Sunday, 3 July 2011

Wimbledon's Coeliac champion!

For the past two weeks Colin has occasionally taken a little time out to watch the tennis from Wimbledon. My interest grew when I learnt that, like me, Novak Djokovic, has Coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease is not, as some think, an allergy, or asimple food intolerance. In fact it's an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. In people with coeliac disease this immune reaction is triggered by gluten, a collective name for a type of protein found in the cereals wheat, rye and barley. A few people are also sensitive to oats.

There is no 'cure' but it is possible to avoid the symptoms of the disease by adhering strictly to a gluten free diet. Djokovic claims that changing to a gluten free diet has helped him with his game. He says the main change for him is his sharper focus and feeling much better physically.

Today this was proved beyond doubt when he triumphed over Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon Men's Singles Final.

This is a victory for Djokovic but let's hope that the focus which has been given to Coeliac by his success will encourage some of the 80-90% of undiagnosed sufferers to go to the doctors to be tested for coeliac disease!

Well done, Novak!


Diane said...

I have to admit to being a bit sad at the result, I think Nadel is just the best :-)
I agree though that I hope it encourages coeliac sufferers to eat properly and it just proves what can be done. Diane

Anonymous said...

I have Coeliac disease and have lived with it for nearly 9 years, it has been difficult as im in my teens and not being able to go out to get a bite to eat with friends without causing trouble. But im glad i stick to my diet as before i was diagnosed, i was extremely frail, sick, aganising stomach cramps, you name it in had it...i hope just hope that people with it have enough will power to say no to those delicious looking donuts in the bakery window...

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I can understand your problems - particularly when out with friends. I was nearly 50 when I was diagnosed so I was over that stage of wanting to fit in with my friends. I can't say it's been easy but it must be so much harder for you. I admire the way you've resolved to stick to the diet. It really is the only way to avoid the excruciating result of ingesting gluten. A couple of minutes pleasure eating that do-nut isn't worth it!! You are obviously doing all the right things and you deserve all the encouragement you can get. Best wishes. Elizabeth. ps let me know how you get on!