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Fatigue a warning sign of coeliac disease

Franskston Standard Leader

MARK Riley knew there was something wrong. He was feeling more and more tired, but doctors couldn’t put their finger on a cause.

His quality of life went downhill as he struggled to get out of bed each morning.

Two years ago - after six years of struggling - he was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease, an intolerance to gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Now, as Coeliac Awareness Week gets under way, the Mr Riley, 48, is urging men to not ignore fatigue and seek help.

The disease affects at least one in 100 Australians, but 75 per cent of those people don’t know they have it.

Men lag behind in the testing stakes.

Mr Riley, from Tyabb, said: “There has been a huge difference to my quality of life since diagnosis. It basically means I have to be careful but I have my energy back.

“I’d say to any bloke out there: ‘If you’re getting up in the morning and feeling tired for no reason, do something about it.’

“I was trying to run my business and I can tell you, it just wasn’t happening.

“The lethargy was so bad, I couldn’t get up in the morning and when I did, I was just dragging myself around all day.

“On top of that, I could sleep for days.”

The former jockey and successful racehorse trainer loves spending time with his new baby granddaughter. “Now that I’m following the right treatment, I feel great and I haven’t looked back,” he said.

Coeliac Awareness Week runs until Sunday. Details: coeliacawareness.org