The Coeliac Society has revealed that 1 in 100 people in the UK, or more than 500,000, have coeliac disease.

This is an autoimmune condition caused by intolerance to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye and therefore present in breads, cakes, biscuits, flours, cereals and pastas and often used as an ingredient in such common foods as fish fingers, sausages, gravies and sauces, including soy sauce. Damage to the lining of the gut is caused by eating gluten and there is no cure or medication available – the only treatment is a gluten-free diet for life.

The charity currently has 3,000 members with the condition and campaigns for more gluten-free foods and more caterers, restaurants and event organisers providing suitable options.

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