Coeliac disease diagnosis
Establishing a diagnosis, in combination with the right treatment by way of a gluten-free diet, usually results in a better quality of life for the person with coeliac disease. The only treatment is to eat a strictly gluten-free diet. This is a lifelong treatment. For this reason, it’s important that any diagnosis is preceded by a proper investigation to ensure that the problem is indeed coeliac disease.
HOW IS COELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
In coeliac disease, gluten damages the mucosa of the small intestine. The first stage of coeliac disease diagnosis is a blood test, which looks for certain antibodies specific to coeliac disease. If the blood test is positive, a sample is taken from the small intestine, known as a small intestine biopsy. If the blood test is negative, usually no biopsy is performed.
CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CENTRE
If you think you may have coeliac disease, please contact your doctor or health centre so they can take a blood test. If you have coeliac disease and start eating a gluten-free diet, the intestine will gradually heal and make a diagnosis more complicated. Therefore it’s important that you continue to eat gluten right up until all testing is complete in order for coeliac disease to appear on the tests.