Jennifer Knauf had barely heard of celiac disease until five years ago, when both of her sons were diagnosed with it. Since then, she’s learned a lot about celiac disease, in which the body cannot process gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 2 million Americans are affected by celiac disease. Food allergies are even more common, and can be life-threatening. Knauf’s two sons both have inherited celiac disease. If they eat food containing gluten, they experience severe abdominal pain, Knauf said.
This Saturday, Knauf is holding her fourth exposition on food allergies and celiac disease, according to theWausau Daily Herald.” The expo will be held at The Patriot Center in Rothschild, Wisconsin. This year’s expo focuses on education, with sessions on emergency training, nutrition, and digestive health, along with food samples.
The first food allergy expo she organized was held at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in 2007. The idea grew out of a desire to find a way for kids, parents, and caregivers of those with food sensitivities to sample gluten-free and allergen-friendly food that is difficult to find in local stores. At the first fair, “More than 300 showed up, and I realized there’s a huge need for this,” Knauf said.