Coeliac disease is an immune disease which is caused by gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats). Symptoms can range from mild to acute which can make this condition difficult to diagnose. There is a genetic link to coeliac disease and it can develop at any stage in life.
If you have coeliac disease, damage to the small intestine can result, even if no symptoms are experienced. Treatment of coeliac disease is long-term and strict elimination of dietary gluten helps to heal the small bowel. It is important to note that a gluten free diet should not be commenced prior to diagnosis. Coeliac Australia reveals that approximately one in 70 Australians have coeliac disease but 80% of these don’t know they have this condition.