Last week I went to part of a gastroenterology conference: the symposium for patients.
This was organised by the British Society of Gastroenterology. I’ve never been to one before, and this was a particularly interesting experience. There were – literally – hundreds of medics around the conference centre, and about 60 people attending the patients seminar. Not all these were coeliacs, though Coeliac UK were there: some were Crohn’s sufferers, and others had IBS. Some (like me) weren’t patients at all, but were there out of interest, or representing a patient. I sat next to a dietician who was there as part of her professional development, which I was delighted to see. She told me that she’d been astonished to learn how variable the dietician service-offering was across the country. Where she’d worked, they had offered three-monthly checkups initially, until people got the hang of the gluten free diet, but in some places – as we know – people are offered much less than that.
I took copious notes, which I’ll try and decipher for you over the next few days, on each of these four topics:
- Food intolerance in daily life: what’s it due to and what can you do about it?
- Speaker was: Prof D S Sanders from Sheffield
- Food and mood: how what you eat can change the way you feel
- Speaker was: Prof N Read from London
- Diagnostic and therapeutic challenges: coeliac disease as a cause of IBS symptoms and new approaches to treatment
- Speaker was: Prof R Anderson from Melbourne, Australia
- Psychosocial aspects of coeliac disease: can coeliac disease affect quality of life?
- Speaker was: Dr R Howard from Birmingham
There was also a lively Q&A session at the end – and here my notes got very rough, but I’ll see what I can do!
I know I haven’t told you what I learnt yet, but I can tell you this: if you get the chance to go to one of these, take it. There was plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and the spearkers were clear, entertaining and informative.
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…