MasterChef champion announced as Bucks charity ambassador.

Coeliac UK announced that MasterChef 2016 winner Jane Devonshire is their new ambassador and will lead the charity’s 2020 campaign to help find children living with undiagnosed coeliac disease.

The national charity is based in High Wycombe and support those with coeliac dieses as well as aiding people to get diagnosed more quickly.

Jane’s youngest son Ben was diagnosed with coeliac disease when he was two years old.

She said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be an ambassador for Coeliac UK because raising awareness of coeliac disease especially for children, is a cause close to my heart.

“I’ve seen first-hand the difference that early diagnosis can make, and I want to help the charity reach more parents and carers who might be struggling and searching, sometimes for many years, to find answers to their child’s ill health.”

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Symptoms of undiagnosed coeliac in children include:

• Diarrhoea and other unexplained gut symptoms

• Faltering growth or unexpected weight loss

• Dental enamel defects

• Bloated tummy

• Extreme tiredness and changes in mood and irritability

Coeliac disease is not an allergy but an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system damages the lining of the small bowel when gluten is eaten so sufferers must abide by a strict gluten free diet.

The average diagnosis time for diagnosis is 13 years which the charity aims to change as when untreated the disease can lead to serious health complications in later life such as anaemia, osteoporosis and unexplained infertility.

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Hilary Croft, Chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jane as our new ambassador.

“She has always been a great friend to the charity and is the perfect person to rally support around our children’s campaign in 2020.

“With her help, we hope to increase diagnosis rates by encouraging all parents, grandparents or carers who are seeing symptoms like faltering growth, unexpected weight loss or a bloated tummy in their child to go to their GP and ask for a blood test for coeliac disease.”

It’s estimated that one in a 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease but of these only 30 per cent are diagnosed, making there nearly half a million Brits living with undiagnosed coeliac disease.

To find out if you could benefit from seeing a GP for what you think could be coeliac disease, visit Coeliac UK’s online assessment at