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Coeliac Awareness week falls on May the 12th-18th.
This year focuses on the availability of gluten free foods in stores and is the perfect time to run a promotion for coeliac testing. While people who have a first or second degree relative are at a greater risk of developing the disease people of any age or race can develop it.
In the UK 1 in 100 people are thought to have the disease, the equivalent of over 600,000 people. According to Coeliac UK only 10-15% of sufferers are clinically diagnosed. This equates to 90,000 people and means that more than 510,000 people are going undiagnosed and not receiving the necessary treatment – a gluten free diet.
Many people are also self diagnosing gluten intolerance before removing gluten from their diet. Yet someone suffering with coeliac disease needs a diagnosis as even occasional ‘cheating’ increases their risk of suffering with associated diseases and it is of course much easier for a person to give into temptation if they are not aware of the severity of their condition.
After avoiding gluten a person is required to eat a meal containing gluten more than once a day, everyday for a minimum of 6 weeks before an accurate blood test or endoscopy can be performed (NICE guidelines 2009). As symptoms often get worse when gluten is reintroduced a lot of people find this understandably hard to do and stop. Again they are left not knowing just how strict they need to be with their avoidance.
Performing a coeliac test before avoiding gluten assists clients in making an informed decision about their health.
These benefits can be illustrated by a practitioner from Taunton who used the Coeliac Screen for the first time ‘The client had suffered with bloating, tiredness, migraine and abdominal pain for 3 years. I initially used the Food Detective TM to test for IgG antibodies. These results indicated a reaction to several foods including gluten. Before introducing the diet I used the Coeliac ScreenTM which showed a positive result and I immediately sent a referral letter to my client’s GP. Following a referral to a Consultant Gastroenterologist, she was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Her symptoms have now been resolved.’
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