Luncheon on Feb. 24 to Explore Celiac Disease, Gluten-free Diets

PALMER — Many people are on gluten-free diets, either due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or just because they think it’s healthier.

The community is invited to attend a luncheon program titled “Separating Facts from Fad: Gluten-free Diets,” presented by Dr. Harbir Sawhney, gastroenterologist from Baystate Medical Practices – Mary Lane Gastroenterology on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer.

“Dr. Sawheny will discuss celiac disease, gluten-free diets, and all things gastrointestinal,” said Susan Fontaine, senior coordinator of Loyalty Programs at Baystate Health. “Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which the body can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats.

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of the population, has celiac disease.

“If you need to cut gluten from your diet, it may seem difficult, but there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free,” said Fontaine, noting that the program will include a gluten-free bag lunch.

The program is sponsored by Baystate Health Senior Class and will include lunch at no cost. Space is limited, and registration is required by calling Baystate Health Link at (800) 377-4325. For more information about the Senior Class Loyalty Program, visit