Coeliac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder triggered by an abnormal immune response to gluten. It mainly affects the small bowel, damaging the lining and preventing absorption of food and nutrients. Gluten is a protein found in foods made with wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. It is also found in oats that have been made in processing plants that handle other grains.
What is Coeliac Disease?
What are the signs of Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease symptoms usually involve the intestines and digestive system, but they can also affect other parts of the body. Symptoms include:
Persistant diarrhoea or constipation
Weak, brittle bones
Numbness & tingling in hands & feet
Irregular menstrual periods
What are the causes of Coeliac Disease?
The exact cause of coeliac disease is unknown. However, genetics combined with eating foods with gluten can contribute to the disease. Other contributing factors might include infant-feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections, viral infections, severe emotional stress, surgery and gut bacteria. The main risk factors include:
Type 1 diabetes
Autoimmune thyroid disease
How do I know if I have Coeliac Disease?
To diagnose coeliac disease, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history or request the following tests:
Full blood count (FBC)
Liver function test
Coeliac profile (genetic)