Thursday, 23 March 2023
Statements by Members
I give a shout-out today to all coeliacs in Australia. Coeliac disease affects approximately one in 70 Australians, making it one of the most common autoimmune diseases. It is also one of Australia's most under-recognised medical conditions. If you have coeliac disease, your immune system's response to gluten causes damage to the small intestine, causing in many cases quite serious medical conditions. My eldest daughter, Bridget, was severely anaemic before her diagnosis. The only treatment currently available is a completely gluten-free diet. This means households like ours have completely separate cooking implements and boards and have to be exceptionally vigilant so as not to contaminate a coeliac's food. Fortunately, there are now many businesses that cater for coeliacs, and I note PJ's Country Fruit & Veg in Lismore, which has a complete section of products for the coeliac community. Coeliac Australia is a charity that works to support Australians with the disease. I thank them for the work they do. Coeliac Awareness Week is 13 to 20 March this year. It aims to raise awareness about the disease itself and how often it can be undiagnosed.