Coeliac Disease

What is Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is an immune-mediated condition caused by gluten. Gluten is protein found in products such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten consumption in Coeliac disease leads to an immune reaction that leads to inflammation and destruction of the small intestinal lining. In turn, this results in impaired absorption of nutrients leading to not only nutritional deficiencies and gastrointestinal symptoms, but may also impact other systems with the development of skin conditions, poor bone health and joint problems.

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 Australians. Symptoms can be variable with a large proportion having no problems at all! However, others can experience troubles with fatigue, abdominal pain or bloating, diarrhoea or weight loss. Some will develop nutritional deficiencies including iron, B12 and folate (with or without anaemia). Other problems that patients may report include skin disorders such as dermatitis, osteoporosis or infertility.

Investigations for suspected Coeliac disease includes blood tests and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (also referred to as “gastroscopy”). Samples taken at the time of this procedure from the small intestine aids the diagnosis. Treatment of Coeliac disease is a strict gluten free diet, requiring the expertise of a well-trained Dietician. In a large majority of patients the gluten-free diet allows the small intestine to completely heal. Only is a small minority are other treatment strategies required for Coeliac disease.


Meet our doctors

Dr Jason Y Huang

MBBS | BMedSci | FRACP | FACG | FASGE | M.Phil (UQ)
View More

Dr Soong-Yuan Ooi

MBBS | GCHitSci (ClinEd) | FRACP
View More