What Does it Mean to be Coeliac? | Gluten Free Diets | British Hamper Co Blog - The British Hamper Company

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What Does it Mean to be Coeliac?

11 May 2023 by Liz Tod

Written by Liz, a director at BHC who suffers from coeliac disease and developed our gluten free hamper range


From May 15th until May 21st it’s Coeliac Awareness Week.

Spearheaded by the national charity Coeliac UK (coeliac.org.uk), this is an annual event that aims to raise awareness for coeliac disease.

So, why is awareness of coeliac disease important?

Let’s start with the alarming statistics:

About 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease but 36% of these are currently undiagnosed, leaving them with the risk of developing long-term complications.

On average it takes a person 13 years from the first symptoms to receiving a diagnosis!

With more knowledge on the subject it is hoped people will have a better understanding of coeliac disease, myths will be dispelled and, most importantly, they’ll learn to recognise possible signs and symptoms (there are LOADS!), leading to an earlier diagnosis.

And by staying updated with the latest research, health professionals can provide accurate information and support for those with coeliac disease.

And those in the food industry, retailers and restaurants, will be better informed and understand the importance of creating a safe place for those with coeliac disease.

This safe place involves the importance of accurate food labelling and avoiding cross-contamination.



But what actually is Coeliac Disease?

It’s an lifelong autoimmune condition that is triggered by eating gluten.

If you have the condition, when you eat anything containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, your immune system reacts by attacking the lining of the small intestine causing inflammation and damage. This damage can stop the body absorbing vital nutrients from food which can lead to various health issues.


How is coeliac disease treated?

Put simply - by sticking to a gluten-free diet for life.


So what happens during Coeliac Awareness Week?

Coeliac UK want people to spread the word about the condition.

They organise lots of events and activities over the week but you can help by sharing your story and fund-raising.

You’ll find helpful posters and leaflets about coeliac disease in surgeries and in communities.

And supermarkets support with this important week by giving special deals on gluten-free food and discounts on gluten-free products….so look out for them!


Living the gluten free way and how you can help

Living with coeliac disease is a challenge even when you’ve been diagnosed years ago (I should know, I’ve got it!).

You put a brave face on at parties, for example, when it comes to cake! Time and time again you have to smile sweetly and refuse the scrumptious looking sponge cake as it’s offered to you. Or you cast your eye over the beautiful buffet only to see IT ALL CONTAINS GLUTEN. HELP!

Travelling and holidays can be incredibly difficult. Airports are notoriously bad and often all you can find is a banana and a bag of crisps and you’ve not even reached your foreign holiday destination with its potential communication difficulties!

But! Friends and family can and do help. Apart from moral support, one of the nicest things they can do is treat you with GLUTEN-FREE GOODIES!


Gluten free hampers

Being a coeliac myself and a director at The British Hamper Company, I was adamant we create a gluten free hamper range for international and UK delivery. 

When you are a coeliac it’s an absolute delight to receive treats that are gluten free! Coeliacs across the world shouldn't miss out on the delicious food that British artisan have to offer. 

Here at BHC we have a great range of gluten free hampers full of delicious sweet and savoury food from British Artisan producers. All tried and tested.

Put together for you so you don’t have the hassle of shopping and the worry of checking food labels.

Beautifully presented, your gluten free hamper is a thoughtful gift and will be greatly appreciated.

Go on, treat someone this Coeliac Awareness Week and make their day!