Welcome GFAF Expo Friends!


Shout out to the Gluten & Allergen Free (GFAF) Expo and Secaucus, NJ!

You sure know how to party!

Had a great time meeting everyone and checking out all of the new products.

My head is still spinning and I haven’t finished eating my way through my swag bag goodies!



Thanks to everyone who signed up for my newsletter so that we can keep in touch and bought my book, A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth About Food Allergies—Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

I must say that what really struck me when speaking with so many of you (I think they estimated 2,000-3,000 people over the course of the weekend) was

1. the varied presentation of your gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease

2. the delay in your diagnosis.


Why do you think that is?


I met people who presented with migraines, belly pain, endometriosis flare-ups, and “brain fog” just to name a few.

Many people told me that their diagnosis was delayed 5-10 years!


I thought I’d share a few stats about Celiac Disease from the University of Maryland Medical Center but first, check out these products!




For more pictures, check out my GFAF Expo Pinterest board!

Okay, now for some facts….

(Information below from the University of Maryland Medical Center .)


Celiac disease is a condition that creates inflammation in the small intestine, and damage in the lining. This prevents important components of food from being absorbed. The damage to the lining of the intestine comes from a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and possibly oats.


The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown.


The symptoms of celiac disease can be different from person to person. This can make diagnosis difficult. For example, one person may have constipation, a second may have diarrhea, and a third may have no problem with stools.

Gastrointestinal symptoms include:

Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or indigestion


Decreased appetite (may also be increased or unchanged)

Diarrhea, either constant or off and on

Lactose intolerance (common when the person is diagnosed, usually goes away after treatment)

Nausea and vomiting

Stools that are foul smelling, oily, or and stick to the toilet when flushed

Unexplained weight loss (although people can be overweight or of normal weight)

Other problems that can develop over time because the intestines do not absorb key nutrients include:

Easy bruising

Depression or anxiety


Growth delay in children

Hair loss

Itchy skin with a rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)

Missed menstrual periods

Mouth ulcers

Muscle cramps and joint pain



Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

Unexplained short height

Children with celiac disease may have:

Defects in the tooth enamel and changes in tooth color

Delayed puberty

Diarrhea, constipation, fatty or foul-smelling stools, nausea, or vomiting

Irritable and fussy behavior

Poor weight gain

Slowed growth and shorter than normal height for their age


Celiac disease cannot be cured…Do not eat foods and beverages or take medicines that contain wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.


LOTS of symptoms which likely cause a delay in diagnosis.  Knowledge is key!

For more pictures, check out my GFAF Expo Pinterest board!



So how did your gluten intolerance, celiac disease or food allergies present?

How long until you were diagnosed?



Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources and author of A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies — Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.



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