Research has shown only one in five Australian coeliacs were aware of their disease.By Estelle Griepink
The revelation coeliac disease is the most underdiagnosed illness in Australia has renewed a call for people to get tested for the condition.
Coeliac disease occurs when a person’s immune system reacts abnormally to gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, leading to minor bowel damage.
It is an incurable, life-long condition that must be controlled with a strict, gluten-free diet.
A study by Melbourne, Queensland and US researchers revealed only one in five Australian coeliacs were aware of their disease.
More than 80 per cent of cases go undetected, despite one in 60 women and one in 80 men living with the disease.
Coeliac of 10 years Palmira Rigoli said the findings did not surprise her.
‘‘Sometimes people don’t have any symptoms, therefore it’s hard to diagnose them, and sometimes the people who do have symptoms, like feeling tired, vomiting, needing to go the toilet a lot or feeling constipated, won’t go to the doctor,’’ the Shepparton woman said.
She encouraged more people in the Goulburn Valley to get tested for the disease.
Coeliac Australia says the disease can lead to medical complications such as infertility, liver failure and cancer if left undetected.
Ms Rigoli, herself the proprietor of a gluten-free cafe, said there was a misconception that being coeliac meant a limited diet.
‘‘You can eat pretty much everything you would normally eat, just without gluten,’’ she said. ‘‘You can have pasta, pies, schnitzel — just use gluten-free ingredients. It’s all about imagination, getting in the kitchen and having fun.’’
Ms Rigoli said though she had noticed an increased awareness of the disease in Shepparton, there was still more to be done.
‘‘It would be good if Coeliac Australia could supply medical clinics with leaflets to spread awareness, even just at the front counter,’’ she said. ‘‘You can have a read about diabetes or pregnancy or other conditions at the clinic, so it would be good if you could learn about coeliac disease too.’’
Coeliac Australia spokesman David Sullivan said the new research showed the widespread prevalence of the disease.
‘‘Valuable research like this highlights the need for greater awareness of this often misunderstood condition,’’ Mr Sullivan said.
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.