Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people who need to live gluten free, says that delayed diagnosis of coeliac disease is creating a growing health problem across the UK with undiagnosed patients at risk of suffering with complications of the disease including irreversible neurological damage.
In its 50th Anniversary year, the charity is urging health professionals and the general public to take coeliac disease seriously and as part of the charity’s Awareness Week activities (14 - 20 May 2018) will be highlighting the symptoms and emerging evidence relating to previously unknown complications of the autoimmune disease.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK said that even though awareness of coeliac disease has grown, there still exists a perception that the disease is not that serious because it requires a gluten free diet as its medical treatment.
“Many see coeliac disease as just a disease of the gut, when in fact it is a systemic disease that can affect other parts of the body," she expalined. "A coeliac disease diagnosis is often missed because the patient is not presenting with gut symptoms, but rather they may present with neurological symptoms and are directed to a neurologist rather than a gastroenterologist.”