Coeliac disease

Specialist advice on the symptoms of Coeliac disease for accurate diagnosis

Coeliac disease is thought to affect 1% of the UK population, yet potentially 75% of sufferers have not been properly diagnosed.

Diagnosed cases suggest this condition is two to three times more common in women, than in men and whilst Coeliac disease can develop at any age, symptoms tend to start either:

  • In infanthood – between 8 and 12 months
  • In later adulthood – between 40 and 60 years of age

There is no cure, although, symptoms can be treated with specialist dietary advice.

It is vital to seek correct diagnosis, as long-term conditions such as osteoporosis and anaemia can arise as a consequence of continuing to eat gluten, as well as an increase in the risk of bowel cancer.

What is Coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition caused as a reaction to gluten found in certain foods, including:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye

In food terms, this could include:

  • pasta
  • bread
  • cakes
  • cereals
  • certain sauces
  • some ready meals

It is commonly described as a food intolerance or allergy to gluten, however this is not the case.

Coeliac disease causes the immune system to wrongly attack healthy tissue in the small intestine, in an attempt to protect the body from infection, as it mistakes substances found in gluten to be a threat.

There is not any definitive cause of coeliac disease, although genetics and environmental factors are thought to be relevant to why people may suffer with this condition, which is estimated to affect 1 % of the UK population.

Symptoms of Coeliac disease

If you are suffering from any of these common symptoms and notice your condition worsening after eating certain foods, then it is vital to seek specialist advice to determine the true cause:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation

Less frequent symptoms include:

  • Excessive tiredness – often due to malnutrition
  • Frequent mouth ulcers
  • Sudden or unexpected weight loss
  • Hair loss and anaemia
  • An itchy rash
  • Nerve damage
  • Ataxia – an issue with co-ordination, balance and speech
  • Fertility problems

Coeliac disease treatment

Specialist diagnosis of Coeliac disease is essential as the symptoms can be similar to other digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

There is no cure for Coeliac disease, however symptoms can be treated with a gluten-free diet.

Once diagnosed, it is a case of making sensible, educated dietary adjustments, to ensure the body can intake the correct nutrients needed for optimum health.

Sometimes, cutting gluten foods can result in a fall in fibre intake, which leads to other digestive issues such as constipation – it is a case of taking specialist nutritional advice.

It is also important not to cut gluten completely from your diet unless you have been diagnosed with Coeliac disease.

Read the latest news regarding Coeliac disease

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Diagnosis of Coeliac disease by a specialist gastroenterologist

For many years patients have been coming to Dr Anton Bungay for expert diagnosis of Coeliac disease.

A simple blood test or a gut biopsy can provide evidence to support related symptoms.

  • Diagnosis of Coeliac disease
  • Dietary advice by a nutritional specialist