People urged to ‘Think Coeliac’ amid challenging times as Society celebrates 50 years helping thousands live gluten free.
The Coeliac Society of Ireland is urging people suffering from undiagnosed gastro issues to ‘Think Coeliac’ to help combat the ongoing issue of misdiagnosis of the disease.
That’s the theme of Coeliac Awareness Week 2020 (11th-17th May), during which the Society will mark its 50th anniversary at a time when coeliacs are in lockdown or cocooning to protect against infection with coronavirus.
An estimated 50,000 people in Ireland have coeliac disease – that’s around one in every 100 people – yet as many as 37,000 are thought to be undiagnosed. Symptoms such as indigestion, abdominal pains, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, unexplained nausea and vomiting, anaemia, fatigue and weight loss are often mistaken for other issues, particularly when these symptoms are not severe.
Much has improved around the understanding of coeliac disease since the Society started in 1970 with one person in an office and phone in Dublin in 1970, yet the problem remains that many people still struggle to receive a timely diagnosis.
Covid-19 has changed the nature of this year’s Coeliac Awareness Week. Live events and fundraising is cancelled but the Society has a busy schedule of online activity, including advice and dietetic sessions, a Ready Steady Cook gluten-free recipe competition, as well as dozens of members of all ages who have shared their coeliac stories about living with the disease.
“GPs and health professionals need to ‘Think Coeliac’. Routine testing of patients who present with gastro issues – it’s as simple as ticking a box when ordering blood tests – could alleviate much sufferer caused by years of misdiagnosis.”
Take our online diagnosis test to see if you should be tested for coeliac disease.