This week is national Coeliac Awareness Week. Coeliac disease is a common condition where the person affected is intolerant to gluten, the protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. This means that eating anything with gluten in it will cause the sufferer to experience a reaction.
Symptoms of Coeliac disease include:
- Chronic Tiredness
- Stomach Pain & Bloating
For Coeliac’s, eating gluten causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged and this stops the nutrients from food being absorbed properly which can lead on to other conditions such as Osteoporosis, Malnutrition and Lactose Intolerance.
It’s important to remember that Coeliac disease is not a food allergy, it is an autoimmune disease and far more common than you might think. According to the HSE, as many as 1 in 100 people may suffer from it, with many of these cases going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Coeliac disease is not contagious and there is no cure for it, but it can be treated by changing your diet and excluding foods that contain gluten. If you have Coeliac disease it is very important to stick to a gluten free diet as eating even a tiny amount of gluten will cause symptoms to return.
So for day to day life this means being extra conscious of the ingredients that are in food and always checking food labelling. Even though awareness of Coeliac disease is growing it is still a good idea to call ahead when planning on eating out to ensure that the restaurant can safely cater for your needs.
There is also some government financial support available when purchasing gluten free foods. Tax Relief is available at the standard rate on special dietary gluten-free products that have been prescribed by your doctor and here at Sam McCauleys we can issue you with a receipt for claiming the tax back.