• Coeliac Disease

    Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It affects about 1% of the population worldwide.

What is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac Disease is characterized by an abnormal immune response to gluten when ingested, which damages the lining of the small intestine. This damage hampers the absorption of essential nutrients, leading to various symptoms and complications.

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease

The main symptoms of Coeliac Disease are:

  • Digestive issues such as diarrhoea, bloating, and abdominal pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Nutritional deficiencies (Folate, VitB 12 deficiency)
  • Joint pain (due to calcium malabsorption)
  • Anaemia

Other symptoms include may include:

  • Itchy skin rash (called dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Migraines
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

It's important to note that some individuals may experience no symptoms at all, making diagnosis challenging.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Coeliac Disease typically involves a combination of blood tests, and a biopsy of the small intestine if required because it’s possible to have a negative blood test and yet still have Coeliac disease. Do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage.

Once diagnosed, the primary treatment for Coeliac Disease is a strict gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods and products containing wheat, barley, and rye. With proper adherence to a gluten-free diet, most individuals with Coeliac Disease can effectively manage their symptoms and prevent complications.

If you suspect you may have Coeliac disease, you have the option to utilize Coeliac UK’s complimentary online self-assessment tool. Upon completion, you'll receive guidance on whether testing is advisable and instructions for next steps. Your results will be provided to you, facilitating easy sharing with your GP.

Living with Coeliac Disease

Living with Coeliac Disease requires careful attention to food choices and ingredients. Our team at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust can provide resources and support to help you navigate the challenges of maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle. This may include first attending our groups webinar, working with dietitians if you can’t attend a webinar or require more support, and accessing educational materials.


Untreated or poorly managed Coeliac Disease can lead to several complications, including:

  • Malnutrition
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infertility
  • Neurological disorders
  • Certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma

Early diagnosis and adherence to a gluten-free diet can significantly reduce the risk of complications.

Support and Resources

Coeliac UK serves as the primary charity offering support to individuals living with Coeliac disease in the UK.

We recommend considering membership with Coeliac UK, as it offers extensive resources to aid those with Coeliac Disease. Further information can be located below:

Coeliac UK:  www.coeliac.org.uk or telephone 0333 3322033

Coeliac UK Local Group: email york@coeliac.org.uk

We're also here to support you every step of the way in managing Coeliac Disease. Our team of healthcare professionals provides compassionate care and valuable resources to help you live well with this condition.

To schedule an appointment after your GP has referred you to our services, please contact central booking line on 01603216021.

For more information about Coeliac Disease, please download the documents below.

Coeliac Disease: An Introduction to a Gluten Free Diet for Coeliac Disease

Calcium Content of Gluten-free Foods

Improving your iron intake on a Gluten-free diet

Food Labelling

Coeliac Disease: Eating out on a gluten-free diet