The new app will make shopping easier for those on a gluten free diet
People in Longford who have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant will now find it easier to shop, cook and eat out safely.
That is thanks to new mobile phone app ‘Minding Me, Gluten Free’ for those who have to live on a gluten free diet.
The app developed by the Coeliac Society of Ireland was launched today as part of Coeliac Awareness Week 2021.
It includes a Food List with more than 6,500 gluten free food products and a barcode scanner. This means users can check if a product is gluten free while they are doing their shopping. It also contains nutritional information and advice, food product alerts, and recipes.
Ireland has an estimated 50,000 coeliac sufferers and a further 400,000 individuals who have some form of gluten intolerance. The Coeliac Society app – which is available on both Android and Apple platforms – is the first of its kind in Ireland to support those who are required to follow a gluten free diet for medical reasons.
Gill Brennan, CEO of the Coeliac Society of Ireland, said: “Eating even the tiniest amount of gluten can have a major effect on the health of people with coeliac disease and others who are gluten intolerant.
“Despite improvements in labelling, it can be difficult to identify what is safe and what is not – especially when you are rushed or in a busy supermarket.
“The new ‘Minding Me, Gluten Free’ app means that every member of the Coeliac Society can now have the information they need in the palm of their hand to make shopping, eating out and cooking at home a safer, less stressful experience.”
The app will feature a searchable version of the Coeliac Society Food List containing more than 6,500 products. This means that users can check whether a product is safe and gluten free when shopping even if it doesn’t scan. There is a facility to create shopping lists directly from the scanner or Food List, while there will also be special offers and discount codes in the app.
Ms Brennan added: “The notification feature is particularly important for letting people know instantly if a product has been pulled from shelves for any reason. It allows us to break through the noise of flooded inboxes and social media feeds and have direct contact with our users.
“New products are being added daily and we’re already planning new features such as restaurant recommendations.
“We believe the new ‘Minding Me, Gluten Free’ app is a big step towards making Ireland the best country in the world to live gluten free.”
The Coeliac Society App, is available on android and apple.
About Coeliac Disease
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease where the affected individual reacts abnormally when gluten is ingested. The intestine becomes inflamed and damaged resulting in poor absorption of essential nutrients. Gluten is a protein found in many foods including bread, pasta, gravy, soy sauce and beer.
There is no cure for coeliac disease and the only treatment is a gluten-free diet. Annual medical check-ups are also advised.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, recurring mouth-ulcers, weight-loss, vomiting and diarrhoea. If untreated, coeliac disease can affect fertility and lead to other health conditions such as osteoporosis.
The first step to receiving a diagnosis is to visit a GP for a simple blood test. It is important to be on a gluten containing diet before testing. Eliminating gluten before testing could lead to a false negative test result. If the test is positive, the patient will be referred to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy. Once diagnosed, it is advised to visit a dietician to ensure optimum nutrition.
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