Coeliac Society of Ireland urges families to get tested for coeliac disease

9.3% of relatives of a coeliac sufferer tested were diagnosed with the condition



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14 April 2023

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The Coeliac Society of Ireland has launched its 2023 Awareness Week and is encouraging families to take a proactive approach to their health by getting tested for coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.

Awareness Week will run from 15 to 20 May with a mix of online and in person gatherings throughout the country.

This year’s awareness theme is all about Family & Diagnosis and the society is asking all households to “Make a Promise this Awareness Week – Get Tested!”.

This in not just a catch phrase but is a critically important question that need to be answered and is based on the findings of a study on ‘Family Prevalence’ of the incurable autoimmune coeliac disease.

According to the research, only 28.8% of first-degree relatives of sufferers have been tested for coeliac disease, and 9.3% of those tested were diagnosed with the condition. Children were the most likely group of first-degree relatives to be tested and/or diagnosed compared to other relatives, such as siblings and parents.

Coeliac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder that affects approximately 1.5% of the population (76,500). Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include abdominal pain, bloating, and fatigue. If left untreated, coeliac disease can lead to serious complications such as malnutrition, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

The Coeliac Society of Ireland is urging all first-degree family members to get tested for coeliac disease. Currently it is estimated that 62,250 children and adults are undiagnosed coeliacs.

Sarah Keogh, head dietician, Coeliac Society of Ireland said: “Getting tested for coeliac disease is an important step in taking charge of your health. It’s a simple blood test that can be done by your local GP. If you have a family member with coeliac disease, it’s important to get tested, as you may have a higher risk of developing the condition.”

Kindly supported by Promise Gluten Free, Coeliac Awareness Week is a must attend event for all people concerned about their gut health and living gluten free.

Mary Horkan, senior marketing manager of Promise Gluten Free bakery, expressed the company’s pride in being the sponsor of Coeliac Awareness Week and their contribution to promoting awareness around diagnosis and the transition to a gluten-free diet.

Horkan said: “Being the number one supplier of gluten-free breads and cakes in Ireland, Promise Gluten Free bakery is committed to making gluten-free living more accessible and easier for those who have to live with it. There has been the great progress made in gluten-free options, making the choices for gluten-free living better and greater than ever before.”

Coeliac Awareness Week 2023 runs from 15 to 20 May. People can register free of charge at to attend advice talks, information meetings, dietetic clinics, cooking, and catering demonstrations, and to find out more about coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.



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