May is a special month at imaware™. May is designated for Celiac Disease Awareness Month and Food Allergy Action Month. This week specifically is Food Allergy Awareness Week. We’re dedicated to providing at-home solutions for the celiac and allergic communities.
Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder that affects around 3 million people in the US, or about 1 percent of the nation’s population. People with celiac disease can become extremely sick when they consume gluten, a type of protein found in rye, barley, wheat and contaminated oats. Symptoms can include bloating, weight loss, fatigue, gas, diarrhea and other digestive distress, an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, depression and anxiety, and more. Some even say there are 300 symptoms of celiac disease - and they seem to manifest in everyone a little differently. Sadly, leading non-profit Beyond Celiac estimates that over 80% of Americans with celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
Left untreated, celiac disease can cause insurmountable damage to the lining of the small intestine, leading to malabsorption. The consequences are dire because prolonged malabsorption will likely result in anemia, osteoporosis, and other digestive complications, even lymphoma. Because of this, it’s important to be screened for celiac disease and diagnosed properly as soon as possible.
We were proud to launch the first at-home celiac disease screening test in 2018. Our imaware™ at-home celiac disease screening test. Like any serology (blood) screening you would get from your doctor’s office, our screening test includes the standard tTG-IgA, plus tTG-IgG, DGP-IgA & DGP-IgG biomarkers - all done in the comfort of your own home. The screening test should be taken while still on a gluten-full diet for accuracy.
Once on a strict gluten-free diet, our imaware™ at-home celiac disease monitoring test is perfect for those with a celiac disease diagnosis. This test can be used regularly to monitor your serology levels to ensure that you’re numbers are decreasing with time, an indicator of the healing process after a stringent gluten-free diet.
According to non-profit FARE, 32 million Americans are living with potentially life-threatening food allergies. A food allergy can be defined by the activation of antibodies to specific foods that cause the body to react in different ways ranging from mild to very serious reactions. Symptoms of a food allergic reaction include:
- Itchy, uncomfortable feeling
- A red, itchy rash
- Swollen tongue, throat, lips, roof of mouth and general face swelling
- Possible vomiting
A severe food allergic reaction might also involve anaphylaxis - a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
Food allergies can develop at birth or arise in adulthood. Scientists do not currently agree on how an allergy starts and why. Allergies are not specific to certain types of foods, but eight types of food are the most common allergenic foods - dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts.
We offer a test for IgE allergies that test over 60 allergens, including food allergens, as well as environmental allergens. This blood test can be administered at home with just the prick of a finger. Within 7 days, you’ll receive your results, and you can further investigate any positive allergens with a board certified allergist.