- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
What are the symptoms?
As absorption of nutrients can be impaired in undiagnosed or untreated CD, sufferers commonly experience:
› Chronic diarrhoea or constipation
› Weight loss
› Stomach pain
› Bloating & flatulence
Other symptoms can include:
› Headaches and migraines
› Mouth ulcers
› Fatigue / lethargy
› Muscle and joint pain
› Growth retardation in children.
CD is also occasionally accompanied by a blistering and itchy skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis, which can appear and subside seemingly spontaneously without treatment.
It is important that people with CD do not believe it safe to consume some gluten containing foods even if they do not experience any obvious symptoms. Some individuals have severe symptoms and little cell wall damage, others have none or
minor symptoms, however mucosal damage may be severe.
How is coeliac disease detected?
Blood testing for gluten antibodies can be used for initial screening for CD. However, for confirmation of the presence of the disease, patients need to have a small bowel biopsy following a gluten-containing diet. Prior to testing, gluten containing foods must still be included in the diet, as removing them can result in the gut healing itself, and CD not being detected.
How is Coeliac Disease treated?
Currently, there is no cure for CD and sufferers need to adhere to a life-long, gluten free diet. Avoiding gluten in the diet allows the bowel to repair itself and nutrient absorption to return to normal. Failure to comply with the gluten free diet can increase the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis, infertility and malignancy, as well as impaired growth and development in children.
For information on gluten containing foods refer to the gluten free diet fact sheet. Note that wheat allergy and wheat intolerance are unrelated to CD and do not require a gluten free diet.
1. The Gut Foundation (2004). Coeliac disease: food allergy & intolerance. The Gut Foundation: Randwick, NSW.
2. RPAH Allergy Unit (2004). Wheat allergy. RPAH Allergy Unit, Camperdown, NSW. firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Ciclitira, P.J., Ellis, H.J., Lundin, K.E.A. (2005). Gluten-free diet – what is toxic?
Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology 19:359-371.
4. Branski D., Troncone R. (1998) Coeliac disease: a reappraisal. The Journal of Pediatrics 133:181-187.
5. RPAH Allergy Unit (2004). Coeliac disease: Enjoy life gluten-free. RPAH Allergy Unit, Camperdown, NSW. email@example.com
6. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2005). The Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code Section 1.2.8. Anstat, ACT.
7. The Coeliac Society of Australia INC “Ingredient List??? (Dec 2004), 6th Edition. (last update Feb 2008)