Help is now available for the hundreds of thousands of Australians living with coeliac disease with Coeliac Australia hosting a Gluten Free Expo in Sydney and Brisbane.
Coeliac Australia Chief Executive Officer Michelle Laforest said almost 300,000 Australians living with coeliac disease remain undiagnosed.
“Symptoms can vary and range from no obvious symptoms to gastrointestinal issues, bloating, mouth ulcers, rashes to fatigue, and left untreated, coeliac disease can result in chronic inflammation, nutrient malabsorption, osteoporosis, infertility and some types of cancer,” Ms Laforest said.
“Untreated coeliac disease can have a significant impact not just on the individual's health, well-being and quality of life, but can also have a flow-on effect on their families, their workplaces and their communities.
“We encourage anyone with a family history of coeliac disease or symptoms to seek a proper diagnosis,” she said.
The Coeliac Australia website www.coeliac.org.au has an online self-assessment questionnaire and information on proper diagnosis.
The only current medical treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten free diet which Coeliac Australia Health Advocacy Officer Penny Dellsperger said is now more accessible than ever.
“We've seen a vast increase in gluten free products over past years, and we'll have a wide range of vendors on display at our Expos, including our principal sponsor Woolworths with a dedicated stand showcasing their Free From Gluten range,” Ms Dellsperger said.
After being diagnosed with coeliac disease herself 20 years ago, Ms Dellsperger said she was passionate about helping people with coeliac disease.
“Having the right education, support and resources greatly impacts an individual's ability to successfully manage the disease,” Ms Dellsperger said.
“That's why I love being a part of Coeliac Australia, for the community; you feel part of something bigger because Coeliac Australia truly collaborates with its members to advocate for all people living with coeliac disease, whether they're diagnosed or not.
“Our Expos are a showcase of living gluten free and is the best way to gather all the research and information you may need; from discovering new products, cooking demonstrations, books and updating your knowledge, the Expos provide the opportunity to come together and celebrate being gluten free,” she said.
For the latest on coeliac disease and gluten free recipe ideas and products, visit the Gluten Free Expo in Sydney at Royal Randwick Racecourse on 19th and 20th June or in Brisbane at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 10th and 11th July.
Tickets are $14-$17 per session and free for kids under 12 and Coeliac Australia members. To view the speaker schedule, purchase tickets and pre-book sessions, visit www.glutenfreeexpo.com.au
To ensure adequate spacing for attendees, tickets for each session will be limited and cannot be purchased at the door as per previous years. The Expos will be COVID safe with sanitising stations, QR codes and cleaning between sessions.
About Coeliac Australia
Coeliac Australia is the national registered charity supporting Australians with coeliac disease and associated conditions requiring a gluten free diet. We provide membership and a range of support and information services to enhance the lives of people with coeliac disease, raise vital funds for research and create awareness of coeliac disease and the gluten free diet within the medical profession, food services industry and the broader community.
Coeliac Australia membership
· Standard membership is $75 per annum (plus a one-off joining fee of $50)
· Concession membership is $62 per annum (plus a one-off joining fee of $50)
· a new member resource kit with information on eating gluten free including an Ingredients List book and gluten free sample foods
· Free entry to Gluten Free Expo
· 5% off selected gluten free products at Woolworths
· Monthly e-newsletter
· Quarterly Australian Coeliac magazine
· Member only access on website to additional materials
· Helpline support
· Research news from medical experts
· Member offers, discounts and competitions
Register at www.coeliac.org.au
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