Monday, March 14, 2011

Coeliac Awareness Week targets men

With recent studies showing that men account for less than one third of all coeliac blood tests in Australia, the Coeliac Society of Australia is targetting men during Coeliac Awareness Week - 13-19 March.

Coeliac Awareness Week 2011 - Poloroid

Across the country they are asking the question: 'Mate, have you lost your Mojo? 

Does this sound like you or the man in your life?
  • You often fall asleep in the chair after dinner.
  • You don’t have the energy to run around with your kids.
  • You find it hard to concentrate at work.
  • You feel exhausted during the day and need an afternoon nap.
  • You’re too tired to play sport or exercise these days.
The Coeliac Society says if you’re putting all this down to working long hours, leading a busy lifestyle or just getting older - think again. Tiredness like this can be one of the first symptoms of untreated coeliac disease. Other signs can be stomach cramps, reflux, wind, diarrhoea or constipation and anaemia.

They say it's important for men with these symptoms to be tested because if coeliac disease is not treated, it can result in conditions that can prove fatal, including liver disease and cancer.

Coeliac disease is very common – at least one in 100 Australians have it and it occurs in both men and women. Unfortunately, 75 per cent of those people are not diagnosed.

In the past it was thought that women were more likely to suffer from coeliac disease as many more women were diagnosed. However, more recent research has shown that the inbalance in diagnosis between the sexes is because more women are tested and subsequently diagnosed.

The Society says too many people – and men in particular - brush aside symptoms of tiredness for all sorts of reasons. But tiredness like this is not normal.

As someone who lost their 'mojo' with symptoms described above for nearly four years, all I can say is go and get tested. If you are coeliac and you go on a strict gluten-free diet your energy, well-being  and health will be restored.

If you, or anyone you know, has unexplained tiredness or lethargy, or any of the symptoms listed above, call the Coeliac Awareness Hotline now on 1300 273 272 for a free brochure or jump on the website . In the long term, taking that first step could be life saving. You can follow the Coeliac Society on Twitter

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