A friend was recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease and it made me realise that I know relatively little about it. My friend was told to go away and look up Coeliac disease online. She wasn't given a dietitian or anything more useful than a print-out, which I think is shocking.
Increasing Coeliac awareness will not only ensure that more people get diagnosed but it will also ensure that when they do, they will have a good idea of what is involved in going gluten free and know where to get the much needed support.
I tried to advise on where to eat out, where to buy food, where to find recipes etc but I can't advise on how to manage symptoms, how to avoid cross contamination, how to manage BBQs, having children, going into hospital etc etc. It is a mine-field and I realise that I get away with murder in comparison.
The gluten free Twitter community is fantastic - I can't recommend Twitter enough to Coeliacs. My Twitter friends also recommended this fantastic book by Alex Gazzola Coeliac Disease: What You Need To Know (who I met a couple of years ago and who is extremely clued up and nice) and Coeliac UK got in touch to say they have a handy phone line - 0845 305 2060 - so a kind ear is never far away. Also, take it from me, there is no such thing as a stupid question when you first go GF!
It is Coeliac Disease Awareness Week this week and Coeliac UK have launched a campaign to ensure every supermarket stocks 8 basic gluten free foods. I cannot get behind this campaign enough - and I hope you'll get involved. By filling in a postcard on what gluten free foods you found at your local supermarket and sending it back to Coeliac UK, you can help them to compaign for a better range on a national level.
Get your postcard here.