Malta Gluten & Lactose Free Week 2022
15th – 21 May 2023
MGLFW is an awareness week organised by VeggyMalta in collaboration with the Malta Coeliac Association
What is Coeliac disease
What is Coeliace disease and what is the difference with being gluten intolerant?
What is lactose intolerance and how can you reduce the symptoms?
What is planned for MGLFW 2023?
Building awareness on coeliac disease and gluten & lactose intolerance
MGLFW is collaboration between Veggy Malta and social partner Coeliac Association Malta and various key players within the retail and wholesale sector. Together we aim to build awareness on coeliac disease and gluten and lactose intolerances which altogether effect a substantial percentage of the population.
Malta Gluten & Lactose Free Week 2023 starts on the 15th of May and ends on the 21nd May. The 16th of May is International Coeliac Day.
Awareness information on Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance
Discounts on gluten & lactose free products in participating shops
Information videos by individuals
1st Edition of the Health & Green Fair on Sunday 21st of May 2023 at Kennedy Grove Salina Park.
Which companies are sponsoring Malta Gluten & Lactose Free Week
The Coeliac Association of Malta is here to help you!
We understand that you might be overwhelmed with the thought of being coeliac and the impact it is having on your life. You are not alone. The Coeliac Association Malta is a community of individuals who have learnt how to live with the disease and are here to help you.
• What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is a frequent and lifelong autoimmune condition, caused by an abnormal reaction to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – grains that are common in the European diet.
Coeliac disease can occur at any age, including in babies when weaning once gluten has been introduced to their diet, in children and in adolescence. When a person with coeliac disease eats gluten, the immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine.
• What is the treatment for coeliac disease?
The only current treatment for coeliac disease is a strict, lifelong compliance to a gluten-free diet, which achieves remission of the symptoms and prevents further complications.
• What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coeliac disease:
- Can affect any area of the body, vary from person to person,
- Can range from very mild to severe; and
- Include diarrhoea, stomach pains and lethargy.
The reaction is not the same as an allergic reaction and does not cause anaphylactic shock and the symptoms may last from a few hours to a few days.
• Is it coeliac disease?
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with coeliac disease; because of this, it can take some time before an accurate diagnosis is made.
In the past, people with coeliac disease were expected to be underweight; in reality, most people with the condition are a normal weight or even overweight.
• How to get diagnosed
If you have any CD related symptoms, e.g. diarrhoea, stomach pains and lethargy, – do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage – discuss your symptoms with your GP who will then decide whether and what testing you may need to undertake.
If your GP thinks you need further testing, a simple blood test to check for antibodies will be carried out and the results can indicate coeliac disease. However, it’s possible to have a negative test and yet still have coeliac disease. Do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage.
If the blood test is positive or there is clinical suspicion of coeliac disease, your GP will then refer you to a gastroenterologist. In adults, a biopsy usually carried out to confirm the diagnosis.
However, new guidelines recommend that, particularly for children who have very high antibody levels, a further blood test can confirm the diagnosis without the need for a biopsy.
Once again, gluten is not to be removed from the diet until all tests are complete or until recommended by the gastroenterologist.
Cooking gluten & lactose free
On VeggyMalta.com you can find a wide selection of gluten free and also lactose free recipes. We have a section dedicated to gluten free recipes and our vast choice of vegan recipes are obviously completely lactose free.
Talking about health, it is understandable that all our recipes are meat (and fish) free as well. If you wish to keep updated on new recipes and other information feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.
Without the financial support of our sponsors this week would not be possible as the costs to do this nationwide awarness campaign are substantial. It is because of this that we strongly encourage you to also support the Malta Gluten & Lactose Free Week campaign by buying their products and supporting them.
Gluten Free Sponsors
Gluten wise products are redeemable with POYC vouchers.
Kelkin products are redeemable with POYC vouchers.
Nutri Mio products are redeemable with POYC vouchers.
Proper products are redeemable with POYC vouchers.
Lactose Free Main Sponsor
What is the POYC – National Coeliac Scheme?
POYC Contact Details
Telephone (Malta): 2248 1800
Telephone (Gozo): 2156 1606
Address: Pharmacy Of Your Choice, St Luke’s Hospital, G’Mangia
Through the National Coeliac Scheme by the Ministry of Health, the POYC (Pharmacy of Your Choice) unit is responsible for vetting and registering medically certified coeliacs under Schedule V. After approval coeliac patients a provided with are permit with which they are entitled to a monthly monetary voucher.
Coeliac patients 60 years old and over and those receiving social benefits will receive €70 voucher monthly whereas the rest of the patients receive €65 monthly. These can be redeemed on gluten free products from the official list of private economic operators currently participating in the Scheme across Malta and Gozo.
Health & Green Fair
Sunday 21st May 2023 at Kennedy Grove Salina Park. Free Entrance. To commemorate Malta Gluten & Lactose Free Week, the fair will feature a diverse range of food and products that cater to individuals with gluten and alctose intolerance, providing them with a safe and enjoyable environment to celebrate and indulge in gluten & lactose free options.