Coeliac disease affects approximately 1 in 100 Australians. In coeliac disease the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten. People affected do not absorb food and nutrients well.
Coeliac disease is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged when it is exposed to even small amounts of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.
It is usually characterised by symptoms such as diarrhoea, malabsorption and weight loss.
Approximately 75% of all sufferers are undiagnosed and around 160,000 Australians have coeliac disease but do not yet know it.
Untreated, coeliac disease can lead to chronic poor health, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, depression and dental enamel defects.
A gluten-free diet* allows the condition to be effectively managed, improving symptoms and restoring health. It should be undertaken with medical supervision.
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* If Coeliac Disease is suspected, a gluten-free diet should not be started until the condition
has been properly diagnosed, as it will interfere with establishing the correct diagnosis.