International Coeliac Day

International Coeliac Day 2024

It’s International Coeliac Day, a day for Coeliac Association Malta and all coeliac organisations around the world to come together and raise awareness about coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet.

Having coeliac disease or following a gluten-free diet has many challenges, some of which will be highlighted soon, but there are also positive aspects.

You feel better

The first and most important point is that by being diagnosed with coeliac disease, you will feel better. In essence by following a gluten-free diet your small intestines will recover, your body will start getting the right amount of nutrients. It also prevents further complications that may arise if left undiagnosed.

Gluten-free options

A gluten-free diet may feel restrictive at first but nowadays there are so many options and products to choose from. We are not only referring to processed gluten-free products but also the many naturally gluten-free products.

Here are two quick examples:

  • Wheat flour: It is widely used but there are so many alternatives, Almond flour, Rice flour, Potato flour, Buckwheat flour (don’t let the name fool you)
  • Pasta: Nowadays you will find gluten-free pasta made from some of the flours mentioned above, quinoa or chickpea

As part of Malta Gluten and Lactose Free Week we have come up with a list of substitute ingredients which you can use for your food.

One can still have a balanced diet with a gluten-free diet. With a little bit of patience you will realise that the possibilities are endless.

You are not alone

Another important point we like to mention is that you are not alone. Speaking about coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet will help you deal with it better. You will find empathy from family, friends and colleagues.

You will also find that others have similar or the same difficulties, the Association and its members can help you deal with these situations as well.

Patient Advocacy

Being a patient and speaking about your condition leads us to patient advocacy.

You are in a great position because you experience coeliac disease on a daily basis, not everyone will be able to understand the challenges you face when shopping, reading labels, pricing, eating out and much more. Being comfortable with talking about it and raising awareness, even amongst your family and friends, is a big bonus.

How can the Coeliac Association try to improve issues such as Eating Out, difficulties in schools or labelling on local products? The more help the Association gets, the stronger we are to push forward with such issues. Patient advocacy and volunteering are an important aspect of the Association. Being part of a group of individuals with similar difficulties, working together to raise awareness and when possible discuss issues with public or private entities is a special thing.

With everyone’s support we believe that we can improve these challenges.

Here’s to another International Coeliac Day and we hope we can keep improving the quality of life for coeliacs and others following a gluten-free diet. 😊👏