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MP Jim Fitzpatrick in bid to trace 500,000 with undiagnosed coeliac disease

PUBLISHED: 00:05 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:39 21 May 2013

MP Jim Fitzpatrick backing Coeliac UK's 'Gut Feeling' campaign

MP Jim Fitzpatrick backing Coeliac UK's 'Gut Feeling' campaign

Jim Fitzpatrick's office

MP Jim Fitzpatrick has joined a campaign to find the missing half-million people who may have coeliac disease without knowing it.

The Poplar & Limehouse MP was at a Parliamentary reception to support Coeliac UK’s ‘Gut Feeling’ campaign last week to improve the diagnosis and awareness of the condition.

“I am supporting the campaign to help find those who are currently undiagnosed,” he said. “I urge anyone struggling with symptoms to speak to their doctor and insist that they are tested for coeliac disease.”

The campaign is targeting an estimated one-in-100 people who have the disease and haven’t been diagnosed—around 85 per cent of those who suffer from it. The average diagnoses currently takes 13 years.

Many sufferers are mis-diagnosed as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome when, in fact, they have coeliac disease, researchers have found.

Coeliac is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten. There is no cure or medication—the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life.

Left untreated it may lead to infertility, osteoporosis and small bowel cancer.

More information on the charity’s website: www.coeliac.org.uk

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