By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Undiagnosed coeliac disease is extremely common in first degree relatives with the condition. The longer coeliac disease goes undiagnosed, the more harm it can cause to a person’s health. The symptoms of coeliac disease can vary widely among individuals, with some people not experiencing any digestive symptoms at all. If coeliac disease is in your family, getting yourself and your children tested may be a wise option.
Gastroenterologist Dr James Daveson, from the Wesley Research Institute in Brisbane, said findings showed a “high rate” of undiagnosed coeliac disease, with one in 10 kids missing a diagnosis. He said “The most important outcome of this study will be if it highlights the need for first-degree relatives of people with coeliac disease to be screened for coeliac disease themselves.”
Dr Daveson asked 202 first-degree relatives (children, siblings or parents) of 134 people with coeliac disease to be tested. The tests included the gene tests, serum anti-tissue transglutaminase immunoglobulin A and anti-deamidated gliadin peptide immunoglobulin G, as well as small bowel biopsy where appropriate.
They found a prevalence of 11 percent of undiagnosed coeliac disease in the first degree relatives.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the small intestine when individuals eat gluten (a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye). Coeliac disease affects at least one percent of the population.
Coeliac disease can cause the following symptoms –