Barbara and Dr Chris Steele, the resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning, are calling for improved diagnosis and awareness of coeliac disease and improved availability of gluten-free food.
Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people and is a serious autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system reacts to gluten found in wheat, barely and rye, making the body attack itself. If left undiagnosed, the disease can lead to serious health issues such as infertility, osteoporosis and bowel cancer. Research has shown that only 10-15% of people affected have been diagnosed, leaving thousands of people struggling with symptoms ranging from abdominal and joint pain to anaemia and unexplained weight loss.
"Around 2,000 people in Salford will be affected by Coeliac disease but a large proportion of those will be undiagnosed and at risk of serious health problems. I met Dr Chris Steele in Parliament to discuss the campaign by Coeliac UK to improve the awareness and diagnosis of the condition. We both support this campaign and the calls for better diagnosis of coeliac disease.
"We also need to make sure that gluten-free food is more widely available, as this is vital to the health of people with coeliac disease. Dr Steele has recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease himself and I understand this disease from experience of it in my own family. It is time that people affected were diagnosed and received the support they need to manage the condition."