Coeliac Disease

I mentioned in an earlier post that my son has Coeliac Disease. I remember when he was first diagnosed that it all seemed so complicated, now we just take it in our stride. Over time the quality and quantity of gluten free products has increased and if I see something new we always have to give it a try.

From a nutritional perspective a diet without gluten is very healthy, the downside however is that many of the products such as gluten free bread and desserts are more expensive. 

In 2012 I attended the British Dietetic Association Research Symposium and one of the poster presentations outlining some primary research, highlighted that a basket of nutritionally balanced gluten free food cost on average £7.50 more than a standard basket of food. It was also said to costs more than the average weekly spend on food based of information from DEFRA. The presentation highlighted  that ‘own brand’ foods products were cheaper than branded gluten free foods and availability varies, especially in rural locations (Abernethy & Bannerman: 2011).

My son being diagnosed with Coeliac disease change both of our lives. My son got his health back and I changed my career path. Once I had seen first hand the massive impact diet had on my sons health and well being I was hooked, and decided to study for a degree in nutrition. My longer term goal is to become a dietitian and to help other families in similar situations to ours.

If you are not sure what Coeliac disease is – the facts from Coeliac UK are:

  • It is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten
  • 1 in 100 people have the condition
  • Symptoms include bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, wind, constipation, tiredness, headaches, sudden weight loss, hair loss, anaemia and osteoporosis
  • Once diagnosed, it is treated by following a gluten-free diet for life

When my sons diagnosis was confirmed we went to see a dietitian at our local hospital, who was really helpful and put it all into perspective. We also joined Coeliac UK whose website is brilliant and has everything you need to know about the condition:

I’m in my second your at University and I am enjoying every minutes. My son has come to terms with his condition, he’s full of energy and is the picture of health!

Val

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