Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 18:05 UK

Living with coeliac disease

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County Down man Stephen McCavery explains how he has adapted to life with coeliac disease.

This week, Health Focus looks at a condition that affects about one in 100 people in Northern Ireland, namely coeliac disease.

It is not a food allergy but is caused by an intolerance to the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.

Gluten is found mainly in bread and also in pasta and flours but can sometimes be used as an ingredient in foods such as fish fingers and sauces.

Some people say it takes years to get a proper diagnosis, as the symptoms can be associated with other illnesses.

Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly talks to County Down man Stephen McCavery about how he has adapted his life after being diagnosed as a coeliac.

A consultant at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Dr Peter Watson, also explains how the disease affects the body.

He points to the potential problems if you do not follow a strict gluten-free diet.

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Dr Peter Watson, a consultant at the Royal Victoria Hospital, talks to BBC NI Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly about coeliac disease and its symptoms.



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