Coinciding with Coeliac Awareness week in March 2017, Coeliac Australia has launched a new online assessment tool to help identify more Australians who don’t know they are living with coeliac disease.
Untreated coeliac disease can cause chronic ill health and lead to liver disease, cancer, osteoporosis and infertility. Diagnosis and treatment greatly reduces the risk of health complications. People who suspect they may be at risk of coeliac disease are encouraged to take the quick assessment on Coeliac Australia’s website at www.coeliac.org.au/assess. If risk factors for coeliac disease are identified, the participant can download a letter to take to their GP with details of their assessment results.
It should be noted that for accurate testing, it is essential that people continue to eat foods containing gluten until their doctor confirms a diagnosis of coeliac disease. The tests will not work if gluten has already been excluded from the diet.
A diagnosis of coeliac disease is the first important step to managing symptoms and reducing the risks of long term health problems. Coeliac Australia estimates 1 in 70 people in Australia have coeliac disease, yet up to 80% of those with the disease remain undiagnosed.
Other resources developed by Coeliac Australia to improve awareness of coeliac disease include a Gluten Free Standard for Food Service Providers as well as a Gluten Free Online Training module for the food service industry that is now available for purchase.
For more information about the Consider Coeliac Disease campaign go to www.coeliac.org.au/caw.