Coeliac UK is the expert on coeliac disease and the gluten free diet. It is an independent charity funding critical research, providing trustworthy advice and support. The charity works to raise awareness of coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten.
When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten found in wheat, barley and rye, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means the body can’t absorb nutrients properly. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or an intolerance.
There is no cure and no medication; the only treatment is a strict gluten free diet for life. Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK but only 30% have been diagnosed meaning there are nearly half a million people in the UK who have the condition but don’t know it.
Symptoms of undiagnosed coeliac disease include:
● Nausea and vomiting
● Stomach cramps
● Weight loss/gain
● Regular mouth ulcers
● Skin rash.
If you are worried you may have coeliac disease, take Coeliac UK’s online assessment (www.coeliacorg.uk/isitcoeliacdisease) which considers your symptoms and recommends whether you should be tested for the condition with a blood test. The test will only work if you have gluten in your diet, so it is essential not to start a gluten free diet until you have completed the testing for coeliac disease, otherwise you may get an incorrect result.
If the initial blood test for coeliac disease is positive, your GP will refer you to a gastroenterologist for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Coeliac UK is there for anyone needing to live gluten free. Wherever you are in your gluten free journey, their community is the place to be. Those looking for support from Coeliac UK can join as members to receive a range of services including an award winning app, latest gluten free products, venue guide for more gluten free choice on the move, recipes and travel information.
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