What is Coeliac Disease?

Perhaps you have just been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, or you know someone who is affected by the condition?

You want to do some research on what this means, what it entails, and most of all you are possibly looking for help on how to cope? Then let's look at some celiac disease facts first.

Definition of Coeliac Disease

Did you notice the two different spellings in the section above? In the UK and Australia we spell it as coeliac, whereas in the USA you would recognize it as Celiac.

I will use both spelling throughout the site to give you the best chance of finding the site when you search.

However you write it, this is an autoimmune disorder affecting the small intestine. You are more likely to have the condition if there are others in your family that are Coeliac, as it is a genetic intolerance to gluten.

Other names for the condition

Coeliac disease can also be known as...

  • coeliac sprue,
  • non-tropical sprue,
  • endemic sprue,
  • gluten enteropathy
  • gluten sensitivity

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have coeliac/celiac disease? - Check your symptoms against this list
  • Does my child have it? - Babies and toddlers cannot tell you what's wrong, you need to be ahead of the curve, look at the typical symptoms in babies and young children.
  • How can I be tested? - An initial blood test, followed by an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, if necessary will confirm or eliminate the possibility.
  • Is it a food allergy or intolerance? - Not really, but clicking on the link will take you to a page which explains the differences between these two conditions
  • Is there a cure? - There is no cure, but the condition is easily treated with a gluten free diet.
  • Will I have to stay on the diet for life? - If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease then yes, you will need to avoid gluten from now on.
  • When was Coeliac Disease discovered?
  • Can I catch it? - In short, NO!
  • How common is it? - Coeliac disease is more likely in the Western world, however it is not always diagnosed, so the figures on this are turning.
  • I feel so alone - You are not! Just click on the link to read other people's stories of diagnosis and life with this condition, and share your own.

Linked conditions

  • Failure to thrive - this is when your baby fails to put on weight and grow at the expected rate
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) - this causes itchy blisters to occur on certain parts of the body. It can also be treated by the gluten free diet.
  • Lactose Intolerance - not always permanent
  • Diabetes - Another autoimmune disease that often accompanies celiac
  • Infertility and problems with pregnancy - undiagnosed celiac's can find getting pregnant difficult

Summing up

So now you know the definition and some of it's alternate names.

This Web site has been put together to support not only those that are new to the condition, but for those that are more seasoned to it, and we invite you to ask questions, share your stories and recipes, tell us where you like to eat and comment at the bottom of each page, to let us know if you have found the information useful.

- Coeliac Disease


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