Did you know that this is Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia? It is!
Here's a big chunk of the media release from The Coeliac Society of Australia and the Coeliac Research Fund:
Coeliac disease is the most common hereditary autoimmune disease in the world today, affecting one in one hundred people. Untreated, it can lead to life threatening illnesses such as liver disease and cancer. It can also result in severe osteoporosis and infertility especially among men.And here's how that sounds....
Unfortunately, diagnosis is rare, even though the condition is nearly twice as common as Type 1 Diabetes and breast cancer and on a par with stroke rates. In fact in Australia, 75 per cent of sufferers are not diagnosed and don’t even know they have it.
To improve awareness and diagnosis rates, a cheeky new campaign called: ‘Is your MOJO Missing?’ is being launched during Coeliac Awareness Week from 13-20 March by The Coeliac Society and the Coeliac Research Fund.
The campaign urges anyone with typical symptoms of coeliac disease – unexplained tiredness, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation – to ask their doctor for coeliac tests to either confirm or eliminate the presence of the condition.
The MOJO message is simple. If you suffer from unexplained coeliac symptoms:
Make an appointment with your doctor
Organise coeliac tests
Judge the results with your doctor
Omit gluten from your diet if your doctor advises it
Coeliac disease is caused by a total intolerance to gluten in food (found in wheat, barley, oats and rye).
In the short term, the symptoms are extremely debilitating. In the longer term, untreated coeliac symptoms can worsen with many sufferers becoming housebound and unable to participate in normal, everyday activities.
Mr Graham Price, media spokesperson for The Coeliac Society, said: “With typical coeliac symptoms often mistaken for gastroenteritis, chronic fatigue or irritable bowel syndromes or put down to ailments which ‘have always run in our family,’ thousands of undiagnosed coeliacs suffer needlessly year in and year out.
“This is one of the most common hereditary autoimmune diseases in the world and yet it remains one of the most under diagnosed conditions of our time, with the average age of diagnosis being 40 years old. That’s a long time to feel unwell when simple coeliac tests can detect the condition on the spot!
“We hope to improve diagnosis rates dramatically across Australia with the MOJO campaign.
“Correct diagnosis by a medical doctor is very important because by following the proper treatment plan of a strict gluten free diet, most coeliacs can live a healthy, pain free, active life again in no time at all.
“So remember, if you suffer from unexplained tiredness, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation, make an appointment with your doctor today for coeliac tests.
“Your MOJO will thank you for it!”