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.
Some gluten free foods contain an ingredient called “gluten free wheat starch” (sometimes referred to as “codex wheat starch
”). This is a specially manufactured ingredient for people with coeliac disease, it is considered safe because the gluten is washed out to a trace level. This ingredient is gluten free but not wheat free.
The majority of people with coeliac disease can tolerate codex wheat starch but some people may be advised by their dietitian to exclude wheat from their diet.
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.
What are the symptoms of coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease has a wide range of symptoms but if you are at all affected by tiredness, anaemia, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, vomiting and mouth ulcers then this may be an indication that you have 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.
How is coeliac disease managed?
Coeliac disease is a life long condition, treated by excluding gluten from your diet. With this treatment, you should feel better in a short space of time and remain so for the rest of your life.
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 link between type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease, with people with type 1 diabetes being more likely to develop a sensitivity to gluten.
Coeliac disease and pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important time during which women with coeliac disease should be regularly followed up.