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Coeliac Awareness Week – May 13-19, 2024

National Coeliac Awareness Week is celebrated in the second full week in May — from May 13 to 19 this year. The event is spearheaded by Coeliac U.K. to highlight the dangers of the disease. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts negatively to the protein in gluten. Gluten could well cause an immune response, which will damage the intestinal lining if exposed for an extended period. Take advantage of the awareness week to study coeliac disease, the potential causes, symptoms, and available treatment. You can also explore the benefits of adopting a gluten-free diet. Supermarkets join Coeliac Awareness Week celebrations by giving customers special deals and discounts on gluten-free food or providing specialty food products.

History of Coeliac Awareness Week

The term ‘coeliac’ is derived from the Greek word ‘abdominal’ and was first used in the 19th century in the transcription of Aretaeus of Cappadocia’s description of the disease. Coeliac disease can occur at any time after people begin eating gluten-containing foods or medications. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious health issues. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder affecting the small intestine and triggering intolerance to gluten. It was first identified in children, but it can occur at any age. It is also associated with other internal diseases.

Coeliac disease can be diagnosed through a blood test. The result of the blood test determines if you need to be transferred to a gastroenterologist to have a gut biopsy. It occurs in people who are genetically vulnerable to it. An abnormal immune response to gluten may lead to the production of many autoantibodies that can impact different organs.

This causes an inflammatory reaction in the small bowel and may result in the villi lining the small intestine shortening. This interferes with nutrient absorption, frequently resulting in anemia. ‘The Gluten-Free Challenge’ was the theme for this observance for several years. The initiative was geared towards encouraging people to stay gluten-free for at least a week. People are encouraged to consider the negative effects of gluten-based foods and the development of coeliac disease. The campaign also highlights the difficulties faced by victims of the disease in maintaining a gluten-free diet. There are many ways to mark Coeliac Awareness Week. Encourage people around you — family, friends, and coworkers — to opt for food made with gluten-free alternatives. You can also share useful information on your social media pages or create a physical information stand.

Coeliac Awareness Week timeline

9500 B.C.E.
Grain Cultivation Begins

In the Neolithic period, humans start cultivating grains.

The First Modern Description

Pediatrician Samuel Gee provides the first contemporary description of the condition in children.

The First Book

An American physician, Christian Archibald Herter, publishes a book about children with coeliac disease.

Genetic Links are Identified

The hereditary nature of the disease is recognized.

Coeliac Awareness Week FAQs

Which foods are bad if you have coeliac disease?

Here are some of the foods to avoid if you have coeliac disease: pasta, cereal, cookies, pastries and cakes, pie crusts, gravy, and sauces.

What are the early symptoms of coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease has a lot of symptoms that can often mimic other illnesses. Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for: diarrhea, fatigue, loss of weight, gas, and bloating.

What happens if you have coeliac disease and eat gluten?

When people with coeliac disease consume gluten, the small intestine reacts and there are symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloating.

How to Observe Coeliac Awareness Week

  1. Consult a doctor

    If you suspect or have any symptoms of coeliac disease, make an appointment with your doctor. An early diagnosis goes a long way toward successful treatment.

  2. Spread the word

    You can educate your family and friends about coeliac disease and conduct additional research. Use the hashtag on a variety of social media platforms to get people talking.

  3. Start a gluten-free diet

    Many people who are unaware of their gluten sensitivity discover that they feel far stronger once they stop eating gluten-containing foods. As more information about coeliac disease becomes available, more people will make life-altering decisions to live gluten-free.

5 Interesting Facts About Coeliac Disease

  1. Chronic illness

    Coeliac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease that cannot be outgrown.

  2. Terrible company

    Coeliac disease has symptoms similar to wheat intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.

  3. Life sentence

    The only treatment for coeliac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet for the rest of one's life.

  4. Awaiting test results

    An accurate coeliac disease diagnosis takes an average of six to 10 years.

  5. Symptoms city

    Coeliac disease is associated with over 200 symptoms.

Why Coeliac Awareness Week is Important

  1. It encourages early treatment

    Even if there are numerous symptoms, we should be aware of them so that we can seek medical attention as soon as possible. And if you've been diagnosed with coeliac disease, receiving treatment now means you'll have a much better chance of living a healthy life in the future.

  2. It raises awareness about the disease

    Coeliac awareness week aims to raise awareness and educate people about the disease, with the hope of saving lives. Awareness is the first step in the war against coeliac disease.

  3. Serious discussions are generated

    While discussing coeliac disease may well be difficult for some, doing so publicly can result in better outcomes. Knowing where to turn for assistance and being part of a larger support network can improve results.

Coeliac Awareness Week dates

2022May 9Monday
2023May 8Monday
2024May 13Monday
2025May 12Monday
2026May 11Monday

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