Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Coeliac Awareness Week 2015

This year Coeliac Awareness Week is 11 to 17 May.

Coeliac Awareness Week is taking place from 11 to 17 May. For more information check out the Coeliac UK website and the Awareness Week page over the coming months.

Richard Gottfried - blogger, minigolfer and coeliac. At Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate during Coeliac Awareness Week 2014
Minigolfer, blogger and (unfortunately) a coeliac. Last year I was playing in a national minigolf tournament at Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate during Coeliac Awareness Week

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and the only treatment is to adhere to a strict lifelong gluten free diet.

In the UK it's estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition.

Richard Gottfried - Coeliac and living life gluten free since May 2008
I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in May 2008 and have been living on a strict, lifelong gluten free diet ever since

It's important to know and remember that Celiac/Coeliac is NOT an allergy, it's NOT a preference, it's NOT a fad, it's NOT a diet, it's NOT an intolerance, it's NOT a choice - it's an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE.

Check out the blog posts and links below for more information on Coeliac Disease and Gluten Free.

1 comment:

Richard Gottfried said...

Last year Coeliac UK's Awareness Week focussed on the Gluten-free Guarantee (GfG) where major UK retailers were asked to commit to stocking a basket of eight core gluten-free staples, therefore helping to improve the availability of gluten-free food for people with Coeliac Disease.

The results of the GfG Awareness Week activity saw:
- Asda being the first major retailer to commit to the GfG in all 500 of its UK stores
- Waitrose meeting the GfG in all main stores
- Tesco committing to the GfG in 917 stores, with the rest following this summer
- M&S agreeing to stock six of the GfG basket of eight staples in all 500 of their directly-controlled stores.

This year's Coeliac UK Awareness Week will be focusing on changing the current state of diagnosis in the UK.

In 2006 Coeliac UK's 1 in 100 campaign launched to raise awareness of coeliac disease amongst the public and healthcare professionals. Following this ongoing activity around 60,000 more people have been positively diagnosed with coeliac disease over the past five years.

Coeliac UK wants to increase those figures and are pledging to get diagnoses for 250,000 more people by 2020.

According to the charity there are around half a million people in the UK who have coeliac disease, but are without a medical diagnosis. The road to diagnosis can be a long one, with it taking on average thirteen years from someone first presenting symptoms to their GP to getting their diagnosis confirmed.

In my case I first spoke to a GP about my symptoms in 2001, received numerous tests in 2001 and 2002, but with no firm diagnosis. I was eventually diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2008 and have been on the strict life-long gluten free diet ever since.

If Coeliac UK, its members, volunteers and people with Coeliac Disease can change this, and make a step change in diagnosis rates in the UK, significantly more people to be freed from the worry of not knowing what is causing their symptoms, discomfort, pain and suffering.

The Awareness Week activity is one of the key elements in Coeliac UK's efforts to support people with Coeliac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis and is part of the wider FREED FROM campaign the charity has devised to guide its work over the next seven years.

Visit the Coeliac UK website for more information on Coeliac Disease and Awareness Week 2015.

You can also request an Awareness Week 2015 Toolkit using the online form on the Coeliac UK website.