Coeliac disease is an “auto immune” disease triggered by gluten.
In coeliac disease the body is attacked by its own immune system. The reaction is triggered by eating gluten-containing foods such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. This results in damage to the gut with effects on nutritional status and general wellbeing.
How is a food intolerance, including Coeliac condition, diagnosed?
If you suspect you have a food intolerance or coeliac disease your doctor will do a physical check-up to rule out other medical problems.
- Your dietary history will also be investigated, including a description of your symptoms and the foods you suspect of triggering these symptoms.
- The doctor will also ask about your family, as a family history of intolerances or coeliac condition is known to be a significant risk factor.
- The diagnosis of coeliac condition is based on a blood test for certain antibodies.
- The outcome of this test may require a further investigation in the form of a small bowel biopsy in which a small sample of the lining of the small bowel, which is damaged in coeliac condition, is removed for analysis.
How to manage Coeliac disease and gluten intolerance
Gluten is one of the most difficult allergens to control. Up to one in every 100 people have coeliac disease and many more have an intolerance to gluten. They need to avoid gluten to protect their health and well-being. It is not a choice, but a medical necessity.
Can you get anaphylaxis if you have a food intolerance or coeliac condition?
Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock has not been associated with food intolerances such as lactose intolerance or with coeliac condition. This is because the antibody responsible for triggering allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, IgE, is not involved in food intolerance or coeliac condition.