The true cost of being a coeliac

ONE in 150 people in Spain have coeliac disease, although it is estimated that this intolerance to gluten in wheat, barley and rye also affects another 400,000 who have not been diagnosed. That’s according to FACE; the Federation of Associations of Coeliac Spain.
Trying to consume foods without gluten is not cheap. FACE reports that to fill the fridge with coeliac-friendly products costs around €126 more per month than spent by those without this kind of intolerance. Over the course of a year, that equates to around €1,500, an extra expense these patients must pay out of their own pocket because they do not receive any state aid.
Spain is one of the few European countries that does not give any help to people with coeliac disease. In the UK for example, gluten-free foods are free up to 16 years and from 65; in France patients receive €45 a month to help cover costs whereas in Denmark that figure is €200.
Supermarkets in Spain such as Mercadona, Lidl and Carrefour are now launching their own range of gluten-free products to help shoppers find the right food, but eating out in restaurants can still be an issue.
Symptoms of coeliac disease can be pain and a swollen abdomen, indigestion, vomiting, mouth sores and weight loss.

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