Spreading the word about coeliac disease

A SMALL but passionate group of Gympie people will get together tonight to help spread the word about coeliac disease.

The meeting of the Gympie Coeliac Support Group at Jonesy's on the Green at the Gympie Golf Club will mark the culmination of national Coeliac Awareness Week from March 13-20. This year's theme is Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired.

The meeting will be held at Jonesy's on the Green at the Gympie Golf Club at 6.30pm and will include a three-course gluten-free dinner.

To RSVP, phone group leader Tara Jeffocat on 0418 928 635.

Tara said the members met regularly at different locations around Gympie to share gluten free stories (good and bad) and any findings they had made.

"We are hoping to spread the word about the group and also get coeliac awareness out there in the Gympie community to make it easier for coelaic people to dine out in town with the reassurance they won't get sick," Tara said.

"A lot of people think going gluten free is a fad diet, however for coeliacs it is a disease and we have a requirement to ensure we don't eat gluten so we don't get bowel cancer."

• Half of Australians with coeliac disease experience seriously disruptive symptoms for more than three years before they are diagnosed by routine medical care according to new figures released by Coeliac Australia.

• are over a quarter of a million people living with undiagnosed coeliac disease making it one of Australia's most underdiagnosed conditions.
• Coeliac disease affects one in 60 women and one in 80 men. 80% of people with coeliac disease are unaware they have the illness, putting them at-risk of both short and long-term health problems. The common illness caused by gluten in the diet can result in a lack of energy, stomach pain or upset, bloating or weight loss as well as higher risks of developing infertility, osteoporosis, infection and some forms of cancer.

• Coeliac disease cannot be cured, but once diagnosed can be controlled with a strict, life-long gluten free diet that eliminates symptoms, reverses small bowel damage and significantly reduces the risk of long-term health complications.

• Detection of coeliac disease is through a screening blood test performed in general practice, with a follow-up bowel biopsy.

Gympie Times


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