Undiagnosed coeliacs may experience:

  • Chronic lethargy
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Anaemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Abdominal pain or cramping

Coeliac disease can be very effectively treated with a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet is one that excludes wheat, rye, barley and oats. Strict, lifelong adherence to the gluten free diet is essential to:

  • Improve symptoms and well-being of the client
  • Achieve a nutritionally balanced diet
  • Promote growth and development
  • Normalise gut mucosa
  • Reduce risk of long-term complications

Weight gain: to avoid weight gain when following a gluten free diet, choose healthy meal and snack options as once absorption improves weight gain may be an issue. Treats like gluten free cakes or biscuits should only be eaten in moderation to avoid developing high cholesterol or weight gain. Healthy eating is as relevant to coeliacs as it is to non-coeliacs.

Fibre: The gluten free diet can be low in fibre so include regular servings of high fibre foods such as gluten-free brown bread, brown rice, jacket potatoes, gluten free muesli, pulses, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Iron deficiency anaemia: Include lean red meat, green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses, eggs and Vitamin C to aid absorption.

Osteoporosis: Include milk, cheese, yoghurts and vitamin D (limited dietary sources are eggs, fortified margarine and oily fish)