Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance. It is an auto-immune condition which occurs in people who become sensitive to the protein gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Eating foods containing gluten has a life-long damaging effect on the bowel.
The treatment for coeliac disease is a gluten-free diet for life.
How many people in the UK have coeliac disease?
There are approximately 125,000 diagnosed with coeliac disease.
Research shows that the disease may affect as many as 1 person in every 100, with the majority of those undiagnosed.
Who is affected by coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease was once considered a rare condition of childhood.
However, doctors are now diagnosing more people later in life.
Does coeliac disease run in families?
Research has established that there is a genetic link to coeliac disease. One in ten relatives of a person diagnosed with coeliac disease may also be affected, so family screening is recommended.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is a skin condition linked to coeliac disease. It affects around 1 in 10,000 people. The treatment for DH is to follow a strict gluten-free diet. If you suspect you may have the symptoms of this condition please seek medical advice before starting a gluten-free diet.
Coeliac disease is closely associated with other medical conditions such as:
Type 1 Diabetes
If you are concerned about any of these related conditions please seek medical advice.