Coeliac Disease In Children Transcript

Coeliac Disease In Children Transcript

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Video transcript for coeliac disease in children.

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Coeliac New Zealand, GF for life

Dr Helen Evans, Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Starship Children's Hospital

You can live a perfectly normal life without gluten, you don't need gluten in the diet. People are very used to the foods that they like and so to change all of that takes a long period of adjustment, but the benefits very much outweigh the disadvantages in that people feel better.

It is important to diagnose coeliac disease early. It's a very simple blood test, and the results are available very quickly. If those blood tests are positive, the patient would then come to the hospital to have a biopsy where a camera is placed through the mouth down into the bowel, and we take some little biopsies to look at under the microscope. It's a day case procedure. It's very straightforward; it literally takes just a few minutes. There is some international evidence that in children with very high levels of coeliac markers in the blood tests that they no longer need to have a biopsy to prove they have coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease impacts on whole families, but once the diet has been established, it transforms the way that the family lives. When children feel well they're more likely to undertake full family and school lives, and you know it's almost though they've come alive again, and it makes the diet less of a problem than it otherwise would have been.

People should not be fearful if they're diagnosed with coeliac disease because what we know is it is completely treatable with the gluten-free diet. They should just take the diet and start to feel better.

Jude Walter

Once you start on the gluten-free journey, you're always looking for new and different ways to make that food really really tasty.

Sam Walter

Within 6 months, I had forgotten that I was eating anything different. It's just like breathing to me really, eating gluten-free.

Jude Walter

The ability to purchase gluten-free at your local supermarket is phenomenally different and so much easier than it was 8 years ago when Sam was first diagnosed.

We joined the my food bag phenomenon. It's actually opened our eyes to just the variety of cooking that you can do even on a  gluten-free diet. For me, it comes back to trust and knowing quality brands that have got coeliac's best interests at heart.

Sam Walter

You start to actually desire those foods. You forget what other things taste like.

Jude Walter

So just embrace the gluten-free options that are out there because there are heaps.

Sophie Walter

I'm just open to it, and I'm like "yeah, I have coeliac disease, it is what I have, and it's what makes me unique."

Dana Alexander, General Manager, Coeliac New Zealand

An estimated 65,000 New Zealanders have coeliac disease, and yet 80 percent are completely unaware they have the condition.

Coeliac New Zealand offers support and advice to those of all ages with coeliac disease. We also help to improve the safety standards of packaged gluten-free products available in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants through our internationally recognised cross-grain logo accreditation and dining out programs.

Being diagnosed early with coeliac disease gives people the chance to drive their own health and wellness through good food and lifestyle choices.

Join Coeliac New Zealand, and you'll receive a member's pack full of useful tips and information.

We'll be there to support and guide you to better manage this lifelong condition every step of the way.

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Find out how to live well by being gluten-free for life every day at coeliac.org.nz.

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Coeliac disease is a permanent autoimmune disorder that causes a reaction to dietary gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and oats.

If left untreated, it can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, unexplained fatigue, weight loss and more serious health issues.

Concerned? Try the free online self-assessment at coeliac.org.nz or talk to a health professional.

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This page last reviewed 28 October 2020.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it