The Coeliac Society of Ireland has developed a free, online self-assessment tool which will be launched during the Society’s Coeliac Awareness Week to help diagnose coeliac disease.
Awareness Week 2017, which is supported by Ireland’s leading grocery retailer SuperValu, takes place nationwide between 8th and 15th May.
When members of the public visit www.isitcoeliacdisease.ie or via the www.coeliac.ie website, users of the tool will be asked a number of questions relating to their current health. If they match to some of those of coeliac disease, they will be encouraged to seek a medical diagnosis and provided with supporting information they can bring to their GP. The tool has been developed as a result of public misconceptions about coeliac disease.
As well as the launch of the tool, a range of events will take place nationwide to mark the week, including a campaign in conjunction with GPs and pharmacists to raise awareness of the symptoms of coeliac disease and a series of in-store events at SuperValu stores around Ireland, including dietetic talks, advice from the Coeliac Society of Ireland and gluten free food samplings.
Commenting at the launch, Fergal O’Sullivan, CEO of the Coeliac Society said, “There is a lot confusion among the public about coeliac disease, what its symptoms are, and how to treat it. Coeliac disease can have many symptoms, often including subtle ones, such as chronic tiredness, that may not be initially associated with the disease.
“Our new self-assessment tool will allow anyone to quickly check their symptoms to see if they are similar to those of people with coeliac disease. However, it is absolutely essential that anyone who suspects they may have coeliac disease presents themselves to a medical professional for diagnosis.”
During Awareness Week, the Coeliac Society will be highlighting the fact that coeliac disease can occur at any stage in life, and is a life-long condition. Coeliac Disease affects an estimated one in every 100 people in Ireland.
As part of Coeliac Awareness Week, the Society is calling on supermarkets to commit to stocking eight gluten free staples in store. SuperValu is the first to sign up to the initiative, and the Coeliac Society of Ireland is calling on other supermarkets nationwide to join them.
For the full programme of events for Coeliac Awareness Week 2017, visit: www.coeliac.ie.