Shining a light on coeliac disease
OMG! Decadent Donuts is proud to associate with and support Coeliac Australia. Our products are endorsed and all our licensees throughout Australia are accredited and trained by Coeliac Australia. We are so pleased to be able to give peace of mind to people who have coeliac disease and take the management of ensuring our donuts are not only gluten free, but also free from dairy, egg, wheat, yeast, nuts and sulphites very seriously.
Our OMG! Decadent Donut mix and sugars are made in Australia under strict conditions. Each batch is tested in an independent laboratory to ensure no cross contamination has occurred. Why? because we understand the importance to those who suffer and we wanted to create a donut that is as inclusive as possible, yet delicious — and we have succeeded!
So, what is coeliac disease and what happens when coeliacs eat gluten?
Coeliac disease effects on average approximately 1 in 70 Australians, and around 80% of this number remains undiagnosed. This means the vast majority of Australians who have coeliac disease, don’t yet know it. Coeliac Disease is not a dietary choice — it’s a serious condition that commonly develops in childhood. For people with coeliac disease, the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage.
When people with coeliac disease eat gluten, an immune reaction causes inflammation and flattening of the tiny, finger-like projections (villi) that line the bowel. Known as villous atrophy, it reduces the surface area of the bowel available for nutrient absorption which can lead to various gastrointestinal and malabsorptive concerns. Inflammation also results in problems that can affect the bones, joints, skin and other organs, such as the liver and brain.
Although better diagnosis rates in recent years can be partially attributed to improved awareness of the condition, there has also been a true increase in the incidence of coeliac disease. Untreated, coeliac disease can cause a range of symptoms and health problems and left undiagnosed, can lead to lifelong health complications such as chronic systemic inflammation, poor nutrition and malabsorption of nutrients.
Signs and symptoms of coeliac disease
According to Coeliac Australia, common signs and symptoms to look out for include:
• diarrhoea, nausea and/or vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation
• weight loss, failure to thrive or stunted growth
• delayed puberty
• behavioural and emotional issues including irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and sleep problems
• iron-deficiency anaemia
• recurrent mouth ulcers
• tiredness and lethargy
• dental defects.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis of coeliac disease is straightforward, and starts with a blood test. The earlier the diagnosis, the better. Treatment involves permanent and strict avoidance of gluten in the diet, healing of the bowel, education and better health choices. A strict, lifelong gluten free diet is currently the only recognised medical treatment for coeliac disease. By removing the cause of the disease, a gluten free diet allows the small bowel lining to heal and symptoms to resolve.
As long as you strictly follow a gluten free, problems arising from coeliac disease shouldn’t return. However, sometimes hidden gluten is re-introduced into the diet, often unknowingly, and this causes a relapse.
What does Coeliac Australia do?
Coeliac Australia is a registered Australian charity dedicated to helping Australians with coeliac disease and associated conditions that require a gluten free diet. It’s the peak body and one that is making positive change in a variety of ways.
This national organisation:
- provides membership, support and information services to enhance the lives of those affected by coeliac disease and conditions that require a gluten free diet
- creates awareness of coeliac disease and the gluten free diet within the medical profession, the food and hospitality industry and broader community
- raises vital funds for research
- works with relevant bodies (manufacturers, government and industry) to facilitate the availability of gluten free food, standards and allergen labelling
- represents members and other Australians with coeliac disease and related conditions in dealings with the Australian Government and Agencies
- is ‘shining a light’ on coeliac disease in children with the Coeliac Australia Awareness Campaign (CAAC) 2023.
Coeliac Australia Awareness Campaign 2023 — spotlight on children
The Coeliac Australia Awareness Campaign (CAAC) 2023 is spotlighting the importance of increasing testing and diagnosis rates in children. Because undiagnosed coeliac disease in children can lead to poor health outcomes and because it can be a ‘clinical chameleon’ where diagnosis is commonly missed in children, the campaign is encouraging parents, care givers and families to speak to their GP about screening for coeliac disease if their child is experiencing common coeliac disease symptoms.
The 2023 Coeliac Australia Awareness Campaign kicks off on 3 April 2023 and culminates with a day of celebration on International Coeliac Day, 16 May 2023.