Sick and tired of being sick and tired? After 9 years of undiagnosed chronic illness and anxiety, I was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2010. I was exhausted and my body was starting to shut down. We now bring awareness about coeliac disease and its signs, symptoms, management techniques and so much more over Coeliac Awareness Week: 13-20 March.

With over 300 symptoms, coeliac disease can be extremely difficult to diagnose. My symptoms ranged from anxiety, chronic fatigue, debilitating mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhoea, psoriasis and panic attacks. My doctor explained that I was a hormonal teenager and needed to be on anti-anxiety medication. It was never considered that my gut was fuelling the anxiety, not the other way around. After 9 years, I put it together that food was causing my failing health and was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease. Although I was relieved to have an answer, now came the life change! I spent a year battling “commitment issues” until I finally embraced a #nocrumbsplease life and never looked back!

According to Coeliac Australia, 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease and still 80% of affected Australians are currently undiagnosed! Shocking statistics that show that “gluten free” is not going anywhere. But what is coeliac disease? Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease where your body has an abnormal immune response when gluten is ingested. In other words, when you consume gluten your body misinterprets the gluten protein as harmful and attacks itself, breaking down the villi that absorb nutrients in the small intestine. One single crumb is enough to cause this damage, with or without any severe physical symptoms. For coeliacs who are not on a 100% gluten free diet, long-term detrimental results can include cancer, infertility, nutrient deficiency, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, joint pain, dermatological conditions, chronic fatigue and so much more.

Please see these important resources from Coeliac Australia:

If you’ve already been diagnosed with coeliac disease, there is one key way to ensure you can sustain your best health… Live a #nocrumbsplease life! I know first-hand how difficult it can be to eat at restaurants or at family and friends’ homes, and be able to trust that my food is 100% gluten free. #nocrumbsplease is a yum. Gluten Free campaign to spread awareness that cross contamination from even one crumb can cause small intestine damage, with short term and long term detrimental effects.

A big question people ask is, “Does everyone need to be gluten free?” This is a question that you need to talk to your preferred health professional about. Some people find that their lives significantly improve when they cut out the gluten. They have more energy, sleep better, life-long skin issues completely go away, migraines cease, no more bloating and more! However, it is recommended by Coeliac Australia to always get tested for coeliac disease before cutting gluten out of your diet. Otherwise, if you’re not consuming gluten, your potentially positive test will come back negative and you will not be eligible for any vaccines, etc. as new medical treatments are developed.

yum. Gluten Free is here to support each of you on your gluten free journey. With gluten free recipes, product and cafe reviews, giveaways and so much more in store this year for both readers and brands. We are currently working on a massive project to give brands more exposure and accessibility through My absolute passion is connecting brands, small and large, to a dedicated gluten free audience and providing coeliacs, as well as the non-coeliac gluten sensitive, to brands and products they can safely consume and enjoy. For our audience, get excited for an easy to use resource with loads more giveaways, recipes and reviews in this gluten free space!

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