Coeliac Disease or Gluten Intolerance?

Listen to your gut

Could it be gluten?

Heart Icon
Mug Icon
Corn Icon
Mug Icon
Ear Icon
Ear Icon
Corn Icon
Bread Icon
Heart Icon

What is gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds it together. 
It can be found in foods you wouldn’t expect, such as:


Soy Sauce


Beer


Chips


Canned Soup


Sausage

WHAT ARE COELIAC DISEASE AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition triggered by an intolerance to gluten. Exposure to gluten for people with coeliac disease causes the body’s immune system to attack its healthy body tissues, causing damage to the gut lining.

Gluten intolerance is when you experience symptoms similar to coeliac disease, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut.

Question Icon
Question Icon
Question Icon
Question Icon
Question Icon
Question Icon
Key

Symptoms

Coeliac Disease

Headaches/tiredness
Neurological (nerve) problems
Tooth enamel problems
Nausea/vomiting
Anxiety/depression

Skin rash
Weight loss
Fertility issues
Bloating/cramping
Joint and/or bone pain
Osteoporosis
Iron, vitamin 12or folic acid deficiency

Irritable bowel symptoms
Constipation
Excessive wind
Diarrhoea

Gluten Intolerance

Impaired brain function
Headaches/tiredness
Anxiety/depression

Achy muscles and/or joints
Bloating
Indigestion
Abdominal pain

Irritable bowel symptoms
Excessive wind
Diarrhoea

Getting

Diagnosed

If you have any symptoms similar to those associated with coeliac disease, you should first discuss your concerns with your GP.

Do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage.

Your GP will take a simple blood test.

If coeliac disease antibodies are found in your blood, your GP will refer you to a gastroenterologist (a specialist in treating conditions of the stomach and intestines) at the hospital.

A biopsy may be carried out in hospital by a gastroenterologist to help confirm a diagnosis of coeliac disease.

If you’re diagnosed with coeliac disease you may also have other tests to assess how the condition has affected your nutritional status, as you may have an accompanying nutrient deficiency. You will also be recommended to eliminate gluten from your diet.

If you have any symptoms similar to those associated with gluten intolerance, you should first discuss your concerns with your GP.

Do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage.

Gluten intolerance is diagnosed by process of elimination.

Experts recommend that you first get tested for coeliac disease, and also wheat allergy using either a skin prick test or a blood test.

If both are negative, then your doctor may recommend a gluten elimination diet.

Reducing gluten from the diet and monitoring changes in symptoms will help individuals determine whether they have a gluten intolerance or not.

Treatment and

Next Steps

There is no cure for either condition, but if it is gluten causing your symptoms, switching to a gluten free diet could help symptoms and prevent the long-term consequences associated with coeliac disease.

An increase in the range of gluten-free foods has made it possible to eat both a healthy and varied gluten-free diet.

Thumbs Icon
Apple Icon
Heart Icon
Heart Icon
Thumbs Icon
Apple Icon
The Facts

Did you know?

Coeliac disease affects approximately 1% of the population.

The average length of time for someone to be diagnosed with coeliac disease.

Only 30% of people with coeliac disease have been clinically diagnosed.

Incidence of coeliac disease is up to 3x higher in women than in men.

Gluten intolerance could potentially affect up to 13% of the population.

Only 30% of people with coeliac disease have been clinically diagnosed.

© 2021. Glutafin. Dr. Schär UK Ltd. 401 Faraday Street, Birchwood Park, Warrington, WA3 6GA
© 2021. Glutafin. Dr. Schär UK Ltd. 401 Faraday Street, Birchwood Park, Warrington, WA3 6GA