International Coeliac Day

  • 16th May 2022
  • 3 min read

International Coeliac Day - May 16, 2022

Do you often feel tired, bloated, have stomach pain and occasionally get depressed? It could be Coeliac Disease. It is a stealth disease that affects about 7 to 15 million Europeans every single day of the year. Not seldom affected people do not even know that they have this condition.

This day is to mark and raise awareness of coeliac disease and the privation people affected by this autoimmune disease have to go through due to this lifelong condition.

What will you eat for lunch today?

People affected by coeliac disease can not eat anything that contains or has been in contact with wheat, rye or barley. This often narrows down the eating options drastically, sometimes to a minimum and occasionally to not being able to eat anything at all of what is served.

Take a moment today to think about what you would be able to eat for lunch if you had coeliac disease.


Help us raise attention by joining the Coeliac Day Run

AOECS (Association of European Coeliac Societies) is a European non-profit organisation trying to raise awareness of coeliac disease and improve living conditions for people affected by the disease. This week we are coordinating the race Coeliac Day Run together with national coeliac societies from over 10 European countries.

This is a pan-European online exercise event where you can choose to run, walk or cycle a distance of 3 or 10 km from May 16th until May 22nd. We do this to mark the International Coeliac Day and, this year, also to help fellow coeliacs in Ukraine.

We urge all runners to post their participation on social media using the hashtag #coeliacdayrun.

Read more about the race here and how you sign up for the challenge.


What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in people where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) leads to damage to the small intestine.

Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, tiredness, anemia, headaches, mouth ulcers, recurrent miscarriages, weight loss (but not in all cases), skin problems, depression, joint or bone pain and nerve problems. The disease can be diagnosed at any age, even without symptoms, as a result of family screening.


What happens if coeliac people eat gluten?

When people with coeliac disease eat gluten, their body triggers an immune system response that attacks the small intestine. The attacks damage villi in the small intestine and nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Coeliac disease can develop at any age and if left untreated, coeliac disease can lead to additional serious health problems.


There is only one treatment

The only treatment for coeliac disease is a lifelong healthy diet and strictly avoiding the ingestion of gluten, even if due to cross-contact (e.g., eating gluten-free food prepared in a place previously used to cook gluten-containing

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