FACTS
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ARE COELIACS MORE AT RISK DUE TO THE COVID-19?

Coeliac disease is a chronic medical illness. Although there is a lack of direct evidence, But having coeliac disease can be associated with a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Many people with coeliac disease will also fit within other categories. For instance those who live in a residential care system are at risk.

There are other more severe risks with COVID-19 infection in some people with coeliac disease may occur as a result of reduced function of the spleen (hyposplenism), an organ that helps the body fight off infections, although this has not been proven. Hyposplenism may occur in approximately 30% of people with coeliac disease and appears more common in adults with coeliac disease. Testing of spleen function is not routinely performed and our Medical Advisory Committee feel there is insufficient evidence to support routine testing at the present time. Treatment with a gluten free diet may help improve spleen function in coeliac disease and this emphasises the importance of adhering to a strict gluten free diet.

It is important to manage your coeliac disease optimally by following a strict gluten free diet and being monitored by your healthcare team.

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR COVID-19 NOW?

If you are not sick, it is still important to take precautions that will keep you from contracting COVID-19

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.

Wear homemade/cloth masks when out in public.Frequent hand washing, particularly before eating and after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose and being out in public

Do not touch your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth without first washing your hands

If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content

Stay away from other people who are sick.

IS HAND SANITIZER SAFE FOR PEOPLE WITH COELIAC?

Yes, hand sanitizer is safe for those with Coeliac disease to use. Most hand sanitizers do not contain gluten. Additionally, research has found that gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin. So as long as you do not apply it to an open wound and you’re taking care to not ingest it, hand sanitizer should be safe. If you have a reaction to a hand sanitizer, consider an alternate culprit like an allergic reaction instead of gluten. Always washing your hands with soap and water, but if they are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

CAN COVID-19 TRIGGER COELIAC DISEASE OR OTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES?

A number of common viral infections are already suspected as possible reasons Coeliac disease develops, including enterovirusreovirus and Epstein-Barr. Covid-19 is too new to know if it will cause autoimmune diseases to develop/be triggered in those at risk of developing them. Future research is needed to answer this question definitively, however, a study did show a link between respiratory viral infections, such as coronavirus, and the development of the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis.

PLEASE BE SAFE PEOPLE AND REMEMBER THE SAFER WE ARE THE MORE STRINGENT WE BECOME THEN THINGS WILL TURN AROUND AND SLOWLY BUT SURELY WE WILL BE BACK ON TRACK TO LIVING A BETTER LIFE. IF THIS HAS TAUGHT US ANYTHING THEN WE ARE WINNING. TAKE CARE AND REMEMBER WE ARE HERE IF YOU WANT TO CHAT.

YOUR FAMILY AT GLUTEN FREE EMPORIUM 

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