It’s comforting to know there’s help when you need it most. And in the beginning stages of learning about and following a gluten-free diet, you may find that connecting with a support chapter near you can be beneficial in many areas. Even if you don’t utilize an organization’s services through a membership that usually comes with a nominal fee, just knowing they’re there to help you when you need it is reassuring.
But as with any resource, it’s optimal to know what they offer and how you can benefit. Below is a list of some of the many services and benefits you can receive by being a member of a national organization, a local chapter, or by simply visiting a professional organization’s Web site.
• Guidelines for starting and following a gluten-free diet
• Lists of ingredients to avoid
• The latest news on celiac disease research, food labeling rules and regulations, the oats debate, and more
• Health materials and explanations of the condition and symptoms
• Lists of gluten-free products that have been researched and determined to be safe
• Lists of physicians and gastroenterologists in your area that specialize in celiac disease
• Lists of restaurants in your area that are gluten-free aware and offer gluten-free menus
• Lists of gluten-free cookbooks
• Gluten-free recipes
• Volunteer opportunities and new gluten-free friends
• Special events, conferences, and food fairs
• Chapter meetings, classes, and more!