On the occasion of this year's World Coeliac Disease Day on 16 May 2021, we at Dr. Schär take it especially to heart to educate people about special dietary needs and gluten intolerance. But one day is not enough for us. We take a whole month to do this: May is coeliac awareness month for our Schär brand across all countries. We talk about the autoimmune disease and raise awareness of what coeliac disease means and how it can be treated.
Coeliac disease is being diagnosed more and more frequently and is one of the most widespread intolerances worldwide. For example, coeliac disease sufferers make up around 1 percent of the population and more and more people are also complaining of complaints that could also be caused by gluten, e.g. gluten wheat sensitivity. Raising awareness of gluten intolerance and offering a gluten-free diet are more important than ever.
Educate, sensitise and support
The aim of World Coeliac Disease Day is to make the general public aware of coeliac disease, its symptoms and the therapy available through a gluten-free diet. At the same time, it is important to strengthen those affected and to promote a positive approach to the disease. For this reason, a variety of campaigns, festivals and demonstrations are taking place in many European countries.
As part of coeliac disease awareness month, Schär promotes the conscious discussion of the autoimmune disease through various campaigns: For example, we are implementing an international education campaign on the topic of coeliac disease on digital channels. The cooperation with a podcast format in Germany, for example, is aimed specifically at newly diagnosed sufferers and provides tips and tricks on how to start a gluten-free diet.
The topic of coeliac condition is also given a special focus on the Schär website and in the newsletter with delicious recipes and background information. In addition, Schär works closely with well-known influencers on its online channels: People affected, professional chefs and pastry chefs give tips on gluten-free cooking and baking, share their favorite recipes or answer questions about the condition and how to deal with it.
Our symptom test: Maybe it could be gluten!
Of course, the topic of coeliac disease is not only in focus at Dr. Schär on 16 May. After all, we have made it our mission to create awareness for gluten intolerance, to sensitize people and to impart knowledge. To this end, we have developed a symptom test on the Schär website and, as a company, have launched various services and institutions.
Our symptom test serves as the first step in recognizing a possible gluten intolerance. Of course, the test does not replace a diagnosis by a doctor, but it can provide initial indications. Many people are not aware of the variety of symptoms that can indicate coeliac disease. The disease does not only manifest itself with typical complaints of the gastrointestinal tract such as nausea or diarrhea. Headaches, iron deficiency anemia or growth disorders in children can also indicate coeliac disease. The actual symptoms vary greatly. Sometimes coeliac disease is so inconspicuous that it remains undetected for many years.
Educate through knowledge exchange
Knowledge, awareness and nutrition. These are topics covered by the Dr. Schär Nutrition Service, which is made up of nutrition experts. In collaboration with experts from the fields of nutrition, medicine and research, the team provides information and further training to raise people's awareness and support them in starting a balanced, healthy, gluten-free life. The Dr. Schär Institute provides the scientific background for this exchange. As a global knowledge portal and digital platform, the Dr. Schär Institute provides medical and nutritional professionals with the latest studies, sound information and services on gluten intolerance and other diet-related diseases.
What is actually coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is a lifelong intolerance to gluten, a gluten protein found in various grains. The genetically determined, chronic autoimmune disease is one of the most common intolerances worldwide.
Among other things, coeliac disease is triggered by gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, spelt or rye and their products. In coeliac disease sufferers, the ingestion of foods containing gluten, even if they only contain traces of gluten, causes an immune reaction that leads to chronic changes in the intestinal mucosa. These changes have consequences, including a reduced ability to absorb nutrients, which in turn triggers symptoms. A diagnosis of coeliac disease means a lifelong, strict gluten-free diet; this causes the symptoms to subside significantly.
More information on coeliac disease can be found here.