It is thought that as many as 1% of the population is coeliac although only 10-15% of these get diagnosed. This is where the body produces an auto-immune reaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye and barley) which causes damage to the lining of the gut. This can lead to symptoms similar to IBS, but unlike IBS, can lead to malabsorption of nutrients such as iron or calcium. It is therefore very important that Coeliac Disease is ruled out before you remove anything from your diet (especially wheat, rye and barley) as the tests will not be accurate. See your GP if other members of your immediate or extended family are coeliac and/or you have any of the following symptoms:
- constipation, diarrhoea (or both)
- unplanned weight loss (or failure to gain weight in children)
- mouth ulcers
- infertility or repeat miscarriages
- joint and/or bone pain
- nerve problems such as numbness or tingling in hands or feet, ataxia (poor muscle co-ordination)
- hair loss (alopecia)
Once a diagnosis has been made, Liane will advise how you should avoid gluten and ensure that you still meet your nutritional requirements.
This is a new classification suggested by researchers for people whose symptoms are the same as for coeliac disease and respond to a gluten free diet, but who have negative tests for coeliac disease. Taking gluten out of the diet for whatever reason can lead to a restricted diet. Liane can help you to decide whether gluten is causing your symptoms and how to manage a gluten free diet safely.