The weakness. The malnourishment. Their growth isn’t stunted like mine. And doctors didn’t lead them into believing it’s something else. And the more people who pretend to have it, the more people think I’m just pretending. Can you guess what it is?” – Sadie Thiffault, eight years old, a Canadian living with celiac disease.

To counter the misconceptions about celiac disease, the CCA is encouraging Canadians to visit where they can learn more about the signs and symptoms of the condition.

“We encourage those who believe they may have an issue with gluten to try our symptom checker and then have a discussion with their doctor,” says CCA National Executive Director Melissa Secord.

Currently, it takes 9.6 years on average for a person with celiac disease to be accurately diagnosed after experiencing their first symptom and 3.5 years from their initial physician visit.1

Throughout the month of May, the CCA is offering cooking demos, educational webinars, daily recipes, and more to celebrate Celiac Disease Awareness Month. On Sunday May 16, the international celiac community is coming together to #ShineALightOnCeliac. Iconic buildings and destinations across North America including Toronto’s CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and Vancouver’s Science World will be just some of the locations illuminated in green to raise awareness for celiac disease.

To learn more about Celiac Awareness Month and the #ShineALightOnCeliac initiatives, visit

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by the consumption of foods containing gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), affects 1 in every 133 Canadians, but currently about 80 percent of individuals with celiac disease remain undiagnosed.2

About the Canadian Celiac Association

The Canadian Celiac Association / L’Association canadienne de la maladie coeliaque, a volunteer-based federally registered charitable organization, empowers people who are adversely affected by gluten. It was founded in 1973 and continues to be a source of science-based information, fostering research and encouraging mutual support among the gluten-free community. The association serves people with celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten disorders through its affiliated chapters across Canada.

About Promise Gluten Free

Promise Gluten Free (GF) is a family business with over 50 years of baking experience. Their family of bakers have spent years crafting, tasting and refining their recipes so customers can enjoy GF baking without compromising on taste or quality. Made in a dedicated GF facility, Promise GF’s extended range of products include healthy breads, delicious brioche, decadent cakes and sweet treats, available online and in select retailers across Australia, Europe and North America.

  1. Delay to celiac disease diagnosis and its implications for health-related quality of life | BMC Gastroenterology | Full Text (
  2. Choung et al. Less hidden celiac disease but increased gluten avoidance without a diagnosis in the USA: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2009 to 2014. Mayo Clin Proc. 2018 June; Page 1-15.

Media Contact:

Angela Rotundo
P: 647-525-0030