what are the symptoms of coeliac disease?
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with coeliac disease including:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
Coeliac disease symptoms can vary between individuals. It is also common for children with untreated coeliac disease to present with a wide range of symptoms including short stature and failure to thrive.
Coeliac disease symptoms can vary from very mild to severe and, in some, who appear to have no symptoms, the condition may only be discovered through routine testing for a specific reason, for example, if a first-degree relative is diagnosed with the condition.
Misdiagnosis of coeliac disease
As coeliac disease symptoms are similar to other conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, in the past, coeliac disease was often misdiagnosed. However, new clinical guidelines introduced in 2008 have specified that any patients who have suspected IBS (with symptoms similar to those shown in coeliac disease) are tested for coeliac disease first.
What are the implications of coeliac disease if it is left untreated?
If coeliac disease is untreated for a long period, the condition can cause wide ranging complications such as osteoporosis, infertility and cancer of the gut. Therefore, if you suspect that you may have symptoms of coeliac disease, it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
If you feel that you may be suffering with coeliac disease symptoms, you should visit your doctor who will be able to perform a blood test to test for the possibility of coeliac disease.
For more information, visit the links below.
What is coeliac disease? Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition brought on by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye*.
Is coeliac disease genetic? There is a genetic element to coeliac disease which makes certain individuals more susceptible to the condition than others.
What is dermatitis herpetiformis? Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is a skin condition caused by an intolerance to gluten and is considered as the skin ‘symptom’ of coeliac disease.
How do I get diagnosed with coeliac disease? If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of coeliac disease, it is important that you make an appointment to see your doctor to confirm diagnosis before making any dietary changes.
What is the treatment for coeliac disease? Coeliac disease is a life long condition, managed by excluding gluten from your diet. By following a strict gluten free diet, you should feel better in a short space of time and it will help to reduce the risk of associated complications
If I have coeliac disease do I need to avoid wheat? If you have coeliac disease you are intolerant to gluten, so you should follow a gluten free diet to help your small intestine recover and absorb the nutrients you need from food. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
Codex wheat starch A number of gluten free foods contain Codex wheat starch, which has had the gluten washed out to a trace level so is considered safe for people with coeliac disease
Support for those living with coeliac disease For those people who have been diagnosed and don’t have a friend or family member suffering coeliac disease it can be quite scary.
Coeliac disease and osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a thinning of bones which makes them more fragile and prone to breaking following a small fall or bump.
Coeliac disease and diabetes There is a proven association between type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease as both are autoimmune conditions. People with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of developing coeliac disease.
Coeliac disease and pregnancy Pregnancy is an important time during which women with coeliac disease should be regularly followed up.