Coping with Coeliac Disease & IBS

8 December 2020

Coping with Coeliac Disease & IBS

Did you know? It is possible to be diagnosed with coeliac disease, but also suffer with IBS.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are also common symptoms of coeliac disease and include:

  1. Bloating
  2. Stomach pains or cramps
  3. Diarrhoea or constipation
  4. Feeling exhausted

What are the differences between coeliac disease and IBS?

Whilst coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition, where your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues when gluten is eaten; IBS is a functional gut disorder in which persistent and recurring symptoms occur as a result of the gut not functioning in a normal way. There are many different factors affecting IBS symptoms including dietary triggers stress, gut infections, altered immune function, genetics and abnormal pain perception.

Did you know?

One in four adults with coeliac disease are misdiagnosed with IBS before being correctly diagnosed with coeliac disease. Therefore, it is essential to rule out coeliac disease prior to a diagnosis of IBS being made.

Living with coeliac disease and IBS

Many people are unaware that it is possible to have both coeliac disease and IBS at the same time. In fact, if you have a diagnosis of coeliac disease and are on a strict gluten-free diet but are still experiencing some symptoms, it may be that these are associated with IBS.

We recommend seeking advice from a specialist gut dietitian to confirm the cause of the ongoing symptoms is related to your diet. It is vital that you continue to follow a strict gluten-free diet but further dietary changes may be required to help improve the functional symptoms that could be associated with IBS.

As a gluten-free diet can already be restrictive, avoiding additional foods to help with functional gut symptoms can increase the chance of developing nutritional deficiencies.

Expert advice from a specialist dietitian can help to minimise this risk and ensure a well-balanced diet meeting your dietary needs.

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