What is Celiac Disease?

Many grocery stores and restaurants have begun offering gluten-free choices in recent years, and it has been due to many studies coming out on the matter. With so many reviews coming out, what’s real and what’s not becomes a little confusing. What’s without a doubt, however, is that gluten (a protein) can cause allergic reactions in many people, and that’s why there’s an increasing demand for gluten-free food.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder which causes an adverse reaction to ingesting gluten. Symptoms are primarily felt in the gastrointestinal area and may include cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. Symptoms are not limited to just the stomach area, however. Over 200 symptoms have been reported, including bone and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, rashes, and behavioral changes. Some reports are far more severe, with reactions that include stunted growth and infertility in rare cases.

Seeing as celiac disease is genetically inherited, family members and relatives are very likely to have it. Although it is rare, and only about 1% of the population is prone to having it, just a mere 17% of those who are likely to get celiac disease have been diagnosed. There is no real treatment or cure for celiac disease; the only solution is to maintain a gluten-free diet. Although research is continually being conducted in search of a cure, treatment, or medication, there is still no better solution in the present day than avoiding gluten in one’s diet.

Gluten sensitive or non-celiac wheat sensitivity is a very similar issue which is a little more confusing. It is not an autoimmune reaction like celiac disease, and there are no real tests or tell-tale signs that can help identify it. The only real way to figure out if one is gluten sensitive is the same as with celiac disease; cut out gluten and see the results. If there is an improvement by stopping ingestion of all gluten, then you can safely assume you have a gluten sensitivity. Cutting gluten is the only treatment for someone with celiac disease.

It’s not easy to tell if one has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The symptoms can be very unnoticeable to one who is unaware of gluten’s possible effects. In some cases where it’s more severe, the disease might be more apparent, otherwise, it can go undetected. It can often be chalked up to indigestion, overeating, or one of many other issues. The best way to find out if you have celiac disease is to speak to a healthcare professional. Your doctor is the best person to help you get a diagnosis and find out whether or not you have celiac disease. For those with celiac disease, there are many cookbooks and recipes available that can help with your symptom flare-ups. Wheat substitutes can be just as enjoyable as the “real thing,” and most find they can enjoy the same flavors as those who are allowed wheat in their diet. 

 

How the Military Makes a Divorce More Difficult

Whether civilian or military, divorce is a difficult decision. But how does military divorce differ from civilian divorce? According to Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., “Military divorces are subject to greater scrutiny and regulation than their civilian counterparts,” since both the state and federal courts look at military divorce. Because of this, it is important to know your legal rights in cases of military divorce.

Supreme Court Ruling

Ameriforce explains how a recent Supreme Court ruling clarified property rights in military divorce settlements. The case involved John and Sandra Howell, an airforce couple, who divorced in 1991. In 1991, John was just one year away from retirement, and the divorce decree stated that Sandra would receive 50 percent of his military retirement pay.

John decided to give up $250 of his $1,500 retirement pay to receive that amount in tax-free disability benefits. In 2005, Sandra went to court, and an Arizona family court decided that Sandra should receive half of the $1,500 before the disability benefits. After appealing the decision, John took his case to the Arizona Supreme Court, which sided with Sandra on the basis that federal law “did not pre-empt the family court’s order.” However, the US Supreme Court overturned the Arizona Supreme Court decision this May.

Pros and Cons

What does this decision mean for the ex-spouses in military divorce? The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) lauded the Supreme Court for “‘providing some much needed consistency’ in how the 1982 Uniformed Service Member’s Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is applied to divorce settlements nationwide.” Arizona was not the only state that required military retirees to pay for a former spouse’s lost retirement income based on a VA waiver.

Other organizations that support military spouses foresee ex-spouses receiving a smaller portion of military pensions since retirees are incentivized to waive military retirement pay for tax-free disability benefits. Lisa Colella, president and CEO of Healing Household 6, fears financial repercussions for ex-spouses, stating, “You will have all these specialty cases now where there is no way to determine them case by case…I think that is an unfair assessment for those families. Those families weren’t thought of when this ruling was made.’”

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) agrees with Colella that the ruling “clearly illustrates the unfairness” of reducing ex-spouse payout for VA disability compensation. Ising the Supreme Court ruling, MOAA is lobbying for a more fair solution for all parties involved.

While divorce is already difficult, this recent Supreme Court ruling makes it even more trying for the ex-spouses of military personnel. Although greater consistency is a positive, the overgeneralized ruling of the Supreme Court has serious consequences. As Mark Sullivan, a lawyer and retired Army Reserve JAG colonel, states, the ruling represents the “‘the death of indemnification,’ which is the ability of a court to increase a former spouse’s share of military retirement pay to make up for a loss in benefits if the service member elects to receive offsetting VA disability pay.”    

Equal Pay Act Addresses Sex-based Discrimination

Learn moreMoney isn’t everything, but when it comes to compensation for work it matters a great deal. When sex-based discrimination rears its ugly head in the workplace, the hardest hit are the pocketbooks of its victims. This issue of inequality was the basis for the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

Women and other groups who have historically experienced inequality in pay are the primary beneficiaries of theEPA. The law mandates that all employees in the same company, regardless of gender, should be given the same compensation if they are doing essentially the same job. The job titles may differ, but the basis for comparison is the job description. For example, if employee A is called a sales coordinator and employee B is called a customer liaison, but they both solicit orders from prospective clients, then they essentially do the same work and should be given the same compensation.

The EPA covers not only salary but other types of monetary compensation as well. These include bonuses, stock options, life insurance, overtime pay, representation allowances, profit sharing, vacation and holiday pay, and other benefits. If there is a substantial discrepancy between two employees doing the same work, the employer may increase the pay of one to match the other, but may not reduce compensation of either employee in any way.

Sex-based discrimination may manifest itself in the workplace in a number of ways, but compensation is something that is clearly documented and can be checked. If there is any sex-based discrimination when it comes to pay, it is typically easy to prove.

Any violation of the EPA may be directly filed with the court by the concerned party; there is no need to first file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In general, workplace discrimination claims must first go through either the EEOC or the state commission (which in New York is the New York City Commission on Human Rights) before a claim can be made in court.

A case under the EPA, as well as for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which also protects people against sex-based discrimination, must be filed in civil court within two years from the time of the alleged violation. A claimant under the EPA may also file a case under Title VII at the same time. An experienced sex-based discrimination lawyer can determine the pros and cons of this.

If you have experienced discrimination because of your sex, make sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t have to suffer through the complexities of the law alone.

Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death

Trucking accidents are a serious concern for motorists. Every day, drivers across the country share the road with large commercial trucks. The problem is that the size and power that these vehicles can have make the risk of an accident occurring a serious concern. Unlike other types of automobile accidents, those involving large trucks frequently have the potential to cause permanent injury or death.

The impact that a loved one’s death from a truck accident can have on a family can be devastating, particularly if the deceased played an important role in helping to financially support his or her loved ones. The costs of any medical treatment which may have been sought, as well as funeral expenses and the loss of income which the individual may have provided, can all take a serious toll on the well-being, both emotional and otherwise, of the survivors.

It is for this reason that many families take legal action in an attempt to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. A case from Texas, for example, in which a driver was struck and killed by a truck attempting to make a dangerous return to the road after having been forced off by another vehicle, illustrates how families can seek justice for this type of tragic loss.

Daniel Rhodes was killed in 2011 following a collision with a truck carrying dangerous explosive materials. His family was represented by the lawyer Jim Hart, working for the law firm Williams Kherkher, who argued that with proper training, the driver never would have attempted such a dangerous maneuver. As a result, the family was awarded $11 million in damages by the jury overseeing the case, illustrating the degree to which families may be able to recover compensation for the costs that their loss can have.

Dining in The Woodlands, Texas

The food scene in Houston has been taking on the spotlight, lately. With its diverse culture and increasing sophistication, the Houston food scene has started to develop its kind of unique taste and flavor. According to John T. Edge, renowned author and food enthusiast, Houston’s food is special because of its “connectivity between ethnic… and white table cloth restaurants, a connectivity that is both respectful and consultative”. The diversity of food is not only centered on Houston though, because 32 miles up, The Woodlands have their own contribution and variety of Houston flavor.

Just as with Houston, The Woodlands offers a selection of food choices, all depending on what you want to eat at the moment. From European cuisine to exotic Asian dishes, you will surely find what you are craving for in this quite little community. Visiting it without tasting the numerous restaurants and cafés would be such a waste of a trip. Aside from the fast food and familiar restaurants and diners that you find all over the United States, The Woodlands is also booming with a fast-growing fusion of flavors as diversity-driven entrepreneurs take advantage of the thriving community.

Along with the expansions and developments going on in The Woodlands, it has also opened up to a multitude of restaurants. Among the more familiar ones are the “Mi Cocina” located at The Woodlands Waterway, where diners can enjoy an array of enchiladas and tacos but not before sampling the classing house margarita. If you are yearning for Chinese food, then you can head on out to “Ace Chinese Restaurant” for some classic Chinese cuisine. “The Black Walnut Café” is also a great option for early birds who want to have their own made-to-order kolaches along with the classic stacks of pancakes. For those looking for the taste of the South, “Jasper’s” would be a good place to go, elegantly served food where you won’t be shy to get your face messy from enjoying the food.

There are a number of other options for your appetite. Whether you are craving for a juicy steak or seeking pizza to eat with your friends, the options seem limitless at The Woodlands. As the booming food scene in Houston sweeps the country, The Woodlands is not far behind.