Did you know that untreated coeliac disease can lead to additional serious health problems?
What is coeliac disease?
- It is an autoimmune condition where the small intestine becomes inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients
- It is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten , which is found in any food or drink containing wheat, barley, rye eg cereals, pasta, bread, cake, beer.
- It is not an allergy or intolerance to gluten.
- It is hereditary
It could result from environmental factors eg a digestive system infection in childhood
- It is estimated that one in 100 people in UK have coeliac disease, and that nearly half a million people aren’t yet aware of their condition.
What are the symptoms?
- abdominal pain
- hair loss
- weight loss
- itchy skin rash
- delayed growth/ puberty
What are the risks of coeliac disease?
- Increased risk of other autoimmune diseases eg Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Lymphoma and bowel cancer
- Unexplained infertility
- Irritability and depression – children with coeliac disease are irritable
- Low birthweight babies
- Dental defects
How can coeliac disease be treated?
Currently the only treatment for coeliac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
And the good news?
In most cases the symptoms can be reversed and the complications prevented by a gluten-free diet. Early diagnosis and treatment are key. See Dr Soori at Roseneath Medical Practice for full evaluation of your symptoms and same day blood tests to help identify if you may have coeliac disease. If required a specialist referral for a biopsy confirmation of the diagnosis can then be arranged.