Shopping frenzy leaves coeliac people in the cold

AS PRODUCTS leave shop shelves at unprecedented rates due to the coronavirus panic, spare a thought for those with coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease means that sufferers cannot ingest any gluten such as wheat, barley and rye, otherwise their immune system will have a potentially severe reaction.

Coeliac disease impacts 1 in 70 Australians according to a Coeliac Australia report, while the report also stated that many others do not know they have the disease.

Prominent coeliac food blogger Ashlee Adams, who runs the Aussie Coeliac website, said ravaging of supermarket shelves was leaving many coeliac suffers with scarce options.

“People with coeliac disease don’t have a choice, it’s gluten free or nothing, the internal damage can be quite severe especially down the track. There’s a growing concern that people will have to go without their staples,” Ms Adams said.

“When it first started, we were seeing that people were leaving it because it does taste different and it is much more expensive, but now we’re seeing others buy it I know in my area that my stores are completely out of stock,” Ms Adams said.

Carolyn Davis, of Northern River Dietetics, said that it’s vital that customers who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease in the past maintain their eating habits as there can be serious consequences.

“They can become very unwell, such as malnourished and even develop some gastrointestinal cancers,” Mrs Davis said.

Online resources such as the Aussie Coeliac website and several Facebook groups are providing resources to provide coeliac sufferers with alternatives to ensure they can maintain a healthy diet during these times.

“Sticking to a meat and vegetable diet is the basic but even now we know stores are getting low on meat and vegetables, there are options, we saw the rise of the zucchini noodle last year that’s obviously gluten free,”

“Buying online from local gluten free suppliers, but also finding alternatives is necessary for example cauliflower rice can be a replacement for rice and while not everyone is going to like them, it does the job,” Ms Adams said.

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