By Irene Thompson
The CCA national conference in Calgary from May 30 to June 1st was a fun event with great speakers. The venders were mostly from the local area. It was so nice to be reunited with board members that I worked with and fellow celiac friends The banquet on Saturday evening was a feast of Alberta steak with all the trimmings followed by a group of local line dancers.
Below are some photos I took while I was there.
As for the 2015 conference, due to continued lack of attendance, there will be a hiatus while the board explores the feasibility of future events and what other options are available to share the latest research updates.
Conference in a Nutshell (courtesy Halton Peel Chapter)
Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director for the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment in Boston spoke spoke on “Celiac Disease – Managing, Monitoring and Research”. Following 70 years of science and research on CD, we were updated on 7 milestones. His keynote address included causes of celiac disease, new criteria for diagnosis and a look at what the future holds for diagnosis and potential alternative treatments.
Members of the CCA’s National Education Committee presented the new online course which was launched over the weekend. This course is designed for all food handlers (hospitals, long term care facilities, day cares, school cafeterias, restaurants, etc.) and focuses on Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and the Gluten-Free Diet. A certificate of completion is available.
Abeer Alzaben, is a graduate student & researcher working with Dr. Diana Mager, University of Alberta. She spoke on a New Study – “How the gluten-free diet influences quality of life and what factors influence the quality of nutritional intake in children and adolescents with Celiac disease.” Many adolescents have a diet that is low in vitamins D and K and in calcium which can lead to early onset of osteoporosis. They also have a high glycemic load which can lead to diabetes and obesity. An increase intake of fruits and vegetables will lower their long term disease risk.
Dr. David Hanley, University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine spoke on “Osteoporosis and Celiac Disease”. Celiac Disease is a risk factor for Osteoporosis due to nutritional deficiencies of poor calcium and fatty acid uptake, lactose intolerance, and vitamin D resistance. After diagnosis of CD, nutritional deficiencies need to be treated. It is best to get calcium from your diet but supplements can give additional support.
Justine Dowd, PhD Candidate, University of B.C. spoke on “Successful Strategies for Living Gluten-Free”. Poor adherence to the GF diet may be due to anger, embarrassment and feelings of isolation. Steps to successful strategies include:
- self-monitoring: what am I currently doing?
- setting goals: motivations to follow the diet
- developing coping strategies at home, when at work/school and when eating out
- put goals into action: e.g. menu plans, grocery lists, take lunch to work/school
- follow-up: look back and reassess
Dr. Joseph Murray, Minnesota Mayo Clinic, Rochester spoke on “Celiac Disease – Management following Diagnosis”. Doctors should:
- explain the disease
- strongly advocate a strict GF diet for life
- refer to an expert dietitian
- check the bone density
- identify and treat nutritional deficiencies
- encourage joining a support group
- follow-up serology in 6 months
- re-biopsy in 1 – 2 years
Heather Galipeau, J. A. Campbell Recipient – 2012 Young Investigator Award, works with Dr. Verdu at McMaster University where they are looking at the role of microbiota in our guts and doing animal studies with mice. An imbalance of gut bacteria can lead to inflammatory diseases such as CD, while some gut bacteria may be protective against CD. They are also researching a potential new drug called Elafin which is hoped to reduce gut permeability.