WEST MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) — September 13 is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. This is a disease that many might be unfamiliar with.

Rachel Hanes, a registered dietitian, spoke about this disease. “Celiac disease is actually an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestines. There are many different symptoms that individuals will experience that suffer from celiac disease. So they will be sensitive to foods like wheat, barley, and rye.”

Hanes gave some tips on what to do if you think you have a gluten sensitivity. “Just be mindful of which foods contain gluten. Watch your symptoms after eating gluten and see if you notice a trend, and if you do then reach out to your doctor or registered dietitian, so they can help you with that process of elimination and see if testing is necessary.”

Gluten-free foods are becoming easier to find in grocery stores. Adam Jones even owns a completely gluten-free bakery called Butter.

Jones spoke on why it’s important to have gluten-free foods easily available. “By having lots of gluten-free options here, we hope to help bring the community together. Having celiac disease kind of limits a lot of people, prevents them from being able to go out to eat and socialize with their friends and family. So by having a restaurant here that offers a lot of options, we kind of unite the community and bring people back together.”