Today marks the start of Coeliac awareness week.
Hopefully you are aware of their campaign from last year. Is it coeliac disease? I thought it was a great campaign and started some momentum in more people being diagnosed.
If you aren’t familiar with the campaign or are only now questioning your symptoms. This are things you should be looking out for as symptoms of coeliac disease.
The main focus is your gut.
You might have Diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion or constipation. The problem with these symptoms is that they can be caused by many things. Often suffers of coeliac disease end up miss diagnosed, like I was, when I was told I had IBS and that was the end of it. As it turned out, nearly fifteen years later I had coeliac disease AND IBS.
You might also experience tiredness and fatigue. This is due to the body not getting the nutrition it needs because of the damage coeliac disease has done to your gut. It can also cause anaemia, so if you have a blood test come back with a low iron count in your blood and you have any of the other symptoms push for a coeliac disease blood test.
You might have unexpected weight loss
Persistent mouth ulcers or cracked corners of your mouth. This in the end was what got me my diagnosis. Having suffered with gut problems and fatigue for over fifteen years. I went to the GP after having the corners of my mouth consistently spilt for three months. I was told they would test for anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency and coeliac disease. In the end I had two out of the three.
When I finally had my biopsy the gastroenterologist said my gut was featureless, due to the extensive damage I had and proposed that I had, had the disease for over twenty years.
If only they had done a simple blood test sooner.
If you are questioning your symptoms I would strongly recommend you read the NHS coeliac disease symptoms and visit coeliac UK for more information. Then go to your GP and ask for the blood test.
This year Coeliac UK have decided to focus on the gluten freevolution. Their aim is to improve gluten free food and make gluten free living easier.
Their aims are:
1. More gluten free options from small and medium sized food businesses, especially independent restaurants, pubs, local cafes and local takeaways.
2. A wider range of reasonably priced pre-packaged gluten free food for those busy and on the move, particularly at work, study or out at sports or entertainment venues.
3. Gluten free options for your journey whether by train, plane or ferry.
4. Nutritious gluten free food when you’re staying or visiting hospital, when in need of care or going to school.
5. More gluten free Asian food, such as Chinese, Thai and Indian. And more options in Italian, British and American venues.
6. Gluten free vegetarian options.
These aims would be fantastic and I am fully supporting their campaign.
Is there anything you want to know about coeliac disease? Ask me a question.