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Message from the Minister of Health – Food Allergy and Digestive Disease Awareness Month

Message from the Minister of Health – Food Allergy and Digestive Disease Awareness Month

statement

May 2, 2024 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada

In Canada, more than 3 million people live with food allergies, while nearly 400,000 people face the challenges of celiac disease. As May approaches, we recognize Food Allergies and Celiac Disease Awareness Month and their effects, including the doubts and anxiety associated with them.

Having an allergic reaction can be frightening and requires immediate action. In severe cases, symptoms can quickly worsen, putting your life or the life of a loved one at risk. The unpredictability of severe reactions adds another factor of concern, as symptoms can vary from case to case.

Health Canada has created a list of allergens that are commonly associated with potentially serious food allergies and therefore must be listed on the label when used as ingredients. These are nuts, wheat, sulfites, eggs, milk and peanuts. Knowing which foods you are allergic to is essential to protecting yourself and taking precautions, such as carrying an epinephrine auto-injector as prescribed by your doctor. We can all help support and protect those around us with serious allergies.

Although it is not considered a food allergy, celiac disease is characterized by adverse reactions to grains containing gluten and presents its own challenges. Symptoms can vary greatly in severity, making diagnosis difficult. From digestive discomfort to delayed growth, symptoms can appear differently depending on age groups.

People with celiac disease should follow a strict gluten-free diet, read labels carefully, and avoid cross-contamination when preparing food to protect their health. Celiac disease lasts a lifetime.

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If you think you or a loved one may have developed a food allergy or celiac disease, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional because they will be able to advise, support, test and suggest interventions that can change your life. Remember that you are not alone in this ordeal.

For more information about Food allergies and celiac disease, we invite you to visit our website.

The Honorable Mark Holland, PC, MP

Contacts
Christopher Aoun
Press attaché
Office of His Excellency Mark Holland
Minister of Health
613-291-4176

Media relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
[email protected]