Coeliac Awareness Week – Not Feeling Like You?

Coeliac (“seal – e- ack”) disease is estimated to occur in 1 in 100 Australians yet the symptoms range in severity and can mimic other conditions like irritable bowel symdrome making it difficult to diagnose. Symptoms include tiredness, low iron levels, diarrhoea and/or constipation, abdominal bloating, and excessive wind. In women trying to fall pregnant, undiagnosed coeliac disease can cause fertility problems.

If you think you may have coeliac disease it is important to get screened and diagnosed before making any dietary changes. Adults need to be eating 4 slices of wheat containing bread per day for the screening blood test to be accurate. Then the Doctors will do a gastroscopy and biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis is made, choosing gluten free foods is the treatment to prevent short and long term problems. An Accredited Practicing Dietitian will help you understand what foods can be included, foods to eat to get all your vitamins and minerals and how to read food labels to avoid gluten. The Dietitian will communicate with your Doctor to make sure you have regular blood tests to check iron status, vitamin D, folate and vitamin B12.

Many foods and meals are naturally gluten free – free from wheat, barley, oats, rye and triticale. Below is a frittata recipe that can be used as a main meal or lunch with a salad.

What are some of your favourite gluten free recipes or products? Please feel free to post them for others to share.

Vegetable Frittata

Serves 2 people

3 eggs

1/4 cup low fat milk

1/4 cup reduced fat tasty cheese

pepper to taste

parsley dried or fresh to taste

1tspn oil eg extra virgin olive oil

50g ham off the bone – diced

1/2 tomato or 8 cherry tomatoes – sliced

1/2 cup mixed frozen or fresh cooked veggies eg corn, peas, carrot

Preheat a small non stick pan and add 1tpsn oil, then cook ham and tomato. In a bowl, mix eggs, cheese, milk, pepper, parsley, and frozen or fresh vegetables together. In the small fry pan add the egg mixture and cook until the egg mix is nearly set. Place the fry pan under the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Serve with a salad or sliced and served cold in a lunch box.

Nutrition Information per serve

Energy 1040kJ, protein 21g , fat 16g, saturated fat 6g carbohydrate 4g, fibre 2g.

Gluten Free Food Expo Coming To Brisbane

Coeliac disease is a condition requiring a life long gluten free diet to prevent symptoms and nutritional deficiencies.  The range of gluten free food available has increased significantly over the last 19 years since I started working as a Dietitian.  As anyone with coeliac disease can tell you, gluten free breads, biscuits, pancake mixes are more expensive to purchase.  So, if you have coeliac disease – go to the Gluten Free Food Expo to sample all the different foods for free!  Sunday 30 October 2011 from 9am to 4pm at the Commerce Building at the RNA Showgrounds.  Tickets are $10 or $5 if you are a Coeliac Society member and kids are free.